As I am writing this blog, ghosts and goblins are getting dressed for Halloween–and many parents are getting concerned about how to handle all of their kids’ candy-haul. Do they—
–let their child have just five pieces and then toss the rest?
–send the excess candy to soldiers in Afghanistan (as if it is good for their teeth and waistlines)?
–let their kids eat as much as they want, with fear the kids will eat and eat and only eat candy for the next week and this will ruin their health and make them fat? (Note: Kids certainly are not obese because of Halloween!)
If you want my suggestions on how to manage Halloween (and other holiday) treats, keep reading….
Sugar is a hotly debated topic. Yet, a few days of Halloween candy will not ruin your children’s health. You can use the Halloween candy stockpile as an opportunity to observe how your kids can self-regulate.
Before my kids embarked on the rigors of trick or treating, I’d feed them a good dinner. And then, I’d let them eat as much candy as they wanted. After all, Halloween is a holiday (of sorts) and indulging in treats is part of normal eating. After two days of Skittles and M&Ms, they got “sugared out.” Their candy sat untouched. They’d had enough. No big deal.
in comparison, if you plan on restricting your kids’ candy, notice how this can easily backfire into a major conflict.
–Will your kids end up having to sneak candy if they want to enjoy some of their Halloween haul?
–Do you really want to be the food police?
–And, please, don’t even try to define the “healthiest” Halloween candy. That’s absurd.
Just let you kids enjoy the holiday, and observe how your fears are unlikely to become facts.
Once, your kids have gotten tired of their Halloween candy, what can you do with their leftover stash? Maybe you could….
• enjoy the candy corn or red licorice instead of gels during extended exercise if you are a runner or endurance athlete?
* use it when making gingerbread houses at Christmas time?
• put some in the freezer (out of sight, out of mind) so you can have little treats all year long?
For more information on how to manage sugary sweets, please read the chapter on snack attacks in Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook.