Alternatives To Candy On Halloween

Halloween brings on an excess of sugary treats which can deteriorate both overall and oral health. It’s hard to resist those sweets all month long- and everyone wants to enjoy the holiday. So, set realistic goals- enjoy a few treats but practice moderation. Make a plan ahead of the big candy foraging day for what to do with the excess candy bounty. Get your children mentally prepared to give up at least some of that extra loot early- offer them options, and explain the rewards for each idea. Get your kids excited about healthy holiday habits to build lifelong oral health.

Medford, NJ Dentist Dr. Poorva Parnaik has a few suggestions of what to do with all that extra candy:

The Great Candy Exchange: Offer your kids small trinkets or a toy they’ve had their eye on in exchange for their candy. Set rules for your exchange- make it as simple as one lump trade, or create a whole mock economy- have your kids barter and negotiate using their candy as currency. Have a few of their favorite healthy snacks or books and games for them to “purchase”. Turn a sugar high into a great bonding and teaching moment!

Donate To Those In Need: There are a lot of families and children who don’t get to enjoy the festivities of Halloween. If your family has extra candy, teach your children the joys of giving. Contact your local Ronald McDonald House, nursing homes, food pantries, children’s hospitals, veterans’ homes, or women’s shelters. Many of these places will be happy to take your packaged candy or healthy snack alternatives to distribute to their patrons. It’s never too early to teach your family the importance of giving, and get them in the spirit for the coming Holiday Season.

Reuse & Recycle: Use all those candy wrappers to make some cool art! Get a jump start on holiday gifts or just make something neat for you and your kids! You can use wrappers to make up recycled wallets, purses, coasters, or whatever you can dream up! There are some great tutorials on the internet.

Build A Candy City:
Use all that unwrapped candy to build a fun candy land! Think gingerbread house… but anything goes! Make tall chocolate towers and meandering skittle streams. Just find some cardboard, wrap it in tinfoil- and have a blast. You can use real glue, toothpicks, or make a frosting glue.

Of course you and your kids will consume some candy this Halloween, and that is okay! Dr. Parnaik just recommends after eating candy, brush your teeth and floss if possible, or bring some mouthwash with you to rinse away that sugary residue. If you’re eating candy, drink water instead of sugary juice or soda. Eating candy after a meal is ideal, this way your saliva production is already increased, helping to wash away the sugar build up.

Schedule a routine dental cleaning with Dr. Parnaik today to clean away the damage of spooky sugar.
Dr. Parnaik will provide you with a comprehensive oral exam to help you maintain a healthy smile- and teach young patients the benefits of good oral habits.