healthy families blog

Post Halloween Report


“My mom is the nicest about eating Halloween candy! She lets us eat as much as want when we get home from trick-or-treating and again the next day at snack.” -Big J

I love this quote from Big J! We overheard her on Halloween afternoon explaining (more like bragging) to her friends about how we enjoy Halloween candy in our family. This is exactly what we have been doing for the last seven Halloweens so at age eight, Big J knows exactly what to look forward to on the big day.

We maintained our regular meal and snack schedule on Halloween, had dinner when we returned from trick-or-treating, then I used my mom instincts and sorted through all of their candy to remove anything that was open or suspicious. I handed my girls back their stashes, gave them each a glass of milk and some water, and let them dig in. My husband and I sat at the dinner table with our girls and we all chatted about the highlights of the evening as Big J and Little J enjoyed their candy.

Both girls had different styles of candy eating. Little J tried everything, discarded things she didn’t like and shared her favorites. Eventually she got too tired to keep going and left the table to get ready for bed. Big J had more candy than Little J because Little J skipped houses that had scary decorations. She organized all of her candy by type, and ate her least favorites first. She was still going strong when Little J stopped, but eventually stopped when she felt full and tired. She had several of her favorites left over, which she shared with Little J at snack time the next day.

We all really enjoyed Halloween and I could tell that my girls felt good about being in control of their candy intake. As a parent and a dietitian, I try to keep everything in perspective. I want to teach my kids how to handle treats and candy on their own in the real world and micromanaging their intake on Halloween will not accomplish that. Giving them the autonomy to decide how much candy they will eat on the most exciting kid holiday of the year will allow them to fully enjoy the festivities and instill in them the confidence and ability to delight in their candy capably and responsibly for the rest of their lives.

Gelson's Registered Dietitian, Jessica Siegel, has a Masters in Public Health. To contact Jessica, please call her at 1-800-Gelsons.

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