Taming the Sugar Overload on Halloween!
Halloween is fast approaching, which is the first sign of the holidays and overindulgence of sugar. Have you ever noticed that the cold and flu season soars during the holidays? Did you know that consuming 100 grams of added sugar daily can suppress our immune systems by as much as forty percent?
Sugar is devoid of any essential nutrients. The American Heart Association recommends that children have no more than four teaspoons (16g) of added sugar daily. To put this into perspective, one twelve ounce coke contains eight teaspoons (39g) of added sugar. That is more than twice the daily limit of added sugar for a child. The AHA recommends that women limit their daily added sugar to six teaspoons (24g) and men to nine teaspoons (36g). Consuming 100 grams of added sugar daily can suppress our immune systems by as much as forty percent.
Sugar creates a rapid rise of adrenalin, hyperactivity, anxiety, trouble concentrating and crankiness in children.
Here are some popular treats that you find in your children’s Trick-or-Treat bags:
So what are some healthy alternatives to all the sugar?
Tip 1: Distraction. Take the emphasis off of the treats and more onto the costumes, house decorations and social activity.
Tip 2: Fuel up. Have a healthy meal before taking the kids out trick-or-treating. With a full belly kids will be less likely to gorge on the candy.
Tip 3: Walk. Instead of driving the neighborhood...walk. This adds some physical activity into the evening.
Tip 4: Sort the candy. You can't control what goes into the bag but you can control what your child consumes. Let your kids know what to expect when the treat bag comes home. Sort candy into an "okay to eat" pile and a "donate” or “buy back”pile. Buy back your children’s candy ($1/pound) or trade the candy in for a book or toy.
Other options: http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/ for local dentists that will buy back Halloween candy.
https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks/halloween-candy/ to send a care package to the troops.
Tip 5: Healthy treats. Hand out healthy treats. Treats don't have to be sugar-laden candy. Consider other options as well. When my kids were little I filled their "treat" bag with books, gift certificates, and other trinkets.
Have a safe and healthy Halloween!