- Halloween is one of the biggest holidays for buying and consuming candy
- Between parties and trick-or-treating, the average child consumed 3 cups of sugar on Halloween.
- This doesn't mean children can't or shouldn't eat candy on Halloween.
- Eating a hearty dinner beforehand, setting a candy limit, and reducing sugar consumption elsewhere can help lower that number.
Halloween — a day devoted to costumes, tricks, and treats. And with those treats comes a lot of sugar.
Whether it's baked goods served at a party or candy collected while trick-or-treating, Americans eat an extra large dose of the sweet stuff on October 31. But just how much sugar does the average person — specifically, the average child — consume on Halloween? It's a lot more than you'd expect.
According to 2013 data collected by Coupon Follow, the average child will eat about 3 cups of sugar on Halloween. For those who aren't on the metric system, that equals roughly 384 grams of sugar — almost 16 times the maximum daily recommendation of 25 grams suggested by the American Heart Association.
That's a lot, we can all agree. But that's not the only time of year sugar consumption spikes. According to a 2016 article from Global News, the average American child eats 95 grams a day — almost four times the daily recommendation. It seems sugar intake is an issue all year long, not just on October 31.
Because of that, it seems illogical to forbid your child — or you — from enjoying Halloween candy, cookies, and the like. After all, depriving yourself only makes you eat more when given the opportunity, according to HuffPost. There are, however, some tricks you can try to reduce the amount of sugar they eat without taking away all the fun.
For starters, eating a hearty meal before heading out to the festivities can make a huge difference. Wendy Palmer, a registered dietitian with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, told CNN that even serving a protein-rich peanut butter and jelly sandwich can go a long way.
"Kids are really in tune with their appetite and won't be as tempted to snack if they are full," Palmer said.
You can also set a limit on how much candy your child enjoys that night. Since Halloween candy doesn't expire (at least, not for some time), this will also allow them to enjoy it over a longer period of time. In an interview with Bon Appetit, psychological and brain sciences professor Dr. George Wolford said you should let your child pick which pieces they eat.
"If a child was given a few of her favorite candies, making sure to end the period with their most favorite, they would look back at the experience more positively than if they were given lots of lesser candies in addition to those favorites," he said. So basically, if they only want to eat Reese's peanut butter cups, let them.
Finally, you can help their Halloween sugar high by cutting out sugar in other places throughout the day. If you normally give them yogurt for breakfast, swap it for something with less sugar like an egg. Trade their afternoon granola bar for some veggies and dip.
Halloween comes around once a year. If you're kid goes on a 24-hour sugar spree, it's not the end of the world. Rather than worrying about what they eat that day, try to help them reduce their daily sugar consumption. It'll be more helpful in the long run.
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