'Tis the season to eat candy. You'll find it at every doorstep on Halloween by the bucketful, which can lead to bad habits. Nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese, and one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes.
"Usually one little snack bar is 70 to 120 calories depending on what type of a candy bar it is and what the size is," said Marquette nutritionist, Michele Boehmer.
Nutritionists say you can curb candy eating by handing out healthier, but still desirable, treats including yogurt-covered pretzels, lower fat licorice, dried fruits and 100 calorie snack packs.
But some of our Facebook fans disagree with taking the treats out of trick-or-treating. Heather Hicks-Anderson posted: "I know it was no fun getting fruit or juice in my bucket. Why take the fun out of it for the kids? We did it as children and survived all the sugar."
That's true, but nutritionists say kids today aren't as active.
"Twenty to 30 years ago, we didn't have those palm pilots, and little DS's and things that. Kids sit a lot more and do things rather than moving for their activities," Boehmer said.
When your kids come home with candy, nutritionists say take control--let them keep some and give some away. One program in Marquette offers incentive for children to give up treats.
Washington Dental participates in a national candy buy-back program. Kids get one dollar for every pound of candy they donate to soldiers overseas.
"It's good for the kids' teeth, and the kids actually really like it. They actually will take a sense of pride because they know they're doing something good with the candy," said dentist Brett Goymerac.
And of course, nutritionists say everything in moderation. A small piece of candy a day won't hurt your child, especially if he is active.