What do I do about sugar on Halloween?

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 31 October 2017

Welcome to the holiday that all naturopaths, dentists, nutritionists, and the like dread...Halloween.

All sorts of opinions and questions start to come up as to "what the rules should be" on this day. On the one hand there are the sugar police who say not participating is best and we should be making healthy versions if you are going to have treats. On the other hand there is the "you only live once" attitude so eat as much sugar as you want. You also have a lot of people in the middle saying "it's only one day, so what's the harm?".

So who is right? The tricky thing is...we all are.

You have to choose what is right for yourself, your family, and your values. Here are 5 things that I like to keep in mind when it comes to sugar overload on Halloween:

  1. Conflict only arises when your values conflict with your actions - if your values are to make sure your kids always have healthy options available and junk food is not allowed in the house, having bags of Halloween candy in the house for days is going to cause you some stress.
  2. What you do everyday is more important than what you do once in a while - one day filled with sugar in a year is not a big deal. What is really the problem is consistently not eating enough veggies every single day, or having a "treat" every day or every week.
  3. If you give kids choices they can often surprise you - don't automatically assume that you kids would rather have candy than a sticker book for Halloween. Have a conversation with them and find out what's important to them.
  4. We often buy more than we think we need and end up with leftovers...which we eat - Is it really a tragedy if you run out of candy and you have to turn some kids away? I highly doubt it. Their bags are probably full enough anyway and they certainly won't remember in a couple weeks anyway. Try buying less this year instead of more.
  5. Parents often eat more Halloween candy than the kids do - don't fool yourself into thinking you are doing your kids a favour by eating up their candy. The only person you are really harming is yourself.



Now I would love to hear from you! What is one piece of advice you would give to parents on this trick or treat holiday that works for you? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!


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