Candy, candy everywhere!
Who else is ready for Halloween festivities?
Halloween is right around the corner and my house is filled with dress-up fun!
This year, my girls will be the solar system (keeping it simple, right?), Peter Rabbit, and probably a bumblebee…
Or something that involves wearing all the tutus since that’s all my 2-year old wants to wear, currently.
Also, she’s really into chomping whole, raw cabbage these days. Won’t eat it chopped though. But I digress…
As I was saying, my kids LOVE Halloween (and so do I). It’s basically a month-long dress-up party with playfully spooky decorations, us buying too many pumpkins, elaborate story-telling games, and an excuse to stay out a bit late and eat candy.
However, managing the candy excess and potential food reactions is always a concern.
Are you wondering how to convince your kids not to gorge themselves senseless on candy this year?
(How about keeping yourself from feeding those growing sugar demons?)
Here are some ways you can help keep your superheroes feeling super!
No. 1: Sugar cravings are natural and normal.
All people are wired to crave sugar.
Young children do not have the cognitive development to rationalize “should” vs “want” when it comes to readily-available sugary foods. (There are days I wonder if I truly have that ability.)
So let’s set them up for success!
You can help reduce your kids’ sugar cravings and the negative impacts of excess sugar by making sure they are well fed and hydrated before they go out trick-or-treating. That means, drink lots of water throughout the day and eat a nourishing dinner before heading off to collect candy.
Do you need guidance to get yourself and your family eating more healthily without all the mealtime drama?
Then Health Coaching may be a great fit for you. I have programs for individuals, families, and groups.
No. 2: Have healthy snacks readily available.
The key is to always have delicious, no sugar added, ready-to-eat veggie and fruit options. This means washed, pre-chopped, stored where they are easily seen and reached.
Go ahead and tuck those less healthy options in the back on the upper shelves. “Out of sight, out of mind” really does work for all ages.
Each year we enjoy decorating clementines to look like mini pumpkins. All you need is a bag of clementines, a Sharpie, and couple enthusiastic artists.
Another great choice is sliced veggies with different dips. Hummus, guacamole, or my beet dip are all hits in this house.
And remember to limit snacks, even healthy ones, so they’re not too full for meals. Same goes for adults!
No. 3: Minimize unhealthy temptations.
In our house, we turn to the genius of the Switch Witch to manage the candy overload.
This book and witch doll (similar to Elf on the Shelf) share the story of Switchcrafted where the witchy world is fueled by candy. Your child can help the witchy world by leaving the Switch Witch their Halloween candy in exchange for a toy.
We let our kids eat a few gluten free candies that night and pick out five more to keep. The rest they leave for the Switch Witch with a note about the top 2-3 toys they would like. They only get one toy but it gives us wiggle room when they ask for something impossible (like a real sheep to live in our backyard). This has been a wonderful addition to our Halloween traditions!
The Switch Witch is fantastic for every family with young children, and particularly for those with food allergies, celiac disease, or diabetes.
As part of my Health Coaching Programs, I provide my clients with delicious recipes, natural solutions, and other resources to help keep them and their families healthy and happy.
No. 4: Sharing is not always caring.
Often, we don’t know who has a food allergy. Remind kids not to share candy and other foods with their friends.
It’s also a good idea for everyone to wash their hands after eating. This helps reduce both the spread of potential allergens and germs.
Have you heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project?
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is raising awareness of food allergies and promoting inclusion of all trick-or-treaters.
The teal pumpkin lets others know you have allergy-friendly or food-free treats available.
No. 5: Allergy-friendly means everyone can participate!
Halloween can be a challenge when it comes to food allergies or serious intolerances. Even if you’re some of the lucky ones without these concerns, many of your trick-or-treaters likely do.
Fortunately, there are many allergy-friendly options these days!
Yum Earth is one of our favorite allergy-friendly and organic candy brands. They have lollipops, fruit snacks (gummies), hard candies, sour twists, candy corn, licorice and more! There’s still time to order on Amazon Prime or they can be found in many grocery stores like Wegmans and Whole Foods.
This year, we’ve also stocked up on Annie’s Organic Bunnies & Bats, Garden Veggie Chips Ghosts & Bats, and SkinnyPop Original Popcorn.
Any leftovers make safe school snacks too!
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