Some might think that the scariest parts of Halloween are the zombie costumes or the haunted houses. But ask any parent and they will tell you that nothing tops the terror of seeing your kid max out on Halloween candy. The highs of the Halloween sugar rush are very high — complete with darting eyes, an abundance of energy, and an inability to stop talking. But things get really scary when the crash comes, leaving kids irritable, nauseous and too tired to fall asleep.
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The good news is that there are many steps you can take to prevent or calm the Halloween sugar rush. Here's what to do and what not to do to keep your little goblins from turning into monsters on Halloween night:
- DO NOT let your kids go trick-or-treating on an empty stomach. Eat a healthy, filling dinner complete with a good supply of veggies to fill them up before they get to work.
- DO make a plan and talk to your kids ahead of time about how much candy they will be allowed to eat that night.
- DO make sure your evening includes some exercise. Take a long walk before they get dressed in their costumes. Or find a silly way to encourage jumping jacks or high knees or power walking in between each house.
- DO bring along a water bottle so that kids can drink instead of eat along the way.
- DO NOT expect your kids to go straight to bed after trick-or-treating. Take an extra walk around the block to help kids use up some of that sugar-induced energy.
- DO let your kids sort and inventory their candy when they get home. It's one of the best parts of the night! Let them pick a few pieces to eat and then put the rest out of reach.
- DO make sure that kids drink a glass of water and brush their teeth when they get home. It's a good way to cut off the candy eating and get kids ready for bedtime.
- DO NOT let your kids eat all of that candy. You can ration it, exchange some of it for a toy or book, donate it, trade it in, or just toss it. Be stealthy or be upfront — you know what will work for the peace and harmony of your household. Just make sure that the candy is gone within a few days.
- DO relax and let your kids enjoy the night.