Tracy Bjerke, the dietitian at the Owatonna HyVee store was our guest on "Talk of the Town" this morning. She spoke about the upcoming holiday, Halloween, and of course the candy and other treats the kiddos of all ages will collect at the numerous parties leading up to the big event: Trick-or-Treating on Halloween night. Tracy welcomes any and all questions about diet and healthy eating.

We all know that our kiddos come home with a LOT of candy, and as parents we want to limit their intake of sweets. According to tips from the Ellyn Satter Institute, we should be letting our kids eat as much of the candy collected as they want, on Halloween, then again the next day. Beyond that, incorporate the candy into meal times as a dessert, or a snack, served with a healthy drink. That may sound counterproductive, but, kids instinctively know what their bodies need, and we should let them control their intake. Of course, if there are food allergies or other concerns, you need to be more aware of what they are eating.

For those who have allergies, or other sensitivities to Halloween sugary treats, you can take part in the Teal Pumpkin Project. That is having a teal pumpkin out to show that you have little treats for trick-or-treaters that are not food. Some of those treats could be:

  • Stickers
  • Glow-sticks
  • Pencils
  • Spider rings or vampire fangs
  • Bubbles

You can even print out a sign from the Teal Pumpkin Project website to make it more visible that you are handing out non-food related treats. What kid doesn't love glow-sticks or stickers?

HyVee is also hosting a Halloween party, that will be this Saturday, October 26th, from 1 pm-3 pm. They will have crafts, cookie decorating, and of course, trick-or-treating throughout the store. You can find more information about this event on their Facebook page.