Moms' Nutrition Hotline: Halloween Treats Part 1

Hi Phil,This is a two-part Halloween question. With Halloween fast approaching, how does a parent deal with the influx of sugar (okay, more sugar) into the house? Is there a good way to go about doling out the dole? Also, can you recommend alternative Halloween treats to hand out? Thanks! Anne

Anne,"Influx" is a great word to describe the sharp-increase of household processed sugar levels when Halloween rolls around each year. Heck, we've all been there as kids pulling in the loot and seeing who could get the heaviest trick-or-treat bag. And then proceeding to dump it out on the floor, hording favorites and trading with siblings. You know, as I recollect, most of the fun about Halloween is dressing up and getting the goods. Yes. It was great to O.D. on sugar that evening, but with the hype over, eating the candy just became more of an autonomous routine until my stash was exhausted. The magic of Halloween Eve was gone. That said, I suggest --and do this with my own kids -- is let them have their fun on Halloween, Hey, I am no fan of processed sugar and candy, but I am not going to deny my kids the "fun factor" that Halloween represents. But the next day, we sit down together and sort through their candy, let them keep a "few" of their favorites to let the fun linger for a couple of more days. The rest of the candy goes to the top of the pantry, and a week or so later when forgotten, then: Bye, Bye! To save them any trauma or create grounds for a tantrum, I do not overtly tell the kids I am throwing away the candy (and obviously not in front of them), I also give my kids a little more education as to why they can't consume all of the candy they get at Halloween ("It's Bad For You" is a lttle to genernal and tends to fall in the same category as, "Because I Said So." ). My kids work well with this plan of action. Some parents trade-out candy for a small toy purchase. I even came across a local dentist that is taking an exchange of $1.00 for every pound of candy. That's cool. Whatever your plan, I suggest discussing it with your kids before they hit the neigborhood. That way there will be no surprises when they heave home their bags with expectations of indulging in every sugary morsel! Your second question is on my next post. Phil

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