Happy Halloween 2023! First off - be safe. Read my articles on how to protect your while having fun this Halloween. Second - the big question - is halloween candy bad? Should I limit my child's Halloween candy consumption. This is tricky - understandable you don't want your children to eat three million pieces of candy over the course of three days and get sick. I get it. But you also need to be aware of how limiting children impacts their relationship with food. Here are some quick tips on some things you can do to keep healthy boundaries while also allowing kiddos to enjoy the holiday!
1. Have healthy boundaries around candy - do not try to eliminate the candy all together. This will really reinforce problematic relationships with foods. Boundaries are OK! Maybe saying okay let's have a few pieces a day (without be so specific or overly rigid). It's also OK for them to eat too much candy a feel a little full. They will survive and next time they probably will eat a little less. That creates an intuitive relationship with food! Kids who are used to extreme rigid boundaries around candy are usually the ones who go overboard when they see it.
2. Do NOT label foods as good or bad! Labeling foods as good or bad, healthy or unhealthy is a sure way to really mess with the natural food intuitive relationship. Stay away from strong labels around food. When 'all foods fit' it actually really allows us to regulate ourselves and we will find a natural balance of candy and vegetables!
3. Do NOT use candy as a reward! Stay away from 'earning' the candy at the end of a certain tasks. Rewards are great for kids -but food rewards are tricky. You want to keep food about food; not about good or bad or earning something. Trust me! Find other rewards for positive daily behaviors other than food.
4. Enjoy the moment with your kiddos! The cute costumes, excitement for life and running around the neighborhood can be so fun. Remember to enjoy that moment as they go by too quickly. Don't worry so much about the candy.
Happy Halloween folks! Be safe! Dr. Kelsey :)
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