Pediatrician Dr. Sears’ Tips about Halloween

Dr. Sears is one of the Doctors on the informative show The Doctors. He recommends a healthy dinner on the spooky night. You can check out the Halloween Cooking class I did at Whole Foods for a fun spooky meal.




Pre-Feed Your Child


Make dinnertime a special time on Halloween night. Serve your child’s favorite food, and lots of it. This way there is less room in little tummies for lots of junk food that children are likely to get during their neighborhood trick or treat rounds.

Pick Ten Pieces

Children’s eyes are bigger than their stomachs (remember, a child’s tummy is the size of his fist), so they are likely to gobble up piles of candy in mindless munching. Let your child choose ten pieces of treats, and that’s what they can begin eating tonight. Bag the rest and dole out a few pieces each day for several days as a substitute for dessert. Chances are your children will get bored with the candy overdose after a few days anyway.

Encourage Alternatives to Door-to-Door Trick-or-Treating

Neighborhood groups, church groups, YMCA’s and other community organizations often sponsor Halloween nights where the fun and games are confined to a hall or gymnasium to keep kids off the streets.

Offer Healthier Treats

Children who overdose on junk food often get a case of what they call “yuck tummy” the next day. Not only are their tummies sore, but their behavior is squirrelly from the roller coaster effect of sugar overdose.  Instead of the usual junk food, offer homemade cookies, raisins, granola bars, and fruit. Or, try non-food treats, such as: crayons, whistles, and tiny hand toys.

Be a Food Inspector and Monitor Treat Intake

Always inspect the treats before your child eats them.  Be especially careful about chokable foods, such as hard candies, in children under four. Growing children’s brains are extremely sensitive to high doses of artificial food colorings and sugars. Too much of these substances can result in sleepless nights and below-par performance at school the next day.

Halloween is a time when parents get to wear several different hats – a security guard hat to keep your kids safe, a nutritionist hat to monitor what goes into sensitive young tummies, and a party hat to share in the fun.



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