Halloween is a fun time for the kids – they get to dress up, celebrate at parties, get spooked in haunted houses, and go trick or treating. But the bigger the bucket, and the further they walk, the more candy comes home. Most kids end up with pounds of candy - which is far more candy than one child should eat all year long.
The thing about candy and sugar is, the more you eat, the more you want. So once kids get started on the Halloween candy, it is hard to stop. Kids today already get too much sugar in their daily diets, they don't need a bucket of candy on top of it all. All the empty calories and artificial colorings in candy can contribute to tooth decay, weight gain, mood swings, focus issues, and there is some evidence to show that diets high in sugar also can lead to heart disease and reduced immunity - not what kids need right in the middle of cold and flu season. According to Dr. Sears, "the immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours."
Short of banning trick or treating altogether or confiscating their candy - what is a loving and healthy parent to do? Invite the Switch Witch to come for a visit a few days after Halloween!
The Switch Witch is a good witch that trades candy for a toy - she is sort of like the "Tooth Fairy" of Halloween. She is a kind and fair witch, so she even suggests that the kids pick a few choice ones to keep, and then leave the rest outside their door before they go to sleep. She swoops down on her broom and leaves a toy in place of the candy. So the kids wake up the next morning looking forward to their surprise, instead of lamenting over the missing candy.
A friend of mine told me the Switch Witch fable 4 years ago, and I was hooked! I loved the Switch Witch tale so much, that I decided that kids should know why the Switch Witch does this, and who she is. So I decided to write the book: Serena the Switch Witch, a fun eBook about a little witch named Serena and how she came to be known "The Switch Witch." Serena is a creative little witch that loves to play with her cat Spook, invent fun new magic spells (like turning rocks into toys), and she also loves candy! Read Serena the Switch Witch to find out why Serena has to travel the world after Halloween trading candy for a toy.
Try reading Serena the Switch Witch to your kids this Halloween, and see if they would like her to pay them a visit! Available on Lulu.com for just $1.99!
Want to learn more about the harmful effects of sugar on our kids?
- Watch: Sugar and Kids the Toxic Truth (60 Minutes)
- Read Dr. Sears article Harmful Effects of Excess Sugar
What to do with the candy Serena takes away? Bring it to a Candy Buy Back program - find a location near you!
Read this article for some other Tricks for Handling those Halloween Treats.
Sara Vance is a Nutritionist in the Encinitas, CA area.
Sara offers nutritional counseling, group cleanses and classes, School Assemblies, sports nutrition, healthy cooking, and more. Visit ReBalanceLife.com for more information. Friend Sara Vance at ReBalance Life on Facebook.