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Halloween Havoc: Tips to Tame Your Sugar-Shocked Little Monsters & Prepare Your Youngsters For the Sugar-Focused Night Ahead

Posted Dec 18 2008 7:34pm

Halloween Havoc: Tips to Tame Your Sugar-Shocked Little Monsters & Prepare Your Kids For the Sugar-Focused Night Ahead

By Connie Bennett, C.H.H.C.

Even though Halloween is a Spooky Sugar Overload Day, the holiday doesn't have to become a rowdy, sugar-fueled "Nightmare on Your Street"—or lay the groundwork for sugar addiction, type 2 diabetes, obesity or hypoglycemia if you do a little planning and use a little imagination.

You can still keep peace and learn from tonight although the typical kid will scarf candies amounting to between 20 to 50 teaspoons and hundreds of calories.

Here are some tips to help your kids start the night off right before they trick-or-treat around the neighborhood and some more ideas on how to help your sugar-shocked Little Sugar Monsters once they come home home after collecting candies galore.

Start the Night Out Right Before Your Kids Trick-or-Treat

1. Serve a hearty, healthy meal.

Before your little goblins or ghosts take to the streets today, offer a nutritious meal that will help them keep their energy levels high, their blood sugar level stable and their stomachs satisfied. Choose a dinner that is full of ample protein, quality carbs and healthy fats such as salad dressed in olive oil and lemon juice, fish or organic chicken, with generous portions of asparagus or broccoli, some brown rice, and fresh apple slices for dessert (no whipped cream though).

2.Treat your children to toys.

Before your children leave the house, offer your child three simple, fun toys such as stickers, stretchy critters, creepy crawlers and even kazoos to take along with them on their trick-or-treating adventure. By giving them party favors, you're beginning to break the link between Halloween and candy and you're starting to put the emphasis on fun "toy treats" instead.

3. Nosh on nutritious fare.

Pack along some healthy snacks for your young trick-or-treaters to make sure they aren't consuming too many fast-acting "goodies" all by themselves. For instance, you could fill plastic bags with mixed nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or soy nuts, or bring along a couple of sticks of string cheese and a Trioplex bar.

Make Healthy Halloween a Game

1. Become Super Sugar Sleuths or Detectives like Nancy Drew.

Add to the Halloween allure, mystery and fantasy by making it fun for your youngsters to learn about the candies they're putting into their bellies. Go online with them and let them research their favorite candies to learn about what ingredients they contain. You can reward them for becoming candy investigators by giving them terrifying temporary tatoos, Halloween-themed pencils and pens or a morning off of making the bed.

2. Find treats that don't trick you as much.

Encourage your young ones to learn the difference between less-bad-for-you treats such as sugar-free natural fruit leather, chocolate-covered peanuts or almonds, or organic dark chocolate with minimal sugar and candy tricks that have sugar and corn syrup as their first two or three ingredients.

3. Spread the sour truth about "sugar shock."

Gently tell your kids that they could get a sugar hangover and feel really awful if they eat too many sweets in one night. Nicely explain to your youngsters that while sugary treats may taste REALLY good, they may lead to you're getting a stomach ache or headache. Even worse, all those candies could result in your children becoming wired and then tired or energy-sapped, cranky or crabby, moody, brain-fogged, depressed and no fun to be around. Explain to older kids that excess sugar consumption has been linked to a host of diseases and ailments, including type 2 diabetes, depression, cancer, failing memory and acne. You also could scare them with the tragedy of type 2 diabetes, a horrible condition that increases your risk for heart disease, blindness, nerve damage and amputation. Make sure to point out that an increasing number of kids are being diagnosed with it.

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