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Published on October 29, 2013

American Heart Association Offers Heart-Healthy Halloween Tips

(Syracuse, NY) – The American Heart Association is reaching out to families to show how children can have fun this Halloween while staying healthy. 

Unfortunately, the annual celebration of junk food and candy can have a negative impact far beyond just Halloween. Childhood obesity has reached an alarming level in the United States.  More than one in three children and adolescents are overweight or obese.  Obesity can lead to other significant health issues like heart disease, diabetes and stroke.  But simple choices can help parents guide their kids toward a healthier path.

Try some of the tips below for a healthier Halloween this year.

- Remember to have a healthy meal BEFORE you go trick-or-treating. This reduces the temptation to “snack” while walking.
- Make this a fun family physical activity event. Set a goal of how many houses you will walk to and then stick to it!
- Think about a healthier version of treats to give out at your house: Mini boxes of raisins, 100% juice juice-boxes, snack sized pretzels, pre-packaged trail mixes, pre-packaged dried fruits, crayons, stickers, silly bands, bubbles or plastic spiders. Avoid using toys that could be a choking hazard to little ones.
- Find the right sized collection bag for your child. Steer clear of the pillow case method.
 So how do you deal with the excess of candy lying around your house come November 1st?
- Pick out enough candy for one piece a day for 5 days and put those in the fridge. When your child asks for a piece of candy, make sure to pair it with a healthy snack: an apple, a banana, some healthy nuts, or celery.
- “Buy back” the candy from your child with money or tokens they can trade in for a fun activity: a day at the zoo or ice skating, or sledding. 
- Some dentist offices have been known to buy back the candy from their patients so be on the lookout for that option!

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