The one thing you should do this Halloween!!

Trick-or-Treating is such a beloved tradition for Halloween, and we love honoring traditions and letting kids have fun. The one concern would be the increase in candy intake. That's not great for a lot of reasons, tummyaches, cavities, and one more little known fact: "Children who ate confectionery daily at age 10 years were significantly more likely to have been convicted for violence at age 34 years, a relationship that was robust when controlling for ecological and individual factors." That's from a 2018 publication that you can find HERE. Halloween is just the start of the holiday season too.. right after is Thanksgiving and Christmas, where confections and sweet treats are everywhere... So the question is--


What can we do as parents to let our children experience the fun traditions that involve sweets without letting them over-consume them?


When I was a kid, the candy I received when I went trick-or-treating was a treasure and I treated it like currency, because I earned that candy, dangit! Now, as an adult with a little one of my own, I want him to enjoy the fun of getting dressed up, knocking on doors and receiving a treat from kind strangers. BUT THE SUGAR!!

So I thought since children see candy they "earned" on Halloween as currency, why not treat it like currency?

This year, try creating a barter system with candy and turn it into a fun ongoing game for them! For example, if you have a 5 year old who really wants a toy from Target, you can say 2 candies = $1, and for a $10 toy, they have to trade you 20 pieces of candy for it. Or if they won't eat their veggies, you can allow them to skip it for 10 pieces of their candy stash. This might be especially effective for the kids 5-10, who understand the value of a dollar and who also are the most vulnerable to the influence of sugar to their brains and bodies. It might also be fun to try to negotiate a "good deal" between you and your kids!

So try this out with me, and let me know how it goes! And if you think it's a good idea, share this with other parents to try out together!

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