It's that time of the year again, the time that most children love and many parents cringe over: Halloween. Even if you are not a fan of this holiday, you can use Halloween's usual candy-fest as a "sweet" opportunity to teach your children lessons in health and nutrition. Join KC Craichy, Founder & CEO of Living Fuel, Inc., and his wife, Monica, as they share some ideas that have worked for them and their five children.
The Hidden Evil of Halloween from LivingFuelTV on Vimeo.
Surviving the Candy Mine Field
Children are naturally drawn to salty, sugary, and unhealthy fatty foods, so this time of year is almost irresistible to them with all the free candy, cookies, cakes and other sugary “goodies” that are literally poured into their hands. Research shows that sugar suppresses the body's immune system - particularly problematic as we're now in the much-publicized cold and flu season, with the additional risk of H1N1 swine flu. Sugar can also be destructive to your family's health in a host of other ways. Stay tuned for a future newsletter series on this topic.
With a little planning and foresight, you can help your kids control some of those natural cravings, moderate their sugar consumption and impart some terrific nutritional good sense in the process! Here are seven suggestions to help take the trick out of the treats your children bring home this Halloween:
Send your children out with a full stomach. Give them a good wholesome meal making sure it’s low in sugar, starches and bleached white flour. Prepare high protein meals like chicken or beef with veggies like green beans, broccoli, salad and/or carrot sticks. Have them drink lots of water and minimize any sugary drinks including juices, soft drinks, and sports drinks before going out. Remind the kids that since they’ll be eating candies tonight, the deal is that they have to eat a good dinner. They will be motivated to eat up so they can get started.
Offer to buy your children's candy from them. Even if it's 5 or 10 cents per piece, it’s worth not having them consume the unhealthy sugars, dyes and other chemicals in the “treats” for days or weeks on end.
Have your kids trade in their sweets for a better treat. Even if the trade is for one or more of their favorite desserts this is a much better option. Make a special event of it by taking them to their favorite dessert destination.
Offer to trade those bad treats for healthier activities like going to a movie, putt-putt golfing, bowling or some other fun family outing. The few hours you invest in having fun will make a special memory that will last much longer than a lollipop.
Offer to take your children on a trip to the health food store and let them discover healthier alternatives.
Discover new treats like healthy CocoChia® Snack Fuel Bars
or natural chocolate, carob, yogurt-coated nuts and raisins. The list is endless! Remember treats are fun, not staples in your diet.
Teach your older children to read labels and ingredient lists. Encourage them to avoid “goodies” with hydrogenated oils and artificial colors. Making them an active part of their nutritional choices now will lead them to making healthier lifestyle choices later in life.
Offer the trick-or-treaters who come to your home healthy treats like packets of nuts, seeds, raisins, beef jerky, popcorn or pretzels. Take the dollars you'd spend on the treats and convert them to loose change, passing out the coins to the kids. Take a stand and set a trend!
A safe and healthy Halloween is something all parents want for their children. Teaching children how to enjoy themselves without over-indulging can set the pattern for healthy lives and stop the disturbing increase in obesity that has become a major public health concern.