With Halloween right around the corner, I am sure you’re kids are excited for costumes, trick-or-treating and candy! This also means that your kids may be coming home with bags full of
candy which means you are left with the task of figuring out the best way to deal with Halloween candy and your child. This post will help you in doing so!
Ellyn Satter (visit her website for lots of great information & resources), Registered Dietitian and Family Therapist, is an internationally recognized authority on eating and feeding. Ellyn Satter created the Division of Responsibility in Feeding, which discusses the role that both children and parents play in feeding children. In summary, the Division of Responsibility in Feeding states that:
It is the parent’s responsibility to determine what the child will eat
It is the child’s responsibility to determine how much they will eat.
In the book, Your Child’s Weight: Helping without Harming, Ellyn Satter discusses how to deal with Halloween candy and your child. Below you will find some of the highlights:
- Halloween can be a learning opportunity for your child
- “Work towards having your child be able to manage his own stash”. This means, for the night of and day after trick-or-treating, let your child play with their candy, count their candy, sort their candy and eat as much as they want. After two days of this, your child is allowed to have candy at meal time and snack time If your child follows the rules, then they can be in charge of their candy stash. If not, the parent is in charge of the candy stash.
- Sugar & Behavior
- While research does not indicate that sugar affects children’s behavior or cognition, anecdotal observations have suggested otherwise. Therefore, to ensure the child is receiving nutrients from sources other than candy, it is important that the parent maintains meal and snack time structure as discussed in the Division of Responsibility.
- Preserve the joy of Halloween
- For some children, Halloween is their favorite holiday. This makes it especially important for parents to not be overly-concerned about sugar and let your child enjoy the holiday.
Sources & more information