NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – We are just hours away from the start of the spookiest holiday of all -- Halloween.
That means the "candy craze" is about to begin.
CBS2's Vanessa Murdock spoke to a nutritionist to get some tips on how to keep kids happy, while curbing the sugar.
Ghosts, goblins and ghouls await the hordes of trick-or-treaters destined to pass by local homes. While screams may be pouring out, tons of sugary treats will certainly be pouring into their bags.
Halloween is three-year-old Belle Herbert's favorite holiday.
Her mom says she collects too much of all kinds of sweet treats, then this happens...
"Someone has magically stolen it by the morning, I don't know how it happens every single year," Brienne Herbert jokes.
"I let them eat that night because of celebration, but most of the time you have to balance," mother Adrianna Zingoni said.
Everyone has their own tactic for keeping the consumption in check, for the most part.
Jamie Ruden says his parents never pulled the excess candy away. "They'd let me go wild, I'd eat all the sugar and I would then run around."
Registered dietician Amy Shapiro tells CBS2, on average, kids consume five times the amount of sugar they should on Halloween.
"Set your kids up with a healthy belly full of food before they head out to trick-or-treat," Shapiro suggests.
They'll likely eat less candy and "you're not going to eat a lot of sugar on an empty stomach and get that crazy sugar high and crash with tantrums or cranky."
Another good approach when back home with all that loot is letting your kids sort their candy.
Put all the favs together in a pile and let them pick two because they can always have more the next day.
Shapiro adds that parents shouldn't totally restrict their children's sugary loot, just put some rules around gobbling up all those treats.
A great way to get rid of the excess candy: buy-back programs.
Some stores will offer coupons for candy and some dentists will reportedly pay by the pound. In many cases, the candy gets sent overseas to U.S. troops.
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