(A variation of this publication was first published on October 24, 2013)
And I'm not really everyone who worries. At least not for Halloween night.
The fact that food is not just fuel and whether or not, Halloween and Candy are part of the very style of North American culture and so to point out that children should not enjoy candy in Halloween is not an approach I would support.
That said, Halloween is definitely not beautiful. On average, each Response Size candy contains from the class 2 teaspoons of sugar and the calories of the 2 Oreo biscuits and we will bet most Halloween eves, there are more kids consuming 10 or more hallowed treats of less – 20 teaspoons of sugar and calories more than half a whole pack of Oreos (there are 36 cookies in a pack of Oreos).
So what should a parent who has health consciousness do?
Use Halloween as a teaching moment. After all, it is not a day to answer, this is the real problem, the real problem is the other 364 days of Halloween where we as a society have decided to reward, relieve and have fun with junk food or candy see my track at 365 Halloween days here). So what can be learned at Halloween?
Well first I think you can discuss some about the addition of sugar (and / or calories), and these rules mentioned above provide easily illustrated measurements for children and parents.
Secondly, it allows a discussion about "careful reduction"Ask how many candies they think they will need to enjoy Halloween?" "Remember that the goal is the healthiest life you can enjoy and that's true for kids and therefore the smallest amount of candy a child is going to enjoy Halloween is probably a larger amount than a simple old boring Thursday. At home my kids have defined 3 candies that are required (and I guess maybe some more on the road) – so our kids come home, their bags and instead of just eating accidentally from a huge pile, they chase the 3 treatments that they think they are most terrible and then silently learn a bit to sacrifice the food taking the time to really enjoy them.
Well it goes to the closet and it gets measured at a pace around a candy a day …. but strange …. and I'm not quite sure how this is going on, maybe it's closet cupboards, but after the kids go to sleep the piles seem to (although last year the older one told me that she believed their parents ate and that she would count her candies every night). I have also heard of some families who grab glue arms and make a Halloween candy collage, and dental offices that make Halloween Halloween candy.
Finally, a few years ago we discovered that the area of the witch switch had been extended to include Ottawa. Like her sister, the tooth fairy, the witch breaker, at Halloween, flies around searching for candy piles to "switch"for toys in an attempt to keep the teeth of children free of cavities for her sister." The joy and excitement of my children's children when they came under November 1 that the first year of the witch's break was something sees and is already a debate this year.
And if it happens in our house, we have not made candy since 2006 and we are not disappointed. You can buy Costco Halloween Halloween Halloween Costume Packs, Halloween Balls, Stickers or Temporary Tattoos at the Dollar Store (the glow sticks seem to be the biggest hit in our neighborhood) or if your community is enlightened, get free swimming or towels for your local arena or YMCA.
[Here’s me chatting about the subject with CBC Toronto’s Matt Galloway]