Hey there! I’m back to address some important topics for you and your family. Halloween is coming and that means candy, candy, and more candy! Not only are people handing out candy, but chips and other processed crackers and junk. So what is a mom to do to navigate through all this and not see Halloween as an out of control candy binge day (or week) they just have to deal with?
Here are my tips to a fun, healthy, happy Halloween with you and your kids…….
1) If your child is 2-3 years-old or younger don’t draw attention to candy and most likely they won’t know or care what it is. Have a few bouncy balls in your pocket or stickers and swap with candy that is handed to them at school or play groups. It is easy with this age to just say no and distract with something else. If you do take them trick or treating put your attention on the fun of the costume and visiting neighbors instead of what goes in the bag. At the end of the night put the treat bag away and most likely in the morning they won’t ask for it. Don’t feel guilty for doing this. You are doing your child a favor and choosing good health for them!
2) Ask family members (granny, gramps, aunties, uncles, etc) if they are so inclined to purchase treats for your children to please choose something like a coloring book and crayons, or a book, or a card game. Explain that they are already getting plenty of candy between school, parties, and trick or treating.
3) If you are the parent providing snacks for a school party or play group stick to healthier options like popcorn balls made with non GMO pop corn (see my recipe below), trail mixes put in fun festive bags, fruit such as watermelon or individual bags of roasted pumpkin seeds for older kids. If you are passing out candy at your home try giving away pencils, small erasers, small boxes of raisins, or sheets of stickers (I bet a lot of moms will thank you!)
4) Insist (with no excuses) on the day of a school Halloween party or the morning of Halloween on a balanced whole food breakfast for your child. Example is hard boiled egg and sprouted grain toast with (real) butter. Or even better, skip the bread and throw in some raw nuts on the side or fruit (berries) or green veggie like spinach sautéed in (real) butter. If your child is extremely fussy about breakfast make a super power packed smoothie consisting of raw milk (if available) or kefir or plain yogurt, banana, coconut oil/manna, avocado, berries, stevia to sweeten, and 1 scoop of Dr. Mercola’s plain whey protein powder (optional).
5) Make sure meals provided throughout the day on Halloween are whole foods and satisfying with good fats and protein and fiber. This will lower their cravings when around all the treats. It will keep their minds clear and stable to make the right choices
Now realistically asking your older children or telling them they are to have NO treats or candy is NOT going to happen without a fight or resistance. This approach does not let them learn for themselves moderation and the right choices. Aren’t we all trying to teach our children how to navigate good and bad food choices on their own? Guide them and give boundaries. Go over why processed snacks in packages and candy, though appealing, are zero energy treats and in excess harmful to your body.
–Talk with your older child about moderation when it comes to treats. Tell them that they are allowed two treats on Halloween (which I think is perfectly fine for little ones) and gives the child choices to pick. For example; one cookie at the school party and one candy after trick or treating could be your plan. Or two cookies at a school party would mean no treats from Halloween candy and they will have to wait until another day. Feel free to adjust and work out your own plan with your kids.
6). Start now and do NOT allow children to take candy bags into their bedrooms where they can have free access anytime of the day. Here is one tip we have done the last few years that has worked well. I give my older girls a brown lunch size bag the day after Halloween and let them fill it up half way or they could pick 10 pieces. Then we dump all the extra candy into a box. I tell them we really don’t need all this candy and it wouldn’t be good for us to eat it. We ship it off to the troops overseas where it can be shared to a lot of people. They have been happy and satisfied with this decision. Then when we do have a treat here and there they can go to the pantry in the kitchen where the bags are and pick if they choose. Believe you me the luster wears off and those bags are soon forgotten about! Out of sight out of mind!
7) Lastly I just want to remind all of you mom and dads out there why candy and processed foods are not good for our kids in excess.
These products contain NO nutritional value and too much sugar, food dyes, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup and whole list full of garbage as ingredients. These ingredients cause hyperactivity in children, irritability, diabetes, fatigue, poor immunity, tooth decay, mood swings, and in the long term obesity, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride increase, and increased risk of heart attack and heart disease. I know none of us want our kids to experience any of these issues! Teaching kids early to have moderation and even better avoidance of candy, treats, and processed foods is making an investment in their health. It is also one of the best ways to protect them and empower them with the right tools for longevity and quality of life!
Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – Susie Rahaim
Popcorn Balls (these are always a hit at our house)!
½ cup organic non-gmo popcorn
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup organic barley malt syrup
½ cup pure maple syrup
Pop corn according to directions. Heat barley malt and maple syrup in a saucepan, bring almost to a boil, turn heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring constantly for seven minutes. Pour over popped corn and mix thoroughly. Moisten hands slightly. Form into 3 inch balls. Refrigerate to store.
About Susie Rahaim: Susie is a mother of three beautiful girls, dance instructor, pilates enthusiast and natural health advocate/blogger. To ask her a question or request she cover a blog topic, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.