Whether it is Halloween, Christmas, Valentines Day, or Easter, our children are bombarded with sugar on holidays. Truth is…we all are. And although it may be tempting to “let it go” and allow them to have as much candy as they want on the actual day and then pace things from there, the reality is that we are missing a HUGE teaching moment as parents when we do this. Candy laden holidays are the perfect time to sit and chat with our children about moderation and limits. We can discuss how extra sugar and salt are not things that help our body grow and stay healthy. We can teach our children about making choices by walking them through a series of easy steps. A great strategy is to choose one thing that we think we will enjoy the most and focusing on that “one thing” rather than rushing through several just to find out that we didn’t truly experience any of them. (and yes, we can learn from the things we are teaching our children too!!!)
So today and tonight as your children are bombarded with candy, chocolate, and chips, I want to encourage you to try one or all of the following three things…
- Talk to you child(ren) in an age appropriate way about the fact that even though we have candy and other treats, it does not mean we need to eat it all. We know that it tastes yummy and that is all the more reason to choose one thing and sit and eat it slowly and truly enjoy it. Maybe you want to do this with them!
- Decide on a certain number of treats that you will keep for your family and then allow for your children to enjoy one of these every so often over the coming days and week. When they consume them it is not a reward for anything, but rather a planned treat as part of the concept of moderation. I have decided on 4 for each of the twins as they are 4 and they will be offered one per week for the month of November. Tip for choosing…if your child tends to be very affected by sugar, choose treats like small bags of chips so that you are avoiding sugar highs and lows that will be hard on you and your child.
- Throw out the remainder of the candy or donate in to a local workplace. You may plan to keep it to eat it, but I assure you that you will feel much better and more energized for the month of November if you do not have this extra sugar and salt in your diet!
Halloween and other holidays can be incredibly fun without an overload of sugar and it is wonderful to teach our children that experiences in life can bring incredible joy as opposed to looking to food for happiness. Just some food for thought…
Until next time….stay healthy!