Sugar can masquerade as glucose, fructose, dextrose, corn syrup and too many more names to list. Children are recommended to have a maximum of 25g of sugar per day (as per the World Health Organization) and with just one popular fun-sized chocolate bar having 10g of sugar, it’s no wonder parents cringe at the amount of candy that is consumed on that scary night! Having three little girls at home, you can imagine Halloween is a big deal for us. The dragons, unicorns and fairies come out of the dress-up bin; they collect a ton of candy; eat too much sugar; and stay up past their bedtime crashing from exhaustion and still have to get up early for school the next day. Sugar may not be scary to kids, but it is to most parents. So how do you put a little sanity back in this beloved holiday? Form a simple plan and don’t worry too much if it goes a little off course.
- Make sure the kids eat a high-fiber dinner before they begin trick or treating. Fiber slows sugar absorption and on Halloween, that is a must! As a child, my mother always made refried bean burritos on Halloween, and now I do too. These are fast, filling and full of fiber! (Recipe below.) Another idea is to add Regular Girl to their cold beverages. As you know, my family takes Regular Girl and we have been using it for almost a year now. Regular Girl is a prebiotic fiber/probiotic combo, which is approved by Health Canada for children age one and up. It blends invisibly so your child or teen will not know it’s in there.
- Buy back most of their candy. Once they return from trick or treating, I go through their candy and make sure it’s all safe to eat. I let the girls have a few pieces right away. Then they get to pick their favorite seven to ten pieces of candy to eat out over the next week. They trade in the rest of the candy for 25 cents per piece. My daughter loved this plan last year. She got a little candy every day for a few days and used the money she made from selling her candy to buy Lego!
- Bring the night to a mellow close. I have the girls drink water containing Regular Girl after eating anything sugary or sticky. This water helps remove sugar from their teeth and the Regular Girl helps with sugar absorption. Make sure everyone brushes their teeth then it’s into pajamas. After a very long day and even longer night, try to keep your bedtime routine the same with a short story to help frighten away any lingering ghosts and goblins.
Balancing health and fun can be a challenge on any holiday, however, it can be done with a little preparation and patience.
Moms and dads, what do you do with all of the Halloween candy that your kids collect?