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Too Much Sugar During the Holidays

Too Much Sugar

Last night, we attended a trunk or treat at a local church. And it was AMAZING. Halloween candy for DAYS.

My kids had a blast. They got to spend quality time with me and my husband and one set of grandparents.

They played a lot of games, won some prizes, and ran around to burn off some energy beneath the sanctuary.

And in the process, they scored enough Halloween treats to last them into the New Year. 

This was sort of a mixed blessing, considering my children don’t normally get a ton of sweets. As parents, my husband and I do a pretty fair game of limiting their sugar intake. And it’s because we realize how detrimental a ton of sugar can be to developing minds and bodies. 

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That’s not to say we’re anti treats by any means. My children get more than enough organic lollipops as earned rewards. But they also have a chance to earn one on one time with their parents, as well as stickers and small trinkets for doing their chores.

Limiting Sugar

My husband and I have done our own personal “experiments” with limiting and allowing candy and sugary pastries and have concluded our children are actually MUCH happier, active, and less crabby when there is less processed sugar involved. They also fall asleep a lot easier when we lessen the amount of sugar in their diets AND lessen their exposure to technology, including t.v., phones, and other electronic devices.

But that’s just us.

I realize other parents may feel differently. The sugar debate is almost as controversial as bringing up the effect artificial dyes, synthetic flavors, and ingredients, not to mention GMOs may or may not have on our health.

I just know that for our family, less sugar and less screen time seem to have improved our health and relationships with each other.

But back to the Halloween candy controversy of 2018, that began last night, unbeknownst to my children.

I know my children had a blast at the trunk or treat last night. They did. The pictures I took before and after the event prove that. Never mind the stock piles of Halloween candy I also photographed with them yesterday evening. Their pillow cases of treats were immediately dumped out upon our arrival home and the trading commenced. 

Dividing the Candy

It was pretty spectacular to watch.

Knowing it was a school night, but also realizing the kids were having fun swapping chocolate for skittles, we let each child choose 5 pieces to eat.

Five. That’s actually a lot. When we do candy as a dessert, they normally get no more than two small pieces. Two fun size Snickers, for example. Nothing more.  But Halloween comes but once a year. So we let them indulge in five.

But oh my. Let me tell you. Trying to get my crew to fall asleep last night? Everyone was still wide awake an HOUR past their normal bedtime. Blame it on the excitement in combination with the excess sugar, or perhaps there was a full moon. It was wild.

And despite a consistent bedtime routine of baths, brushing teeth, and stories still being in place, finally I just had to opt to close everyone’s doors and say, “Lights off.”

Whew.

Fate of the Halloween Candy

So this morning, everyone wakes up expecting a breakfast of Tootsie Pops and candy corn instead of gluten free waffles or home made breakfast bars. And it was mutiny when my husband and I told them there was to be NO Halloween candy consumption until after dinner THIS EVENING.

Needless to say, the lack of sleep combined with unmet expectations for sweets lead to everyone leaving for school in less than stellar moods. And I know this afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and for the next SEVERAL mornings, we’ll most likely be facing the same.

Which is why, though I’m not usually one for deception, I took several pieces of candy from everyone’s pillow case just now. And I’ll be donating them promptly.

In all fairness, the kids won’t notice. They have so much Halloween candy, that the few pieces I took, like the Jaw Breakers, Dots, Tootsie Pops, and mints won’t be missed. Tootsie rolls, several, also ended up in the donate to our dentist pile because really, what is a Tootsie roll? A chocolate? No, I don’t think so. But it does definitely want to be a chocolate.

Our dentist is one of several that offers to “buy back” Halloween candy and send it to the troops overseas. I think that’s a great idea as far as not just throwing it away. We also have the option to put the pieces in our Operation Christmas Child boxes we got from church, too. So as much as I may personally think candy full of dyes, high fructose corn syrup and questionable other ingredients should be trashed, it also makes a lot of people all over the world smile. Guess it’s a catch 22. Either I feel I’m wasting it, or I feel I’m slowly poisoning others with it.

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Let’s hope the candy disappears sooner rather than later, one way or another. Because I for one am more than ready to welcome a No Sugar November. Who’s with me?

Anyone?

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