Summer just ended, but for many kids their minds have already begun to focus on Halloween — and all the candy that comes along with it. For one of my clients, whose whole family has gone (no sugar) Paleo, this presents a challenge: do you take all the candy away or do you find a way to give them ‘some’? Her kids are already talking about the candy and how upset they are they won’t be able to eat it. What’s a mother to do? What are the consequences for taking the candy away (when your kids are already preoccupied about not getting it)
In a healthier world, people would give away fruit, stickers, or maybe even probiotics on Halloween. We don’t live in that world now. Our world is more like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory with sugar hiding and present everywhere. It is unescapable.
It is a slippery slope. For smaller kids who are being raised Paleo it is a little easier because they haven’t been exposed to or gotten a taste for all of that sugar. They can be easily convinced of the Halloween Witch coming to take the candy away and leaving an exciting present in exchange. Older kids, who have been through many candy-rich Halloweens, are a different story. They remember what all the sugar tastes and feels like and most of them would rather be able to have the candy than some toy, even a high valued one.
Every family and child is different. Be confident with the decision you make for your family. An important place to start is by having a discussion with your kids. Find out how they feel, what is it that they want out of Halloween, what is it about the candy that is so appealing. Forget your opinions for a few minutes and try to really hear what is important to them. Once they have a chance to truly be heard, maybe they’ll be interested in how you feel about the sugar (insert plug for what it does for their brain and how it contributes to poor gut health). Hopefully, there is a place where you can meet halfway.
Whatever you decide for your family here are a few ideas for navigating Halloween with your Paleo kids.
1) Round up the Halloween Witch who trades candy for some fabulous toy or activity they’ve wanted.
2) Involve your kids in making special Paleo-friendly Halloween cookies or Coconut Milk Pumpkin Ice Cream
3) Donate the candy to the local food bank (this one always trips me up,because I’d rather donate healthy food but at least someone will eat the candy)
What works for your family? How have your kids dealt with Halloween within a Paleo lifestyle?