There are a lot of things to look forward to at Halloween – the candy, the decorations, the costumes and did I mention, the candy.
It is fun to be a child at Halloween.
Still, as the pediatrician who is not so endearingly nicknamed “super-safety-mom,” I feel it is important to take a moment and remind everyone about staying safe.
For thousands of years, humans have recognized the soul-calming effect of time spent in nature. But between the lure of screen time and frenzied schedules packed with organized sports and other activities, it can be difficult to get kids outside to just be.
Only 51 percent of preschool kids go out outside once a day to walk or play, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends outdoor playtime in its recent report titled “The Power of Play.” Even short periods of outdoor time can help kids get more active, reduce anxiety, improve mood and concentration, and sleep better at night.
With the days getting shorter and cooler, it means it is that time of the year to make sure everyone in the family is ready with the essentials: winter coats, snow pants, boots, mittens, hats and flu shots.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a yearly flu vaccine, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
A quick perusal of the Internet’s take on strategies parents can use to limit the candy carnage on Halloween frequently invokes words like “horror” and a variety of tortured takes on “trick-or-treat.”
But UW Health registered dietitian Cassie Vanderwall sees Halloween as an opportunity to teach children valuable lessons about restraint and moderation.
With some nutritious ingredients and a few simple steps, kids can help prepare these healthy, family-friendly treats.