CHOCO-WEEN IS CREEPING AROUND THE CORNER
As parents, we tend to have a love-hate relationship with Halloween. We love seeing our children dress up and we enjoy watching our community come together to celebrate with all the kids. But I hate that this is the holiday when we drown kids in candy. Parents everywhere are desperately trying to teach their children healthy eating habits and the importance of consuming food in moderation, and then, once a year parents allow their children to consume gobs of candy. But, what better way to make sure your ghosts and goblins have a healthy start to the big day than to give them nutritious and delicious chocolate milk! After all, it is the Official Drink of Halloween.
Chocolate milk, you ask? Why? For one thing, it tastes great, and kids like it. It also contains the same nine essential nutrients as white milk that kids need. Calcium, potassium, phosphorous, protein, vitamins A, D, and B12, riboflavin, and niacin all help build and repair muscles, strengthen bones, and keep your taste buds happy! Did you know that kids who drink flavored milk meet more of their nutrient needs? Flavored milk is a positive swap for soft drinks, which are the main source of added sugars in kids’ diets.
Now we don’t need to limit chocolate milk to the trick-or-treat crowd. Studies show that chocolate milk helps our adult bodies refuel and build muscles after physical exercise. It’s “nature’s protein drink” since it contains a perfect ratio of protein and carbohydrates for replenishing tired muscles. And we all need three servings of dairy each day according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Why not make at least one of them yummy chocolate milk?
TIPS and TRICKS for a safe Halloween
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
- Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
- Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
- Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
KEEP COSTUMES BOTH CREATIVE AND SAFE
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
- Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
DRIVE EXTRA SAFELY ON HALLOWEEN
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods.
- Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
- Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
- Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.
TRICK OR TREAT WITH AN ADULT
- Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.