Are you excited about all the candy and fun?
Or are you dreading all of the sugar?
I have spoken to so many parents this week who are worried about how to handle all of the Halloween treats. So, I created an infographic to help parents switch the flip from negative commentary and behaviours that perpetuate diet culture to ones that promote raising intuitive eaters. My goal is to help us all move away from thoughts of guilt, shame, and fear related to candy. This Halloween, let’s all move towards more positive thoughts around candy and aim to have positive experiences of mindful eating and enjoyment of candy.
Below, I have written up some of my top suggestions for raising intuitive eaters and help kids learn to navigate their Halloween stash.
My main tip?
Have fun with the candy, try to relax, and don’t make too big of a deal about it (easier said than done, I know!) It’s one day in the year and like it or not. Halloween is about candy!
Next, try to think big picture…
Restricting and micromanaging your kid’s candy stash usually backfires in the long-run. Sure, it might mean that your kiddos eat less candy on Halloween but it doesn’t help them learn to trust their internal hunger and satisfaction signals. When we restrict candy or put conditions on it, kids learn to value candy more than other foods.
Halloween treats can be an incredible learning opportunity for your kids. Help them enjoy it mindfully. Talk about the different tastes, textures, and smells. Let them know that it is OK to try things but if they don’t like it they can throw it out. Try not to create a sense of scarcity. If kids think that the candy is in short supply (they are being asked to give away their candy) then they tend to eat more than what they would otherwise.
And yes, most kids eat too much candy on Halloween but if they eat a balanced diet most days, one night won’t ruin their health.
If they feel sick after indulging, talk to them about it from a place of curiosity so they can learn to trust their body’s internal wisdom. “I am sorry that your tummy hurts. Why do you think that happened? Is there anything you could do differently next time so you don’t get another tummy ache?”
These tips may need to be modified for kids with food allergies and intolerances as well as for younger children.
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