Video: A Halloween treat that's good for your teeth?
updated 10/31/2006 11:56:20 AM ET 2006-10-31T16:56:20

You know what you're thinking. Later tonight, after the kids are in bed and their Halloween loot is unguarded, what would it hurt if you swiped just a piece of candy or two from their stash? After all, your kids don't need it anyhow, right?

Ninety percent of parents admit to occasionally dipping into their offspring's' stash, according to the National Confectioners Association. And when they pilfer, they go in big too - taking more than one kind. Favorite targets? Snack-sized chocolate bars (70 percent enjoy these), candy-coated chocolate pieces (40 percent), caramels (37 percent) and gum (26 percent).

But rather than gobble down your kiddies goods, experts suggest moderation - for both you and your tikes. offers the following tips:

  • Know how much candy your child has collected and store it somewhere other than the child's room. Having it so handy can be an irresistible temptation for many kids.
  • Consider being somewhat lenient about candy eating on Halloween, within reason, and talk about how the rest of the candy will be handled. Candy and snacks shouldn't get in the way of kids eating healthy meals.
  • If a child is overweight — or you'd just like to reduce the Halloween stash — consider buying back some or all of the remaining Halloween candy. This acknowledges the candy belongs to the child and provides a treat in the form of a little spending money.
  • Be a role model by eating Halloween candy in moderation yourself. To help avoid temptation, buy your candy at the last minute and get rid of any leftovers.

For healthier Halloween options, try filling the bowl for trick-or-treaters with:

  • Mini juice boxes
  • Individual packs of raisins, trail mix or popcorn
  • Small bags of popcorn
  • Mini dark chocolate candy with nuts
  • Cheese and cracker packages
  • Mini rice cereal bars
  • Granola bars

Source: American Dietetic Association, National Confectioners Association, Centers for Disease Control

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