We're just a few short days away from the largest candy haul of the year but all this candy comes at a price.
"And it's a little bit more intense at Halloween,” says Dr. Stephen Webb, a pediatrician at Rochester General Hospital, “unfortunately the majority of treats that will be handed out this year are the same old treats which are candy-bar type treats."
The first rule of thumb: put those trick-or-treats in a place out of access from little hands. Also, establish rules. For example, give children a piece of candy for dessert or treat in their lunch.
"You're going to monitor what the treats are and you should think about, if you choose to let your child have candies, and most people will, you should think about rationing those candies over a number of days," says Webb who also suggests limiting the number of homes children visit on Halloween.
There are also a lot of healthy alternatives to hand out this Halloween too and not just in the form of food.
"Things like erasers, stickers, Halloween pencils--things that are perfectly appropriate and much healthier," says Webb.
In terms of safety, Webb recommends handing out only pre-packaged treats. Do not hand out fresh fruit or homemade goodies. Stores have actually made it easier for parents this year if they're looking for alternative treats. Right next to all the traditional candy, you're going to find the healthy options like granola bars, bagged pretzels and dried fruit packs.
Remember, if you're going to manage all those treats your little ones bring home, apply the same rules to yourself.
"And if you're going to eat candy, it's probably best to eat it in that way, not as a stand-alone snack, which is just one more insult to your dental health," says Webb.