In our family we are fully aware of the evils of sugar. We used to think it was harmless, that a binge on baby chocolate bars once a year wasn’t so bad.
Only it was never one night. We’d buy crates of individually wrapped candy in late September. By mid-October, we were out, except for the one kind in the variety pack that we don’t like. (You can never buy a variety pack with all the types you like; there’s always a dud!)
We’d buy three more crates, give out one, and have the other two consumed within days of Halloween.
When my children were small there were always battles over the candy. One year I rationed it. That was received like snow in June. So then I decided to let them gorge themselves on Halloween and then ration the rest. That was mildly successful: the gorging part was popular; rationing spawned battles.
My Grandtoys are gluten and dairy-free so Halloween has changed. Where most kids love to get chocolate, my little ones can’t eat it, unless it’s dark chocolate. Twizzlers are made with wheat, so they can’t have them. Half of what they collect needs to be given away.
Then there’s that sugar problem. I once had some Skittles left over from Halloween. I would give the Grandtoys each a package after dinner. The youngest would almost immediately start spinning, acting up, poking her sister. Whether it was the sugar or the food colour, I’m not sure, but the rest of those went in the garbage.
“No Halloween” is not a viable option but there are things one can do.
- Walk the talk: I don’t eat sugar so I feel off when I give it to others, especially children. So what to give? This year we have one box of baby chocolate bars, some bags of cashews and for the discriminating palates of my Grandtoys, packs of seaweed. Yes seaweed! They love it! Some years we’ve given fruit leather, still sugar, but with fibre and some nutrients.
- Halloween parties: This year, my Grandtoys’ cul de sac is throwing a Halloween party. The focus will be on fun, not on collecting too much candy. There will be some, of course, but my daughter’s battle over candy will be minimized.
- Buy your children’s candy. This is a fabulous idea I heard about a couple years ago. A mother gave her child $50 to surrender the majority of the candy. I think she let her keep a few pieces. The child gets to have fun collecting candy but doesn’t suffer the negative effects of all that sugar.
I long for the days when an apple was an appropriate contribution to the pillowcase. I wonder if it was candy manufacturers that put razor blades in apples and started the fear mindset. It soon became common knowledge that it wasn’t safe to eat Halloween apples.But poison in the form of sugar with artificial colours and flavours is okay. Aargh!
Have a safe fun Halloween. Do what you can to avoid overdosing on sugar. Your body will thank you.
To learn more about sugar, read past blogs My Sugar Story.