When Treats Become Tricks


Ugh.  Are your kids – and maybe you — on candy overload this morning?

Halloween is the start of a two or three month, holiday-based eating frenzy.  We’ll pick through our Kit Kats and Jolly Ranchers for the next few weeks, and then move on to Thanksgiving pies.  Then it’s time for a month or so of Christmas, New Year’s and other holiday winter parties that feature more candies and treats.  You may try to stop it there with your New Year’s Resolution diet; the marketing world, however, tries to extend that period of rich and festive eating right into the Super Bowl weekend and even Valentine’s Day!

I don’t think this is a bad thing, in and of itself.  Food plays an important role in all of our holiday traditions, from the chocolate bars you gave out on Halloween, to the rich chocolate truffles your sweetie gave you on Valentine’s Day.  What would Thanksgiving be without your grandmother’s cranberry sauce, or New Year’s Day without black-eyed peas and cornbread…. Or roast pork and sauerkraut?  What we choose to eat and serve on all of these occasions says a lot about our families, who we are, and how and where we grew up.

Part of teaching your kids to “love to eat everything” is teaching them the significance of foods as they relate to important holidays and family celebrations. And I think that’s the message we need to pass on now, even in this Halloween hangover mode, about all of the candy that’s been accumulated.

All candy is not created equal, even in the eyes of kids. If you’ve watched yours make trades and pilfer favorites from each other’s bags, you know what I mean.   So use this as an opportunity to teach your children about the importance of food choices; just because it’s “there” doesn’t mean you have to eat it!  Pick out a few of the candies from the trick-or-treat bag that you know you’ll enjoy, and put them away to enjoy, a few at a time over the next couple of weeks.  Non-favorites can be traded or donated to a charity that is taking collections.  This is not the same thing as Picky Eating; this is “Discernable Eating” and it’s a skill that will serve kids well for a long time.

Last Night's Loot

One Response to “When Treats Become Tricks”

  1. Mary Elisa Says:

    Yes, we are totally in candy overload! One of my daughters asked for candy for breakfast this morning! I thought I was being reasonable by telling her to wait until after lunch, especially since large amounts of candy were being consumed late into the prior evening. I love your idea about picking out the favorite pieces and then setting the other candy aside to trade or donate. I’ll happily give it a try.

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