Dr. Rachel: Halloween Candy

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Halloween is almost here, but it's not the healthiest holiday on the calendar. Dr. Rachel has tips on how to maximize the fun while limiting the junk food.

Dr. Rachel loves this time of the year! "Time for costumes, fun, and trick or treating, but with the child obesity rate triple what it was a generation ago and the number of cavities among children increasing for the first time in 40 years, we have to start thinking of more healthy ways to celebrate Halloween."

Dr. Rachel says that it is important to feed your kids a healthy, filling meal before they go out trick or treating. This way, they will be less likely to want to nibble while gathering their goodies. Parents should also tell their kids not to eat their goodies while they are trick or treating. This way, you can inspect the candy before you let the kids eat.

Parents can walk from house to house with the kids in groups. This way everyone gets great exercise! Also, don't forget to look both ways before crossing the street.

To do your part, you can try handing out more healthy treats like fruit leathers, trail mix or bags of popcorn. Toys like pencils, erasers, stickers, and play-doh are also great!

Dr. Rachel's final advice, "When the kids get back from their hunt, have them pick out five treats that they want to keep. Then put the remainder in a bowl and ration it out through the next few months. That way those family members who cannot go trick or treating can enjoy the goodies as well."

Have a fun, safe, and healthy Halloween!