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Given a Choice, Kids Make Smart Choices
Date:10/29/2008

Healthy Treats Trump Candy at Green Halloween Festival

SEATTLE, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- "We were delighted and surprised when children, given the choice of healthy vs. candy treats, overwhelmingly chose healthy Halloween treats such as small pre-packaged carrots or trail mix, string cheese, yogurt sticks and cheese/cracker snacks rather than candy," said volunteer dentist Kimberly Santiago.

On Saturday, Oct. 25, more than 500 costumed elementary school children and their parents attended the family-friendly Green Halloween Festival in Issaquah organized by Issaquah Highlands Council. Kids enjoyed pony-and-wagon rides, carnival games, face painting, ghost stories, mad science, a hay maze and the choice of healthy vs. candy treats.

View a video about this event at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEXEHoLf71U

Kids who visited the Washington State Dental Association's Oral Health Foundation booth during the Festival got to choose from healthy or candy treats, while volunteer dentists observed how kids respond when given the choice to eat healthy snacks as a Halloween treat.

While many parents try to instill healthy habits in their kids throughout the year, the dental group demonstrated that kids will choose healthy when given the choice.

"Nearly every child, without coaching from a parent, first reached for a dairy treat, a bag of carrots, or one of the prizes that were offered. The string cheese sticks, yogurt and trail mix bars, donated by the Dairy Farmers of Washington were the first to go, followed by seashells and shiny rocks, carrots, and apples," Sandy Hardymon, Executive Director of the Washington Oral Health Foundation for the Washington State Dental Association said.

According to volunteer Dr. Jed Santiago, "We are encouraging people to offer healthy treats or earth-friendly surprises this Halloween, and reminding them that whatever the treat, everyone should brush and floss before going to bed."

Dr. Kimberly Santiago and Sandy Hardymon are available for interviews on this important topic in advance of Halloween.


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SOURCE Dairy Farmers of Washington
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