Halloween is so much fun with little kids! I just love watching them dress up and run from house to house. With trick or treating on my mind, I read these SHOCKING facts while I was at the chiropractor.
- Americans purchase nearly 600 Millions pounds of candy each year for Halloween – that’s the equivalent of almost 6 Titanic ships!
- The average American consumes 3.4 pounds of candy on Halloween.
- The average kid consumes 7,000 calories on Halloween – the equivalent of 13 Big Macs!
- Kids would need to trick or treat for 180 miles to burn off what they ate.
- The average trick or treater consumes 3 cups of sugar – the same as 220 sugar packets.
YIKES! The one about the Big Macs really grossed me out!
So, what’s the big deal? Who cares if we eat 600 Million pounds of candy each year? Check out these scary facts I found from www.mindbodygreen.com.
- Sugar is HIGHLY addictive. It releases an opiate-like substance that activates the brain’s reward system. In addition, when you eat high amounts of sugar, you can no longer taste the natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables. Therefore, eating healthy foods becomes even harder because they don’t taste good!
- Sugar depletes the body of B Vitamins. Vitamin B deficiency causes symptoms like fatigue, indigestion, anxiety, restlessness, difficulty focusing, cravings for sugar, and more!
- Sugar makes the digestive system acidic, which leaches vitamins and minerals from the body, particularly calcium and bones and teeth. It also depletes potassium and magnesium which are both essential for cardiac health.
- Sugar suppresses the immune system.
- Sugar fuels cancer.
How can we control the sugar intake on Halloween?
During The Day
- Eat an extra healthy breakfast and lunch since you know you’ll be having more sugar than usual that night.
- Eat a late snack packed with protein and fiber before going out, and prepare a healthy crockpot meal so it’s ready for when you get home.
- Talk with your kids BEFORE you leave about how many pieces of candy they can have while you’re out.
While You’re Trick Or Treating
(These are tips I learned from a certified Nutrition Advisor friend of mine, Stefanie Myers. Thanks, Stef!)
- Get Nutty – Choose candy with nuts! They provide extra protein to help balance out the sugar and the effects on your overall blood sugar.
- Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark – Pick dark chocolate over milk chocolate. On average, dark chocolate is dairy free, which has less sugar, a few antioxidants and reduces bloating. Unlike milk chocolate, which has less of the cocoa and is diluted with milk, cream and sugar.
- White as a Ghost – White chocolate has zero coco and is packed with sugar and milk. It’s the least healthy of all the chocolates.
- Suckers or Gum Can Be Smarter – They take longer to consume and can keep you from mindlessly eating treat after treat.
When You Get Home
- Eat your healthy crockpot dinner.
- Have another fun activity planned such as flashlight tag, pumpkin carving, or watching a movie. This will take the kids’ minds off of candy and put the focus on family fun!
- Brush your teeth really well to get sugar off. We use this toothpaste because I know it’s safe just in case the kids swallow a little.
- Hide your candy. Don’t have a bowl sitting out on table in plain sight or reach!.
- Decide when the candy has to go. I usually let our kids have 1 piece of candy per day with their afternoon snack for a few days after Halloween. Then, if there are any more Reese’s I keep those for a rainy day 😉 and throw the rest away! And please, speaking as a former Kindergarten teacher, do NOT send candy in their school lunch. Save it for home.
And finally, you don’t have to boycott all candy, but if you really want to, you can have some alternative handouts for the trick or treaters who come to your door. I know my kids would love these!
Have a fun, safe and “less than 220 packets of sugar” Halloween!!