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The Sugar Binges Begin

By Hannah Marcotti

It starts in October and goes until we sit down to write our New Year’s Resolutions…the sugar binge. For some of us it’s the traditions and for others it’s the emotions that Holidays bring up that cause us to turn to the sweet stuff.

halloweencandyI’ve been rather go with the flow when it comes to Halloween trick-or-treating and the inevitable binging on candy that comes with it. I’ve even watched adults turn off their otherwise sensible restraints towards junk food and dig in with the children. I haven’t been sure how I would reconcile the side of me that cringes at the thought of the obscene amount of candy being funneled into my children, and the mom who really wants them to have a great time without nagging from their parents.

The fact is this, sugar lowers the immune system. We are all worried about the various sicknesses going around. Walk into Target and see the table with bottles of hand sanitizer and wipes to kill the germs and then push your cart right into the Halloween candy aisle. I have worked hard to help my children strengthen their immune systems and so that includes keeping them from binging on Halloween candy. The trick is to do so without taking away the fun of the ritual of trick-or-treating. I’ve heard many wonderful ideas over the years and I have settled on a candy exchange.

Here’s how we are doing it. The kids and I talked a bit about how fun it is to eat candy and how yucky the belly ache is when you eat too much. I told them about the candy exchange idea. They get to pick out a toy they have been wanting, I will wrap it up and keep it hidden until Halloween. After the trick-or-treating (or during it) they get the keep/eat 10 pieces of candy. They can then exchange the rest for their gift. So far they are excited about it, we’ll see how the reality of it is when time to turn in the candy. I am hoping it will place more value on the 10 pieces and take away from the binging that usually comes.

I’d love to hear other creative ideas for diminishing the sugar binges. Remember, have a nice filling meal before the kids collect the candy and you’ll be less likely to dip into the buckets!

Hannah Marcotti is a holistic health counselor who loves creating exciting recipes and inspiring others to get into their kitchens and cook with whole foods. Through her counseling business, Hannah’s Harvest, she hopes to create a ripple effect of health and happiness in Providence and beyond. She shares her musings on life with three children and searching for that next perfect meal on her blog, Hannah’s Harvest Thoughts.

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  • Thanks for this article. I usually think of myself as pretty nutritionally aware but when I read the statement about sugar decreasing the immune system I was a little skeptical. After doing a fair amount of research from respectable sources, I learned this is absolutely true. Timely information.

  • You can drop excess candy at Primrose Hill school to be sent to Iraqi children. It is an elementary school in Barrington–the office can get it to the teacher who coordinates the effort.

  • I love this idea Hannah. I think a book would also be great for the exchange, but all depends on the kid and what they are into at the time; small action figures, blocks, new set of markers, etc.

    Find more ways to handle all this candy in this archived Kidoinfo post; Candy Land