Halloween's Over, Now What to Do With All Your Kids' Candy

The average child under age 12 eats almost 50 pounds of sugar every year, according to the USDA

With trick or treating over, all that candy is in your house. So now what? You can hide it from the kids, or maybe eat it yourself, but there are concerns about the amount of candy kids are consuming.

“I am a really big candy fan,” says Heather Flannery. “We eat a lot of candy at our house.”

The National Retail Federation says Americans spent a projected $2.9 billion on candy this year, which is a scary amount of sugar.

Dr. Charles Hannum, a pediatrician at Tufts Medical Center, says whatever your strategy, candy is fine… in moderation.

“I would say keep it to a couple of pieces a day, through the Halloween season,” he says. “And it’s really about avoiding making it a habit of having snacks and candy and kind of sugary stuff on a regular basis.”

But here’s the problem: the average child under age 12 eats almost 50 pounds of sugar every year, according to the USDA. That’s double the recommended amount.

All that sugar can impact your child’s body.

In the brain, too much sugar artificially energizes so your kid goes from sweet to sour.

With teeth, sugar mixes with bacteria in the mouth, producing acid that causes cavities and tooth decay.

The pancreas has to produce more insulin, which over time can lead to Type 2 Diabetes.

And in the gut, too much sugar changes the balance of bacteria so there is more bad than good, and that affects your immune system.

“It’s a huge problem that we see nowadays with a lot of kids having these adult problems with diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure," Dr. Hannum says.

Keep in mind that Halloween kicks off a season of candy, so Dr. Hannum says it's important to counter it with healthy eating habits.

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