Halloween is just around the corner!
This means there are lots of treats and temptations to make your child dribble! With sticky sweets and caldrons filled with chocolate, it can be hard to say no to the kids.
Today at River Practice we’re sharing some great healthy alternatives the children will love. This includes googly eyes and strawberry tongues!
It is best to avoid giving your child sugary snacks, sweets, and drinks on a regular basis. When it comes to Halloween it’s impossible to deny your child treats, so why not keep them healthy?
The worst sugary snacks/sweets to eat are chewy and sticky sweets, including gummy sweets and toffees. The sticky sugars can be a nightmare for the teeth as they are very difficult to remove. Sour candy is also a bad choice, as not only is the sugar introduced to the teeth but acid is too. The sugar on the teeth cause an acid attack which begins to breakdown the enamel (outer layer of tooth.) It takes at least 30 minutes for the nutrients to re-enter the enamel, so remember to wait at least half an hour before brushing.
If your child is still after something sweet this Halloween, why not try sugar free lollipops? And did you know, if you suffer from a dry mouth, sugar free lollipops are great to stimulate saliva flow!
Saliva is important to help neutralise the mouth, fight bacteria and help keep your teeth clean. Lack of saliva can cause decay, plaque build-up and bad breath, which is not fun for anyone – not even on Halloween!
Sugar free gum is also good to have on hand. This helps stimulate the saliva flow too.
If you chew sugar free gum after food, within 20 minutes your mouth will return to its neutral state. So remember to chew sugar free gum after eating.
Please note: Giving your child gum can be a choking hazard.
By giving your child treats after eating a meal, they are less likely to want more. But this doesn’t mean the treats have to stop! You can get creative with healthy Halloween snacks. Not only is this kinder for their teeth, they can also enjoy getting their hands dirty with you in the kitchen by creating new tasty bites.
Halloween is a good time of year to educate your child about oral health. Stress the importance of brushing their teeth twice a day, floss and eating food that is going to be safe and healthy for them. You can teach them how eating sugary snacks, sweets, drinks too often will cause tooth decay – it is not the amount of sugar eaten, it is the frequency that causes the damage!
So we now know that sugar causes tooth decay, so how can we prevent this from happening? It’s easy! Cut down on the frequency of sugar consumed, keep sugary snacks, sweets and drinks to mealtime only.
Brush teeth twice a day, once being last thing at night. Parents and carers should be brushing their child’s teeth until they 10 years of age and then supervision is encouraged.
The high consumption of sugar can contribute to tooth decay. Toddlers can experience this when bacteria will begin to erode the tooth. This is caused by a number of factors such as your child not brushing their teeth properly or consuming too much sugar like those of Halloween treats. Another tip is not allowing your child to go to bed with a bottle, as this can lead to problems. Sit them down and remind them how to brush their teeth correctly and how food can contribute to problems.
When brushing your child’s teeth, explain what you are doing and why, let them have a go – education is very important.
If your child goes trick or treating, make sure that the night-time brush is not forgotten in all the excitement of Halloween, lets get that sticky sugar off the teeth before it causes any problems.
Not only does the toothbrush clean the teeth, but saliva and the tongue help too. The problem is that child can find it hard to remove sticky sugars from the teeth with the tongue, being able to do this normally comes into effect from the age of 3-5years. So if the toothbrush is not at hand, have a drink of water to help neutralise the mouth or a small cube of cheese.
When chewing on sticky sweets such as toffees, lollies and hard chocolate this can get stuck in your child’s teeth.
Unfortunately the saliva cannot wash this away easily therefore the sweets can remain in the tooth. This could lead to tooth decay and also tooth ache if not removed as soon as possible. If you cannot brush their teeth right there and then, reach for a glass of water as this can help wash away some of the sugar.
But how will you get them to divert their eyes from the big bowl of goodies?
For your child and others that visit your home for spooky snacks, you can switch things up by getting creative with fruit and vegetables!
We have searched high and low across Pinterest to find you tons of ideas to get you set for October 31st! If you’re planning a Halloween party with lots of children keen for treats this is perfect. We have a selection of healthy snacks that the kids won’t be able to keep their hands off!
Follow the recipes and instructions by simply clicking on the images.
Let’s get stuck in!
Up first, we have clementine pumpkins! This is a great idea to be creative.
These little pumpkins are not only the perfect snack, they are also low in sugar and incredibly sweet. If the kids love this, it could be a good idea to continue popping decorated oranges or bananas into their lunch boxes. This will be a great surprise for them while also encouraging them to eat fruit.
This is a great snack idea for Halloween parties. Simply grab plastic cups, a marker pen, googly eyes and a packet of grapes.
To make the plastic cup resemble Frankenstein, scribble around the top of the cup to create the hair, add a few lines and a squiggly mouth to form the face. Pop on the eyes and then fill the cups with grapes. Viola!
Cheeky apple slices
A combination of apple and strawberry is a juicy delight for anyone. This is a super fun and imaginative design; we especially love the cheeky strawberry tongue! But be warned, these may be gone before they even land on the table…
Let’s get ghostly!
These strawberry ghosts are a little more on the treat side. Quite high in sugar – so serve in moderation to the kids at the party!
Alternatively to chocolate, try and serve them by coating the strawberries in yoghurt and freezing them overnight.
Finish off the face by adding a few chocolate chips and you’re good to go.
This is a great party platter to indulge in and fill up on healthy snacks. Simply scoop out a pumpkin, add a low sugary dip such as hummus and surround this with a pile of your favourite vegetables! The kids will be diving in!
After eating veggies and fruity snacks, your kids may be after a little dessert. What better than a refreshing lolly?
No chewy toffee will be stuck in their teeth this Halloween!
With this sweet treat they can enjoy the benefits of fruit juice and the creaminess of yoghurt. They won’t be able to take their hands off them!
For more of a filling snack, these stuffed peppers are a great addition. Simply carve a cute pumpkin face into the pepper and bake with any healthy filling you fancy. You could choose from a range of fillings such as rice, beans, chicken, cous cous and more…
Get scary with avocado
This is such a clever design!
The witch will go down a hit with the kids. Make a guacamole dip and get creative with vegetables. Use grated carrot as shown for hair and tortilla chips to resemble a hat. She looks pretty scary huh?
These are so cute! These tiny treats are brilliant for a Halloween party. These kiwis come with hair, so there’s not much effort involved at all! Use pretzels to stick either side of the fruit and stick dried fruit to make a face. Simple!
Now this is impressive! How amazing do these look and what’s better? They are so easy to make!
Follow the recipe by clicking on the photo. These deviled eggs will be gone before you know it. Simply add a little slice of spring onion to the top of the egg to transform the devil egg into a pumpkin delight.
Happy Halloween! We hope you enjoyed these healthy snack ideas. Looking after your children’s teeth is so important all year round and also when there are temptations during this season.
Don’t forget that you should be visiting the dentist with your child on a regular basis. This will ensure that if there are any problems, they can be treated fast and efficiently. This will also give your child the chance to get used to a dental environment such as the sights and sounds.
Education is key for youngsters, this is why Halloween is a great time of year for them to learn about oral health. Your child can understand the impact sugar can have on teeth while also practising good brushing and flossing.
We also have an article on How To Look After Your Children’s Teeth providing you with simple tips on how to maintain great oral health for your child.
Any questions? Get in contact with River Practice today. All of our dentists and staff are confident with children and understand this can be a daunting experience for yourself and your child. It is so important that your child attends the dentist regularly and our welcoming staff will do everything they can to make it an enjoyable experience.