It’s that time of year where all the kiddos look forward to that night of all nights, second only to Christmas, Halloween night and Trick or Treating! I’ll bet that as a real food eating parent you look to this night with some degree of anxiety. You’ve spend a lot of time and energy learning all about how all that candy your kids will be gifted with during their Halloween night rounds is very very bad for them. While the night with the kids, the costumes and the carnival atmosphere is something you look forward to, the candy part isn’t. At least not since you learned about real food.
I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts on this in this somewhat brief post. While my kids are grown and I’m not an actual Granny yet, I just play one on the internet ;-), I do remember well the worry that went along with being a Momma concerned about healthy food watching the gluttonous consumption of candy that went along with Halloween night. It may surprise you but I wish I had enjoyed more and worried much less. One night of commercial candy consumption isn’t a big deal in light of a year of meals and snacks that are heavy on nutrition. And there are only 13 or 14 Halloween nights to spend with each kiddo … you won’t want to miss a minute worrying.0
If We’re Doing Real Food do I Need to Forbid Commercial Candy?
Lots of parents worry about how to handle the candy issue when transitioning to real food. You know there will be lots of occasions where your children will be the odd child out if they aren’t permitted to eat commercially made candy. You also know what’s in that candy. High frutose corn syrup from GMO corn, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and God know’s what other additives for flavor. It’s scary to think of them eating this stuff once the curtain is lifted, right?
There are a number of ways around this conundrum all more or less satisfactory depending on your situation. If your kids are very small you could trade the trick or treat candy for healthier treats. If a little bigger you could have a Halloween party and make the treats yourself. But if none of these work you’ll have to deal with the question.
If you’re implementing a strict real food diet or your child is having health issues you may need to go the route of forbidding, at least for now. For families in a more general situation though I’d suggest just going with the flow to some degree.
The 80/20 Real Food Diet and Holidays
If your child doesn’t have health problems that prevent it I’d allow them to trick or treat or attend parties without real food restrictions. These holiday events are rare occasions … one, two or three days out of 365 that are otherwise filled with nutrient dense real food. It’s really a drop in the bucket, nutrition-wise. It’s important to remember that to keep perspective. And don’t let worry over it ruin you’re enjoyment watching the fun they are having!0
I consider holidays a kind of real food time-out, so to speak ;-). Now, if I’m making the food or the treats I make real food versions and enjoy them all the more. But, more often we’re not in control of what the food is or how it’s made. And inquiries would strain relationships with family and friends. And in the case of Halloween it’s likely to lead to your child being the odd kid out. So, I just consider holidays to be part of the 20% of our diet that is not real food. I’d love it if we could enjoy real food treats and meals during the holidays everywhere we went but that isn’t realistic.
So, relax one night isn’t all that important!
What do you do at your house? Do you have a clever work-around you’d like to share with us?
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