Let them Eat Candy
Just your friendly reminder that ALL CHILDREN deserve to enjoy candy on Halloween!
Children in larger bodies deserve candy on Halloween. Children in smaller bodies deserve candy on Halloween.
Special occasions should be CELEBRATED! Eating all the candy they can in one night will NOT negatively impact your child’s health.
My husband always jokes that I get “out dietitian-ed” when we take the kids trick-or-treating and get handed a bag of veggie chips or a granola bar. I know kids get ENOUGH sweet treats, and I can see where the idea comes from – but when was the last time you saw a child get excited about a box of raisins?
When I first started dieting as a young adult, I followed foolish advice. One that I remember is using an appetizer plate at parties to control portions.
I would use a small plate and only eat what I could put on the plate. You should have seen how high I could stack that little plate! If I could go back, I would allow myself to enjoy special occasions with friends and family. I would let myself eat that homemade fudge that my Granny makes at Christmas. I would not let my fear of food steal my joy.
The truth is that when you restrict certain foods, it creates a negative association with that food. For example, let’s pretend that I decide chocolate is terrible for me and I should not eat it. Now here I am, thinking about how much I like chocolate and wish I could have some. I made a deal with myself to NOT EAT CHOCOLATE. Finally, I give in and eat the chocolate. NOW I feel guilty. I feel like a failure. Eating the chocolate did not cause guilt. Restricting chocolate and labeling it as “bad” is what caused my feelings of regret and shame.
Teach your kids about healthy foods. Show them what balanced meals look like regularly. But, please, do not use Halloween as the time you talk about nutrition with your kids. Instead, let kids dress up, trick-or-treat, and eat their hearts out! Then, after the buzz of Halloween and the sugar-rush wears off, go back to their routine!
The most critical nutrition lesson you can teach your kids is how to have a healthy relationship with food.