Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Halloween Scare; as the Spooky Celebration Looms, LISA SALMON Finds out How Parents Can Avoid Filling Kids Full of Monstrous E-Numbers

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Halloween Scare; as the Spooky Celebration Looms, LISA SALMON Finds out How Parents Can Avoid Filling Kids Full of Monstrous E-Numbers

Article excerpt

Byline: LISA SALMON

SUGARY skeletons, Frankenstein-with-flavourings chews, and gummy E-number ghouls - you name the sweet treat, the shops stock it at Halloween.

But while such an array of Halloween 'goodies' are a dream come true for excited trick-ortreating youngsters, the sugarpacked, full-of-flavourings treats are a nightmare for parents.

Indeed, new research has found that 97% of mums think most of the food sold at Halloween contains high levels of artificial colourings and flavourings and that it's full of sugar (98%), and nearly half of them (46%) are so anxious about what's in the sickly treats, they don't dare to read the labels.

The Organix No Junk Challenge Survey of UK mums revealed that 81% feel huge pressure to buy their children unhealthy sweets at Halloween, and 72% wish there was a healthy alternative.

British Dietetic Association spokesperson Gulshinder Johal says Halloween-themed foods are often orange and black, and therefore contain plenty of colourings, as well as flavourings and preservatives too.

"Many Halloween foods tend to be very, very sugary with not much nutritional value, and are high in saturated fat as well," she says.

"Some parents will allow children to eat a lot of the sweets they get from trick or treating on Halloween night, but I think it's about parenting and what children are allowed to do during the rest of the year.

"If they're taught that it's fine to have things in moderation and have sugar as long as it's combined with a healthy balanced diet, then I don't think it will have too much impact."

Certainly, the Organix research found 92% of mums think children eat too much junk at Halloween, and three quarters of them (76%) agree that children become more hyper when eating sweets.

"I think most parents are now very concerned about sugar and their children's dental health, and the colourings that go into food and the E-numbers, because some of these things have had an affect on children's behaviour," says Gulshinder, a senior dietitian.

Ahealth But she stresses: "AA bit of prepa bit of prepa-ration by parents can go along way - it's about damage limitation. …

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