02 November 2011

Long-term thinking about Halloween candy management

Amazon: Assortment (Hershey's Milk Chocolate, Whoppers, Kit Kat and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups), 100-Piece, 37.3-Ounce BagHalloween is over!  Phew. Now ask yourself this question:  Next Halloween, will you have to engage in the same old candy-control struggle with your kids?

via itsnotaboutnutrition.squarespace.com

So begins sociologist Dina Rose's thought-provoking post on her blog It's Not About Nutrition. She argues that getting rid of the candy (however you do it) is a short-term fix, and more importantly a lost opportunity to teach good long-term eating habits.

Veteran Parenthacker Sara introduced me to Dina's blog, and I'm hooked. Her aim is to raise the level of the "getting kids to eat healthy food" discussion from specifics (food choices, calorie and nutrient levels) to strategies (learning portion control, balancing "good" and "bad" foods, becoming more adventuresome eaters).

It's brilliant stuff. Have a read as you mull over the Halloween candy haul.

Read the full post: It's Not About Nutrition: But What Are You Going to Do With All That Halloween Candy?

Related: After Halloween: tips for cleanup, candy disposal, sales (this post may cause you to rethink a few of these tips)

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I watched blogs talking about getting rid of candy and thought that it wouldn't be a problem for us-- we do a small neighborhood loop and then quit. I thought. But neighbors gave away huge handfuls of candy to each child. We have so much candy from our "small" loop that now I'm giving it away and anticipating throwing some away. Why don't we all just agree to give slightly LESS next year?

Yay, Dina! Her blog is awesome and I recommend it often to friends who are struggling with their kids and food. (She also happens to live in my neighborhood and I chuckled just a little when we trick or treated at her house. :)

To "My Kids Mom": Indeed. It's funny how we revel in the fun of giving candy to kids, but we get overwhelmed by the amount of candy our kids receive.

I try to keep in mind that Halloween candy is nothing new. The more power we give it, the more attractive, fascinating, and "bewitching" it becomes. I really appreciate Dina's focus on "keeping the end in mind" by thinking more about ongoing habits than one-offs like Halloween.

Jessica: Funny! And fun when online and offline worlds intersect. I love when that happens.

I let my kids ate as much as they can possibly choke down on Halloween night, and then whatever's left goes back into the candy bowl, which we then nibble off of for as long as it will keep.

I realize i'm probably creating binge candy eaters, but what I'm going for it the whole "time and place for everything" idea. And Halloween is the time and the place for stupid amounts of sweets. November is the time and place for the dentist. :)

It's so good.thank you.

I had the fights. I gave up a couple of years ago when there was nowhere "out of reach" of the six year old with a chair and he ended up sneaking it into his bed and getting gummy bears stuck to the sheets.

Now? If they ask, I will get their bag down. They need to get their wrappers into the garbage. And they know that if they forget to put it back out of reach again, they won't have any candy and the dogs will puke on things.

Another thing I have learned/remembered from this? They are not me. Just as I would be freezing running around with short sleeves in this weather but they are actually quite toasty and content? I could not eat 22 mini chocolate bars without feeling very ill, but apparently my five year old does not have this problem. And then proceeded to ask for more cheesy broccoli.

I think, at the core, we need to trust our kids more. If we start trusting them to know when they are cold, tired, hungry when they are very young, then they will grow up with a deeper understanding and ability to provide for their own needs.

OMG, halloween candy, my curse.

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