It's that time of year again. October 31st is a night of many frights. Children are scared by haunted houses and ghost stories and parents are more scared by the stash of candy their kids bring home. According to bistroMD's co-founder, leading bariatric physician and mother of four, Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D., Halloween candy is nothing to be afraid of. "I really do think that we need to enjoy life and enjoy the celebrations and Halloween candy is part of that."
Dr. Cederquist emphasizes the importance of eating what you want in moderation. "Make it a small serving that your child can truly enjoy and take their time eating." Making Halloween candy off limits just reinforces the idea that sweets are a magical treat worth hiding, sneaking, or stealing from friends. If you allow Halloween candy in moderation, you'll be teaching your children portion size instead of instilling in them a desire for something for coveted treats.
Halloween Candy Shouldn't Be Terrifying
Many adults think of Halloween candy as the enemy in their own lives, too. Dr. Cederquist explains that a great way to limit candy for you or your child is with fun size bags. "There have been studies showing that if people have a huge pound bag of M&Ms they will eat more even if they don't finish the bag. However, if you give your child one of the fun-sized bags of M&Ms and tell them to savor and enjoy it, then they will take a lot longer time eating it and be just as satisfied. That works for adults, too."
Enjoy the Holidays
Conversations about Halloween candy, Thanksgiving dinners, and Christmas pies should be foregone in exchange for discussions about everyday diets. What the average person consumes on a holiday is harmless compared to what many eat the rest of the year. Indulging on special days is common and completely acceptable if your regular diet is balanced and nutritious.
"We should be more concerned with what we're eating on a daily basis," says Christina Shatlock, registered dietitian for diet delivery company bistro MD. "The long term effects of one night of candy are insignificant." "Lifetimes of unhealthy habits, on the other hand, are worth making a fuss about."
Enjoy your Halloween candy and get your frights elsewhere. A few fun-sized candies are nothing to fear.