Trick or Treat? Halloween is here! Candy is king, and Ghosts and Goblins of all sizes visit our homes. We know many families enjoy Halloween (us included!) , it’s a fun time of year for kids and parents alike. Although, we also know many parents trying to promote a healthier house hold can also dread this time of year because they fear that they and their kids will over indulge with all that candy. With that being said, we wanted to provide you with a few quick tips to support you in making Halloween a Spook-tacular time!
4 Tips to make for a Spook-tacular Halloween:
1. Fuel up!: Ensure that your family has a good meal that will keep your kids full when running from house to house. Try out some quick and fuelling meals such as crock pot chili, homemade pizzas, or pasta and sauce.
2. Filter through: Sit down and have a sorting party with your kids. Filter out the candies that can be choking hazards or could be a challenge for the kids four and under to consume.
The first night of Halloween can be a good opportunity to let your kids enjoy however much candy they want, allowing them to listen to their intuition.
3. Neutral: Be neutral. Try not to show too much excitement or negative association around food or candy.
As a parent, your job is to decide on what is served and when. It is up to your kids to decide how much to eat or if they even eat it. Parents may freak out when they read this. It doesn’t mean that when your kids ask for candy that you hand it over but it means allowing for a structure of what you feel comfortable with. i.e. after every dinner, after dinners on the weekend, etc.
Try and remain neutral. Avoid making food statements that allow your children to do something if they comply with something else. For example, try to avoid saying you MUST eat all your veggies if you want a treat. Rather, present the food and let your child decide what and how much they eat. You may be surprised with the foods they choose. At first your child may overindulge in sweets which makes them not feel well. It is your job to help them understand the sensation and self-moderate. Avoid using negative language like sweets are bad or I told you not to eat that. Instead, try saying something like "everything in moderation, when we eat too much of on thing our bodies can feel unwell. Next time, you can try listening to how your body feels."
4. Snacks: Have easy to grab snacks placed at the front of your fridge such as: cut up fruits, veggies, yogurts, cheese, homemade smoothies, popcorn.
Put the candy and sweets in a place that is not viewed often; when we see it then we want it. Build sweets into your day although try to prevent the "impulse eating" that occurs when we see it on the counter.
Our job as parents is to raise competent eaters who consume the amount of food that is right for them and their bodies. It's about trusting our kids and their intuition around eating. Parents jobs are to model and create predictable meals and snack structures for kids to follow. This makes holidays filled with candy easier for parents to manage and for everyone to enjoy!
Intuitive Feeding xxxx