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Happy Halloween! If you’re feeling a little anxious about how to navigate this candy-filled holiday, you’re not alone.
Parents in particular may feel a little stressed. They want their children to avoid the same mistakes they made, and Halloween seems like a particularly good time to impart some wisdom. Maybe the holiday gives flashbacks of eating too much candy and waking up with a wrapper stuck to your cheek, so it’s only natural to want to limit your children’s candy intake.
However, too much focus on restricting eating may actually lead to overeating. So what’s a parent to do? This article has great tips for enjoying Halloween, and the excerpt below is particularly helpful if you’re worried about what to do when the kids gets home with all that candy:
“…part of normal eating is ‘overeating at times…feeling stuffed and uncomfortable’ while also trusting your body to ‘make up for mistakes in your eating.’ Your children may overeat and have bellyaches. That’s ok. Let them learn from experience. If they ask you how much is allowed, use gentle tone and phrasing, such as ‘You can eat as much as you like, but remember your belly may hurt if you eat too much.’ It is ok to guide your children in making mindful decisions about intake; however, a forceful limitation may backfire.”
So relax a little. Instead of stressing about how to limit candy, focus on the fun of the day. Unearth a picture of you dressed up as a kid, share your favorite Halloween memory, compliment their costume, and enjoy the magic. And you don’t even have to worry about someone trying to poison your kid. Seriously.
One of the tricks (ha) to navigating a holiday like Halloween is to keep your normal eating schedule. This isn’t a time to skip on dinner to save room for candy – that’s a dieting strategy that can lead to overeating – and that applies to children and adults alike.
Does making dinner sound ridiculous on this busy day? Try something simple like grilled cheese and this easy tomato soup:
Meredith is a registered dietitian who teaches nutrition classes, offers one-on-one nutrition counseling, and develops education material. She is passionate about explaining nutrition research and helping people incorporate sustainable changes in their lives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, their two young children, and their middle-aged pets.
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610