by Dr. Randy
Every parent understands the problem. Kids love to go house to house in costumes gathering candy at Halloween. Many schools still allow candy in the classrooms at Halloween parties. But you know and they know that corn syrup and the various chemicals in candy are actually harmful and cause disease. Do you allow children to gradually eat their Halloween loot, or take it away, explaining that this is bad for your body? Neither of these options is very appealing.
Here’s a better option. Tell children that your new family tradition is to trade their candy for a toy or other desired object or activity. Like going to an art museum (haha). You can set a monetary limit for this reward and you can discuss their options before Halloween. Have a family discussion about what they would imagine is fair and fulfilling. And use this opportunity for an age appropriate discussion about why candy is bad for you: corn syrup stimulates craving for more sweets and causes inflammation in the body that leads to heart disease and diabetes, artificial ingredients can cause diseases and even contribute to increasing the risk of cancer. And talk about what your family believes about healthy eating, that it is best to eat foods the way they grow in nature and not processed or containing harmful chemicals.
Then go admire the costumes and enjoy the community spirit of Halloween.