Food Safety Tips And Goody Ideas For Halloween
By Pamela Redwine
Halloween is a time of fun for children. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is providing a few simple tips to parents to ensure that their children’s’ holiday is a safe and healthy one, too.
TIPS FOR PARENTS
• Children shouldn’t snack while they’re out trick-or-treating, before parents have a chance to inspect the goodies. To help prevent children from munching, give them a snack or light meal before they go–don’t send them out on an empty stomach.
Tell children not to accept–and, especially, not to eat–anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
When children bring their treats home, discard any home-made candy or baked goods. Parents of young children should also remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.
Wash all fresh fruit thoroughly, inspect it for holes, including small punctures, and cut it open before allowing children to eat it.
Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
If juice or cider is served to children at Halloween parties, make sure it is pasteurized or otherwise treated to destroy harmful bacteria. Juice or cider that has not been treated will say so on the label.
Try to portion treats for the days following Halloween.
Healthy and alternative trick-or-treat goodie suggestions:
packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut butter, packaged fruit leather, mini boxes of raisins, packages of hot chocolate mix, microwave popcorn, pencils, play jewelry, stickers, erasers, hair ribbons and barrettes, match-book cars, packaged beef jerky, bags of nuts, gum, crayons, sidewalk chalk, whistles and kazoos, rubber spiders and worms and balloons.