Happy Halloween! Tonight, little ones will don their costumes and set out into neighborhoods in hopes of a returning with a bounty of sweets.
You’ll likely hear lots of advice on how to keep your child out of a diabetic comafrom this abundance of sugary treats. Common themes include throwing away the candy after a week, hiding the candy, and making the child earn pieces for chores or good behavior.
I say hogwash.
It’s Halloween! Its sits only behind Christmas/Hanukkah and Birthdays on the kids’ yearly calendar of excitement! This is a day for children to indulge their sweet tooth. Cutting out sweets on Halloween will not make a dent in childhood obesity. Dentists may have a legitimate gripe….
Now, you are the adult. Ground rules are important. It certainly wouldn’t be wise to let the child eat the entire bag in one sitting. (Although once I tried and learned a valuable lesson about too many sweets and upset stomachs.) Here’s my three:
Don’t make candy a “bad” thing. Treating sweets as something that is harmful makes children either a) want it more b)develop an unhealthy view on moderation.
Avoid rewarding good behavior with Halloween treats. In my view, there’s nothing wrong with making a child “earn” a treat, but using it to entice good behaviors sets in motion poor motivation and reward skills
It is trick or TREAT. On November 1st Halloween candy is a treat. If they get one sweet a day after dinner, let them choose one, or two, Halloween candy pieces. Halloween candy is the daily treat, not an added bonus.
It’s Halloween! Your child is excited beyond reason. Let them enjoy it. Tomorrow, however, isn’t Halloween. Bags of candy come but once a year….
Here’s some more guidance:
From Healthcastle: Which Halloween candies are more trick than treat?
Here’s Eat This, Not That‘s take on Halloween candy.