We are headed out tonight to do our annual collection of sugar. I know this is far against anything I "preach" when it comes to food. But as far as kids go, I think the lesson to learn is prevention begins with education not forbidding. Now wait...I sound like I'm talking about sex education but we'll leave that subject for another day.
I feel my role as a parent is to guide my children into the lives God created them to live as adults. So, I try my best to teach life skills instead of just giving them rules. Now enter October 31st and the plethora of candy that comes along with it. We've tried a few different things to moderate the candy, and this is where we landed and these principles have helped us.
1. Limit the amount of candy that comes into the house in the first place. (We do this by going to an event instead of staying home. That means I only have to deal with the candy my kids collect not the massive bowl for trick-or-treaters too.)
2. Set a boundary or principle for your child to learn about consuming candy. (We keep the candy in a public area of the house. Eating in private, especially junk food can spur eating disorders. And it is good to associate eating treats with special family times, instead of something we do when no one is looking. This is also why I make it a point to bake and enjoy treats with my kids.)
3. Make the association between caloric intake, and physical exertion. (My children get to enjoy their piece of candy each day after their work and chores are done, they then immediately get to go outside. We do not eat candy on rainy days. This also helps me keep my sanity in a small house with 4 kids.)
4. We show them the truth about processed sugar. (This year I went through the photos in Nutritional and Physical Degeneration with them. I didn't associate it with Halloween candy, just happened to work out that way. The photos are copyrighted so I can't put them here, but you can find a few of them here or order a copy of this amazing book for yourself, or check your local library.
5. Know when enough is enough. (We throw out any candy that is left after 1 week. We do save the candy bars and chop them up to put into fudge and my kids give the fudge to their teachers at the Y. They fussed about this the first year we did this, but then after their teachers thanked them and said it was the best fudge ever, they are actually looking forward to doing it this year.)
I'm not saying this is the way everyone should do it, I just thought I would share. It is so easy to binge on junkfood, especially little ones wrapped in shiny paper. I am finding it easier after a year of balancing my amino acids with The Mood Cure and being on a diet low in vegetable oils and processed grains. In the end, I would have to admit most of my intentions in doing this is not for my children's health, but for my sanity. Kids on sugar are a force to be reckoned with, and I would rather not! Have a great Halloween!
Love and Butter,