HALLOWEEN: Facing the Candy Overload
As Halloween approaches, many parents are wondering how manage all the sweet treats collected during the neighbourhood trick-or-treating haul. Sugar is branded as one of the main culprits in the rise in a range of metabolic diseases; it’s no wonder people are running scared. However, when consumed in moderation, sugar is neither toxic nor harmful to our health. But when consumed in EXCESS, sugar can cause various health issues, including obesity and its related complications. If you offer your children healthy foods throughout the year, with treats in moderation, you can simply relax and enjoy Halloween.
However, I personally think trick-or-treat hauls tend to be excessive. So how can parents manage Halloween candy without constantly battling with their kids?
The goal, of course, is not to simply toss out the candy your neighbours generously gave. To avoid waste, start by collecting only what you can handle. Why not organize themed activities to avoid spending the whole evening collecting candy? You can start (or finish) the evening with activities. I also recommend allotting a certain amount of time to trick-or-treating and taking your time. You will surely end up with less candy if you hit 20 houses instead of 60!
Once at home, your child can sort their candy. Naturally, there will be some favourites and some they don’t really like. After sorting, wrap up the unwanted candies to give away as a surprise gift. Who knows, maybe grandma would love some “kisses.”
I think that’s the best advice. You should always be in charge of the candy bag and store it where your kids can’t reach. It’s especially important to prevent your little ones from sneaking candy; you’d be surprised by their stashing skills. Eating candy first thing in the morning or after brushing teeth at night is never a good idea.
Be sure to store it out of their sight. You’ve probably done the same thing yourself with a bag of chips to avoid overeating. It definitely works! As the saying goes: out of sight, out of mind!
In the first week after the Halloween, children still have candy on their mind. You could let them have a few pieces at a set time of day. Again, you can limit the amount. For example, allow your child to choose three candies for dessert.
After a week, I suggest that you introduce a new rule to reduce their candy intake. At this point, you could limit the candy to once day or on weekends, for instance. You’ll notice that after two weekends, they will have moved on to other things and won’t ask you for these tasty treats anymore.
So long, candy!
Vanessa Daigle, RD
Nutritionist | Dietician