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Halloween Candy

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

Halloween candy, it's always hard to navigate how much or how little a child should be given. Should they be allowed to eat everything, or should the candy intake be limited? For parents and caregivers, the suggestion is to use your best judgment based on your child's needs. For example, if your child tends to overeat, give them the opportunity to overeat so they can learn what it may feel like to have too much candy. If your child tends to undereat or is a picky eater, suggest offering a highly preferred candy throughout the week. If your child tends to be dysregulated, such as bouncy up and down, fidgeting their fingers, or cannot sit still, suggest removing any candy with Red 40 in it as it can enhance the dysregulation (Darby, n.d.).


Halloween happens once a year which presents a learning opportunity for all children (Satter, 2000)! When a child goes trick-or-treating, it is so exciting to collect all their favorite candies that they normally can't have. They look forward to getting home and spreading the candy they've collected. Halloween gives an opportunity to provide responsibility to the child the first two days on how they want to get the candy, possibly eating as much as they want or trading for chocolate only! This responsibility comes with a consequence, sometimes a stomach age or headache due to overeating candy. However, this will allow the child to learn how their body feels when they overate, giving the opportunity to talk about possible solutions for next time. This lesson also allows the child to learn more about their internal cues (e.g., headaches, stomachache, not full), and the parents can come in to talk about why he/she may be feeling the way they are. Parents can interfere when they feel their child may be at harm or they feel spacing out the candy is their preference.


Tips for Halloween Day (Cronan, 2021):

  • Have a good healthy meal before trick-or-treating

  • Talk about candy expectations at home before Halloween

  • Store and keep candy in the kitchen to distinguish what room is for what (for example the bedroom is for sleeping and relaxing, the kitchen is for cooking and eating)

  • Role model how you want your eats to eat candy (in moderation)

  • Role model that it does not have to be candy (for example our house hands out toys, cereal, snacks, bubbles)

Important Note: Halloween only happens once a year! It will not ruin the year's progress you have made with your child


References

Cronan, K. M. (Ed.). (2021, October). Halloween candy hints (for parents). Nemours

KidsHealth. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/candy-hints.html

Darby, J. (n.d.). Nutrition management for patients with ADHD - Summit professional

education. Summit Education. from https://summit-education.com/online-course

/2304877

Satter, E. (2000). Child of mine: Feeding with love and good sense. Bull Publishing Company.



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