Kids are back to school but the Christmas holidays are right around the corner. For my readers in the US we usually start the season off with mountains of sweets at halloween. The madness goes through Christmas with rich and sugary desserts, then Valentine’s Day and on to Easter. This means from now until April most likely, you will be wrestling with the amount of sugar that goes into your children.
It seems society has made every holiday a reason to celebrate with foods that are delicious and loaded with sugar, which represents a challenge to being a good and mindful parent. If you want to stay ahead of this issue, you will have to be creative and patient. No one wants to make their child feel deprived during a festive event right? So how do you begin?
Birthday and Halloween Candy
This is typically a year round issue and the most especially on halloween. If you get through halloween you have not given up, the other occasions will be a snap.
Many people address this issue every year. Kids love to dress up in their best clothes and favorite costume (if it’s a costume themed birthday party) and when they return home, they have a bounty of candy from trick or treating and party favors.
There are a couple of ways you can handle this.
Option 1 – Party
You are probably not the only parent who is dreading the idea of excess candy. Get together and throw your children a halloween party. For their birthday let them help you make the treats. You can have real foods with a twist. “Candy” apples can be made with crunchy peanut-butter slightly melted and poured over the fresh apples on a stick. Fruits (like kiwi) can be turned into Frankenstein pops. Pretzels and popcorn in plastic jack-o-lanterns or snack-size kiddie bags. If you need more ideas click here. Finish the evening off with a small (cup size) party favour-filled with sugar-free candy. Everybody wins. You can buy bulk sugar-free candy online. Order a variety to use through the upcoming holidays as well. There is a lot of great candy that is sugar-free but tastes just as sweet as their sister-candies.
Option 2 – Buy It Back
Many parents allow the children to go trick or treating with the agreement that they can choose 2 or 3 pieces of candy to keep and the rest you will buy from them. You can set a price per ounce. This makes them excited to get as much candy as they can because it is money which they can spend on a toy or an adventure. Same with their birthday party favours. Buy it back or swap it for the sugar free option you can buy here.
Changing your lifestyle
It starts with a lot of conversation. You must tell the other adults that play a part in your child’s life of your quest. If they are not willing to get on board, you will have to limit their visits to times when it is not mealtimes.
Talk to your children. Have them help you make a list of their favorite foods that are healthy They will soon see there are many foods that they like that they can have.
If you have teens or tweens in the house you will have to expect they may indulge in treats when they are tempted. Don’t miss the teachable moments. Help them see how the sugar affects them.
Here are some other tips:
- Do not have products with sugar in the home.
- Set a good example. Do not expect them to refrain from snacks if you cannot.
- Have foods that they like and that they can eat on hand.
- Have sugar-free candy on hand for treats you want to give them.
- Use natural products like honey to sweeten baked goods.
- Don’t fight unnecessary battles. Unless someone is deliberately undermining your authority, small treats from time to time will not hurt anyone.
Can you think of any others?