Halloween Doesn't Have to Be Gorge-Fest to Be Fun

By LINDSEY TANNER | October 28, 2011 | 4:35 PM EDT

FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 29, 2010 file photo, Hannah Moos, 5, dressed as a bunch of grapes, asks for candy with her father Kyle, of Melba, Idaho at a Halloween event in downtown Nampa, Idaho. Dentists and dieticians say one can still make Halloween reasonably healthy for kids without resorting to tactics like no candy. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Charlie Litchfield)

CHICAGO (AP) — For most kids, Halloween wouldn't be fun without candy. But health experts say there are other ways to keep trick-or-treating from turning into a gorge-fest.

The president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says to let your kids have candy — but with some limitations.

Offering dark chocolate instead of chewy candies, or toys in exchange for Halloween loot can keep things festive. Some studies suggest dark chocolate is heart-healthy, and chewy candies can stick to teeth and promote cavities.

But 12-year-old Cole Robbins of Chicago warns not to go overboard on restrictions. He says that's the one day of the year kids just kind of break out and overload on candy.