Happy Halloween—Get Ready for a Sugar Rush!

Between the trick-or-treating, the scary costumes, the jack-o-lanterns, and the mountains of candy, your little monsters, super heroes, and princesses have been looking forward to tonight for months. And at the end of the day, when they dump their haul and start ripping open candy wrappers, you wonder if you’re ready for the sugar rush — and the morning-after miseries.

A recent study showed that trick-or-treaters bring home an average of 4,800 calories and 3 cups of sugar. And that’s just an average, folks! Kids who view Halloween as a competition to see who can bag the most loot can get that calorie count well over 10,000. So carve out a plan with your children before they go trick-or-treating. Decide how much candy they will keep for themselves, and how much they will give up. Then stick to the plan. As for what to do with the leftovers, here are some options:

Treat the troops. Operation Shoebox is a non-profit organization that sends care packages to troops overseas. Mail individually wrapped treats to: Operation Shoebox, 8360 East Highway 25, Belleview, FL  34420.

Swap with a dentist. Many offer Halloween candy buy-back programs. At $1 per pound of candy traded in, your child may end up a few bucks richer!

Supply a study break. College students live stressful lives. So let them relive their childhoods with a box of Halloween goodies.

Now for that “too-much-sugar” tummy ache. Here’s what to do if your little one has overindulged:

  • Bring on the bland to help settle her stomach. Put easy-to-digest applesauce, a little plain rice, dry toast, or even a mild cooked vegetable on the day’s menu.
  • Sometimes all it takes to settle a troubled tummy is the right scent. Have your “patient” scratch the peel of an uncut lemon and take a few whiffs, or open a bottle of peppermint oil and let him take a sniff. The odors will travel to his brain and help settle the topsy-turvy tummy turmoil.
  • It may be tempting for your tot to curl up on the couch, but a walk around the block may be all she needs to let a little gravity give some relief to her grief.