You are no doubt familiar with the Grinch who stole Christmas. Well I’m sure most people consider me a Halloween Grinch. I don’t consider Halloween a “holiday” for many reasons. Dressing up as devils, witches, ghouls and zombies isn’t my idea of celebrating anything worthwhile – but that’s just me.
My kids did dress up when they were young – although not in costumes like the ones mentioned – and went trick or treating on our street – but the way we celebrated was with some healthier, homemade treats and now that they are all adults – I have to say I don’t think any of them was emotionally scarred because I didn’t encourage all the hype around this day.
That being said, whether you get into this or not – there are some very concrete reasons to limit your children’s (and yours!) consumption of candy. About $2 billion is spent on candy each year at Halloween alone!
Here are 9 reasons to find other ways to treat your kids:
1. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years and eating a lot of candy will make them fat as it usually contains high fructose corn syrup, another form of sugar, which has many health dangers of its own, including being metabolized by the liver and converted directly to fat.
2. It provides empty calories that leave little room for healthy, nutrient-dense foods that provide building blocks for strong, healthy bodies. Filling up on candy leaves little room for real food.
3. Candy is mostly sugar which causes tooth decay because that sugar feeds the bacteria that causes cavities.
4. Too much sugar also causes insulin resistance leading to diabetes.
5. Sugar leaches calcium from the bones which can lead to osteoporosis. Children’s bones are still growing and need nutrition, particularly minerals.
6. Sugar increases LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides which can cause heart disease.
7. Sugar depresses the immune system making them more susceptible to the germs and viruses all around, especially this time of year.
8. It damages the liver very much the way too much alcohol does!
9. Much of the candy in supermarkets contains genetically modified ingredients and no one knows exactly how those will impact our bodies over time.
Would you consider finding healthier treats for your children this Halloween?
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Ann, I used to give out healthier treats until my kids got old enough to be embarrassed by them! 🙂 Sugar is addictive to me. So I tried to protect my kids by “buying” the candy they collected with a toy they wanted. I’d let them keep some of their favorites.
That is a good way to limit their exposure to all that sugar Debbie.