Got Milk? Partners with CA Dietetic Association to Keep Kids from Going into Sugar OverloadÂ Â
Halloween is a holiday usually associated with candy. According to a San Francisco Chronicle article entitled "Halloween Adds Up to $5 Billion," Americans spent about $1.4 billion dollars in Halloween candy just last year alone, leaving trick-or-treaters with plenty of sweets to eat. In fact, children are not just getting one small bag of candy nowadays; they're receiving pillowcases worth of sweets laden with fat, sugar and calories.
An average-size Jack-O-Lantern bucket, for example, fits about 250 pieces of small chocolate bars and candy that could easily add up to nine thousand calories (4.5 times the recommended daily amount for a grown person), 200 grams of fat and 1500 grams of sugar.
To keep sweets in moderation, the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) - the creators of Got Milk? - has partnered with the California Dietetic Association (CDA) to share strategies with parents on how to save kids from candy overload.Â
"The trick is to plan ahead, making sure that children do not overindulge in sweets," say Kara Freeman Dr PH, Registered Dietitian and President of the California Dietetic Association. "While we do not want to take the fun of candy out of the festivities, parents also need to be aware that Halloween kicks off the holiday season which is usually filled with sweets and other indulgences.Â Parents and kids alike need to keep treats in moderation."
To help parents cope, Got Milk? along with the CDA have developed a top 10 list of strategies on www.gotmilk.com Registered dietitians say it's important to set the boundaries beforehand on how many pieces of candy kids can eat on Halloween day.
Experts say negotiating with your kids and following some of the tips below could help reduce the consumption of sweets, while ensuring that children still have a fun Halloween. Tips include:
1). Dinner First. On Halloween night, give children a nutritious dinner with vegetables, whole grains and protein-rich foods topped off with a glass of low fat or nonfat milk. Having a complete meal, registered dieticians say, will reduce children's appetites for sweets as they trick-or-treat.Â
2). Got Chocolate Milk? Serving chocolate milk after trick or treating is a great, healthy treat. It doesn't deprive kids of the chocolate closely associated with Halloween, while still providing nutrition and reducing the craving for additional Halloween candy.Â
3) Non-Food Treats. Consider handing out themed school supplies like pencils and erasers to school age children, as they will come in handy for class. Small toys are also appropriate in reducing the amount of candy children eat during Halloween. Plus, they're fun!
"I am thrilled to partner with the California Dietetic Association," says Steve James, executive director of the California Milk Processor Board. "Got Milk? has the same goal as the CDA and that is to keep children healthy.Â With the rise of obesity and type 2 diabetes among kids, parents must take precautions to prevent these diseases at home."
A Mayo Clinic article published last year reports that one-third of children in this country are overweight or at-risk of becoming overweight, totaling to about 25 million kids.
That number has doubled for children between the ages of six to 11 and has tripled for teenagers over the last two decades.
In the Hispanic community, a 2006 National Council of La Raza Fact Sheet reports that 39.3 percent of Mexican American children (the largest Hispanic group in the US) ages 6 to 11 are overweight and 23.7 percent are obese - outnumbering African Americans and Whites.
"The temptation is great during Halloween to overindulge in sweets but these statistics show why maintaining a healthy diet is key all-year-round," says Freeman. "Drinking nonfat or low fat milk coupled with green leafy vegetables, fruits and whole grains are key to improving a child's overall health and that's the best treat parents could give their kids.
To obtain the top 10 tips and strategies for a healthy Halloween, visit www.gotmilk.com
The California Dietetic Association (CDA), an Affiliate of the American Dietetic Association, is a non-profit professional organization of more than 6,000 Registered Dietitians, Diet Technicians Registered and dietetic students.
The mission of the CDA is to empower members to be the State of California's food and nutrition leaders.
Registered Dietitians (RD) practice in a variety of arenas and provide medical nutrition therapy, prevention and wellness education, and nutrition assessments and intervention. RDs can be found in hospitals, clinics, dialysis centers, long term care facilities, education institutions, public health programs, and food service operations, to name a few. Since 1925 the CDA has been optimizing the health of Californian through food and nutrition. Contact and learn more about CDA at: www.dietitian.org
The California Milk Processor Board was established in 1993 to make milk more competitive and increase milk consumption in California. Awareness of Got Milk? is over 90 percent nationally and it is considered one of the most important and successful campaigns in history. Got Milk? is a federally registered trademark that has been licensed by the national dairy boards since 1995.
The CMPB's Spanish-language campaign began in 1994 using the tagline "Familia, Amory Leche" (Family, Love and Milk). The TOMA LECHE (Drink Milk) campaign replaced it in 2006, following a growing trend in Hispanic food advertising that uses wit and humor to reach audiences. Got Milk? gifts and recipes can be viewed at www.gotmilk.com and www.tomaleche.com
The CMPB is funded by all California milk processors and administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Tricks to a Healthy Halloween
1) Plan Ahead. Make a plan prior to Halloween so that you can keep tabs on what your children will be consuming on Halloween. Talk to teachers (many schools hold Halloween events), party host(s) and neighbors to agree on the types treats to be handed out to children.
2) Negotiate with Kids. Talk to kids and set-up expectations for Halloween day.Â Make sure that they do their homework and chores before trick-or-treating.Â
3) Dinner First. On Halloween night, give children an extra-nutritious dinner before trick-or-treating. It will reduce their appetite for sweets. A meal filled with lean protein, whole grains and vegetables are the way to go!Â Remember to serve a glass of low fat or nonfat milk with the meal for extra nutrition. Drinking milk is proven to strengthen teeth, prevent cavities, boost calcium, vitamin D and potassium levels.
4) Non-Food Treats. Consider handing out treats like themed school supplies like pencils and erasers to school-age children as they will come in handy for class.Â Small toys are also appropriate in reducing the amount of candy children eat during Halloween. Plus, they're fun!
5) Power Trick-or-Treat. Make sure children get enough physical activity to burn off excess sugar and fat. Trick-or-treating can be a fun way to incorporate walking and exercise. Plan a few extra loops around the neighborhood.Â This process can tire out kids and prepare them to hit the sack when they get home.
6) Got Milk? Serving chocolate milk after trick or treating is a great, healthy treat. It doesn't deprive kids of the chocolate closely associated with Halloween, while still providing them great nutrition. If you want to help your kids sleep on Halloween night, a glass of warm low fat or nonfat milk prior to bed will do the trick. Milk contains tryptophan, which helps people snooze.
7) Set Limits. Set boundaries with your child on how many pieces of candy they're allowed to eat on Halloween and while trick-or-treating. Allow your children to make their own selections, but tell them they can only pick a few pieces.Â
8) Exchange Program. Trade your children's Halloween candy for a desired toy to reduce candy consumption. Many schools, doctors and dentists have similar programs. Just ask!
9) Out of Sight. Out of Mind. Bring candy to work or throw them away. Kids don't eat what they can't see.
10) Set an Example. Parents should also stay away from eating too much candy during Halloween. They need to be role models for their children.