When it comes to helping your kids maintain their oral health, you may want to consider providing healthy Halloween inspired snacking and meal options rather than handing your kids candy all day. Here at Ponte Vedra Pediatric Dentistry, our dentist has put together some fun snacking and meal ideas to help you create a ghoulish atmosphere while reducing the risk of a dental nightmare.
1. Ghostly Pancakes or Ghoulish Waffles
Gives your kids a Halloween inspired breakfast before school by creating some scary pancakes or waffles. Using fresh fruit and sugar-free whipped cream can help you turn pancakes and waffles into whipped cream ghosts, grape zombies, and even strawberry fanged vampires.
2. Pack a Scary Lunch that’s Candy-Free
Consider packing your kids a special extra-scary lunch on Halloween in order to deter them from eating candy during school. Great options include celery spiders, which are logs that consist of celery, peanut butter and thoroughly washed plastic spiders. Just remember to tell your kids the spiders aren’t edible. Next, consider building them a haunted sandwich by cutting out shapes in the bread. Lastly, give them a treat by creating witches brooms out of pretzel sticks and cubed or sliced cheese.
3. Purchase Candy That’s Healthier and/or Fun Toys
When buying candy to hand out at your door and to potentially snack on before the big event, choose candy that’s healthier. This means avoiding purchasing powder candy sticks that are pure sugar, not purchasing hard candies, and avoiding buying items like caramels, taffy, gumdrops, and gummy bears. Our dentist in Ponte Vedra recommends purchasing dark chocolate miniature candy bars, sugar-free gum, and even small Halloween toys, like stickers and activity books, instead of candy.
4. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand Prior to Trick or Treating
Once your kids get home from school, you may consider letting them eat a few pieces of candy out of the candy bowl prior to trick or treating. However, our dentist recommends creating scary snack plates to quell after school hunger and before trick or treating. This could include turning bananas into ghosts by cutting them in half and adding dark chocolate chip noses, eyes and mouths or creating scary fresh vegetable plates by arranging the vegetables in scary shapes, like ghosts, skeletons, zombies, or vampires.
5. Create a Fun Spooky Dinner
Deter excess candy consumption after trick or treating with a scary and delicious dinner. For a quick and easy dinner, consider a homemade ghoulish pizza by arranging the toppings into scary shapes, like skeletons and ghosts, and start the dinner off with a healthy salad and creating a spooky theme, like adding cranberries and calling them zombie eyes or giving carrot sticks points and calling them vampire stakes. Decorations also can help give your children a more Halloween atmosphere and even distract them from eating so much candy afterwards.
6. Serve the Halloween Candy as Dessert
Once your kids have eaten their healthy dinner, give them a few pieces of their Halloween candy as dessert. This will ensure that they don’t eat too much candy, and since they’ve just eaten dinner, their saliva production has increased, which can help reduce the amount of sugar that’s left in their mouths. End the evening’s festivities by encouraging your children to go brush their fangs. Teeth brushing after meals and after eating candy can reduce the amount of bad bacteria in their mouths and remove any residual food particles and sugar.
Don’t Forget Your Holiday Pediatric Dental Appointment
Our pediatric dentist in Ponte Vedra recommends scheduling a dental checkup and teeth cleaning after Halloween but before Thanksgiving and Christmas. By scheduling a dental appointment in the middle of the holiday season, you are helping to catch cavities and dental problems early. You are also ensuring that your child’s teeth are clean and free of plaque and tartar that can cause cavities. You’ll also reduce the risk of your child experiencing childhood tooth extractions.
To schedule your child’s next dental appointment in Ponte Vedra, give our dental office a call by dialing 904-373-5120.