How to protect your kids (and their tummies)
from Halloween after-effects
They will eat candy. And they will probably suffer from eating too much of it after! Here are some tips on how to prepare your kids for Halloween, and how to protect them as much as possible from the effects of too much candy.
Statistics show a spike in colds and flu after Halloween - including an increase in ear infections, strep throat, allergies, and visits to the family doctor. These aren't seasonal, and it has nothing to do with the fact the weather's getting cooler! It's the candy, that darned candy!
The average child consumes between 6 and 9 teaspoons of sugar per day... PER DAY! Those are a lot of empty calories, but more concerning, it makes their immune system suffer, with a teaspoon of sugar shutting down your immune system for a whole four hours!
There are some things you can do NOW to make it an enjoyable Halloween experience for your kids, and also one which their little bodies won't regret in the coming days and weeks:
1. Get them on water. NOW.
This is a great opportunity to start talking to your kids about how important it is to drink water. Sounds boring, but it's so important! Water helps the digestive system out, and it will also help them flush out toxins and sugars that will make them sick shortly after Halloween. So skip the juice and get them used to drinking water, and nothing else.
2. Set some ground rules before the big day
Talk to your kids about safety and enjoying their Halloween outing, but also set some ground rules about how much candy you'll actually allow for them to eat the night of trick or treating... Will they only be allowed to have 5 pieces that evening? Or maybe just a couple and a couple more for school the next day? Whatever you think will work well for your kids, talk to them about it NOW!
3. Plan a healthy meal prior to Trick or Treatin' night
Kids get so excited the night of, that they will often not eat a good dinner. This leaves them hungry and craving sugars even more. Plan to prep the meal the night before or during the day, if you can.
Meals that are high in leafy greens, veggies, and good carbs are best: The greens will help their bodies balance pH levels and be more alkaline, while loading them up with natural, nutritious vitamins and minerals to support good health.
Would your kids eat a big salad with grilled chicken, or cut up hard-boiled eggs, or some seeds inside? Do they like sweet potatoes? Steamed spinach or arugula leaves? How about green beans or lentils? The choices you make for them now (before Halloween), will help ease everyone's Halloween aftermath pain!
4. Get them a good Probiotic
We sure don't eat right all of the time, and kids are no exception. Probiotics can help clear out toxins and support the natural flora that's in our gut. Especially after consuming loads of unhealthy treats, your kids' sensitive guts will thank you for adding a probiotic to their daily diet. Visit your nearest health food store and talk to the supplements specialist, who will recommend a quality probiotic based on their size and weight.
5. No treats during the big walk!
Tell your kids they are not to have any treats during their Trick or Treating night! This is especially important as you're not yet fully aware of what they're eating, where it came from, or what's in it. Wait until you're home and you've had a chance to look through the big bag of goodies.
After Halloween is through...
Look through each and every bag of chips and candy your kids have collected. Do this together, and they can count if it makes it more fun.
Let them have a treat in front of you, and not with the television on, otherwise, they won't even know how much they've had, and you'll lose count.
Immediately separate the good from the bad, and make a point to donate at least half of it: Women's Shelters, Churches (for their weekly community suppers), take some to work, gift some to a senior neighbour who hasn't gone out... be a good samaritan, and reap the rewards of giving - and of consuming less candy!
Consider games like "Candy Fairy" (or some call it "Candy Witch": Leave some out at night and it will magically be replaced by a toy, book, or craft your child's been wanting... what a lovely surprise!
Halloween doesn't have to be a nightmare after the fact... Take a few precautions and enjoy the walk with your kids... and support their health before, during, and after!
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