2 Easy Tips to Handle Halloween Candy Differently This Year

It’s a typical, fun-filled Halloween night and your kids have just returned from trick-or-treating with full pillowcases. After sorting through and helping your kids rank their candy from most favorite to least favorite, you hear “Mom, can I please have my candy now?”

Every parent’s favorite question.

Most parents can likely relate to this situation and have had more than one tear-filled conversation with their children about limiting their intake of Halloween treats. What if we told you that this doesn’t need to be a negative and stressful annual occurrence? Rather, Halloween can be used as an opportunity to talk about balance and help your child develop a healthy relationship with food.

Here are a few tips to help you handle Halloween differently this year.

 

Start the Conversation Before Trick-or-Treating

As you know, kids need time to process information, and the excitement and sugar rush of Halloween may impact their ability to reason! A few days before, while talking about their costumes, explain to them the different kinds of hunger and where Halloween treats fit in. The book “Is this Stomach, Mouth or Heart Hunger?”  written by Wendy Shah is an excellent resource that differentiates between types of hunger in a child-friendly way.  Below are some tips to help you explain the different types of hunger.

 

Stomach, Mouth or Heart Hunger?

Stomach hunger is physical hunger. This might be a grumbling tummy or scheduled meal times throughout the day.

Mouth hunger is seeing your favorite freshly baked cookies, and eating them for enjoyment, rather than to satisfy physical hunger.

Heart hunger is eating for comfort. For example, your child falls and scrapes their knee, and asks for a treat to feel better.

Once you have talked to your children about the types of hunger, ask them where they think Halloween treats fall. Typically, they fall into the “mouth hunger” category. Allow your children to lead the conversation about what they feel a balanced amount of treats is to have after trick-or-treating. Generally, kids are excellent self-regulators, however, when sugar and excitement are involved this ability might be reduced. Take this as an opportunity to let your children learn how much is too much for them and what it can feel like when they overindulge in their mouth hunger.

In general, it is important to educate your children on listening to their bodies and eating when they have stomach hunger. However, giving your children the tools to identify the type of hunger they are experiencing in different situations will allow them to make conscious decisions about what they are choosing to eat and why. It is important for your children to know that treats can be included in a balanced eating routine, and eating for enjoyment rather than physical hunger does have a place in their life.

 

Happy Halloween from the Revive Team!

By Kalin Herbach and Barbara Winzeler – Registered Nutritionists/Dietitians

 

At Revive, our approach is informed by current research and reliable evidence. Like to get started? Book an initial appointment with us today! We’d love to get to know you.

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