It is one of my most favorite weeks of the year, Halloween week! 👻 It is a holiday that my family goes “all out” on ever since I was little. The costumes, the decorations, the nervous excitement, the tradition of eating chili Halloween night and of course the CANDY! 🍬 As a child I lived for it and as a parent, the scary part is no longer the ghosts and goblins, it is all of the artificial colors, dyes, sweetners, preservatives, chemicals and now in 2022, NOW we have to worry about legitimate drugs 💊 That is freaking terrifying.
One other scary fact, that is important for parents to know, is that 75 grams of sugar can compromise the immune system for up to 6 hours.
- One pack of Skittles has 47 grams.
- 20 grams in a Snickers.
- 44 grams in a Coca Cola.
- 35 grams in a grande vanilla latte from Starbucks.
It adds up really easily. For a visual 4 g = 1 tsp (1 sugar packet).
The World Health Organization recommends less than 25 g of added sugar per day. This is important because the flu and sick season in general, is greatly contributed to by not being outdoors or as active as normal, being confined in smaller spaces closer to other people AND from Oct-Feb we have so many holidays loaded with sugar: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Valentines, to name a few.
So…fear not, I am here to help! I have always believed in being better not perfect. Here are some of my best Halloween tips:
- Sort the candy WITH your kids. This Fentanyl threat is real and we need to be extra cautious to protect our kids.
- Be a trend setter. Consider being someone who hands out better options yourself. Stores like Trader Joe’s, Whole Food’s, Sprouts even Target & Wal-Mart have been carrying healthier brands that actually taste good without all the other scary unnecessary stuff. Look for organic & non-gmo labels.
- Kids can get more candy than ever with all of the class parties, Trunk or Treats and actual Halloween night trick or treating. Consider limiting the amount they can keep and donate the rest.
- Purchase healthier options for your own home. Keep it a secret. Allow your kids to “SWAP” the junk for your better options.
- Limit their daily intake after to 25g or less per day.
- Pick snack size over king size. (I know, super lame but they don’t need it. Consider portioning it out.)
- My favorite tip is a tradition I started years ago when my kids were little. It was inspired by “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” Having a kiddo with some food allergies, I decided right from the beginning to limit the amount of candy we kept. We were very clear about what they could & could not keep, because some of those things are straight poison. We allowed them, say 10 pieces to keep, and Halloween night they would leave their pumpkins or bags out. The next morning, when they woke, the candy was replaced by a non food surprise: a small toy, game, movie, clothes, etc. As they have gotten older it may be gift cards along with a small something.
The main point is that kids love experiences & surprises. In an effort to maintain the FUN of Halloween and our families health, through this season of greater immune challenges, let’s be more intentional. Let’s be aware, let’s improve the quality of what they do get while limiting the not so good and let’s help them to look forward to letting go of all the junk. 🎃
Happy Haunting 👻