When you’re a kid at Halloween it’s like, “Calories? What’s a calorie? Sounds boring. I’m going to put more Reese’s in my mouth now.” Even if kids aren’t aware of what they’re ingesting, the reality is there’s a lot going into their young systems: The average child will eat 3,500 to 7,000 calories worth of treats on Halloween night. That explains the sugar-fueled laps I used to run around our house after trick-or-treating.
The Indianapolis Star says the calorie estimate is based on nutrition labels on the most popular candies. That amount of sugar would take a 100-pound child 44 hours of walking or more than 14 hours playing full-court basketball to burn off the high end of 7,000 calories worth of candy.
So what’s a parent to do if hiding the haul just results in screams of protest? One dietitian says a good strategy is to restrict how much candy your kids collect in the first place.
“Parents can determine how long their children are trick or treating, which will limit how much candy they will get,” she advises. Then afterwards: “Instead of letting them go hog-wild, have them pick out a couple pieces every day until the candy is gone,” she said. “Make sure they have a healthy dinner first.”
Hiding the candy out of sight or even storing it in the freezer and other places they can’t reach is another good tactic to stop the flow of “Can I have more candy please please please?” requests.
And if that doesn’t work? Earplugs and a heart of stone.
Kids to eat 3,500 to 7,000 calories of Halloween treats today [Indianapolis Star]