• Health & Wellness

    Mayo Clinic Minute: Halloween candy strategies

Halloween is when kids wear their favorite costumes and go trick-or-treating for candy. Kids might bring home a bucketful of sugary treats, but it doesn't mean they must eat it all. 

Dr. Angela Mattke, a pediatrician with Mayo Clinic Children's Center, says there are ways to reduce the sugar without removing the fun. She offers strategies to keep Halloween fun while cutting down the sugar.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (0:59) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please courtesy: "Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.

You can hear the excitement of Halloween in their voices as kids dress up in their favorite costumes with the hopes of collecting a bounty of candy. Now, what to do with all that sugar?

"I think the first thing I would do is give them a couple of pieces. That seems reasonable, but too much of anything can be a bad thing," says Dr. Mattke.

She says to set a limit, then put the candy away so it is not easily accessible.

"We recommend that they keep a little bit of it, that's fine, but they don't need 5-10 pounds of candy each year because this is certainly going to increase the risk of cavities as well as other things," says Dr. Mattke.

And help avoid an extra dental visit by encouraging good oral hygiene.

"If your kid is having candy, making sure that they are using good brushing and flossing techniques," Dr. Mattke says.

And, along with keeping a few pieces, consider having kids donate the rest of the candy. 

"Some dentists collect candy and ship them overseas to our armed forces. And there are other locations where you could also donate the candy," says Dr. Mattke.

Related topics: