Kansas City nutritionist offers tips to a healthy and safe Halloween

About 12.5 million children in the United States are obese and that number is on the rise according to the Centers for Disease Control.

As trick-or-treaters get ready to fill up their jack-o-lantern with sugary treats, there are ways parents can keep their kids healthy.

Jennifer Diggs, a nutritionist at the Cleaver YMCA says we can set a good example for our children by handing out healthy treats such as raisins, pretzels and bottled water.

Diggs says parents should focus on positive aspect of eating more nutritional foods that are good for your heart and can help young bodies grow. She says parent must limit the amount of candy their child consumes during and after Halloween.

"Just three snack size Snickers' bars packs on about 500 calories. If you eat three of those every day for a week, you're going to gain a pound. It adds up very quickly."

Diggs says what happens before Halloween night is also important. She says parents should make sure the family has a high fiber and high protein meal before trick-or-treating. That will keep everyone full and less likely to dive into the candy bag before the end of the night.

Diggs says Halloween should be an opportunity for families to be active.

"Go walking with them. Don't drop them off in the car. It's a family event. It helps keep your kids safe. It connects you with your neighborhood. This is always a great thing to do "

Most importantly, be safe and have a Happy Halloween!

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