The big night has finally arrived.
And while there’s plenty of fun and frights in store for kiddos this Halloween, parents have been urged to take a careful look through the contents of those trick-or-treating bags before allowing children to eat anything.
Safefood has some practical advice to help families to stay safe this year.
Among the most important pointers is this one: When your child gets home, it’s important to look at what they have been given, just in case there’s anything in there they shouldn’t have.
Parents of very young children should get rid of choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard sweets, or very small toys.
Everything in moderation
“Hallowe’en has a special place in our culture and traditions, but excessive amounts of treats weren’t part of this until recent years,” says Dr Aileen McGloin, Director of Nutrition with safefood.
“Parents know Halloween is all part of growing up and can make for wonderful memories for kids, but they’ve also told us it’s a special night for children that should be celebrated and enjoyed, but in a more balanced way.”
While parents agree that children should be allowed to have treats for Halloween, the excessive promotion all around them is challenging.
“Parents also told us that putting the focus on other elements of the celebrations such as dressing up or playing games helps to take the focus off trick or treating and food, more towards what it used to be like when we were kids. For some parents, they work together closely as a community to ensure a healthier Halloween for their kids – that’s welcomed by parents, and this helps them all to feel more supported.”
Here are three more trick-or-treating tips:
Eat before you trick or treat.
Before your child starts the evening trick-or-treating, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a meal before you go. That way, you’ll prevent them munching their way from house to house.
Agree in advance with your child
To avoid any surprises (and pushback), agree in advance with your child how many treats they are allowed to eat that night. This will save any hassle on Halloween night; you can always save the rest to be eaten gradually during the school holidays and beyond.
Make a plan with other parents
If you are planning to trick or treat with other parents in your local area, why not agree beforehand about what you will give out to kids calling – it could be a small, sweet treat but also with some stickers or some other fun things.