Halloween is almost here! Are you worried about all of the sweets that will invade your home after your kids go trick-or-treating ? In this blog entry, I will teach you some strategies for limiting your kids’ sweets consumption and I will give you some options that you can pass out to trick-or-treaters so that you aren’t contributing to the onslaught of unhealthy “goodies” kids are bringing home.
Okay, so let’s talk about the ingredients found in most candy these days. Look for these ingredients and toss most of the candies that contain them. I’m not saying you have to trash them all, but at least educate yourself on these sneaky, yucky chemicals
High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
High-Fructose Corn Syrup is so ubiquitous in candy because it is cheap. We know that too much sugar all together is a bad thing, but the reason why I am especially concerned with high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener is because in addition to a ridiculously high content of fructose, it also contains other chemical toxins. What we know, for example, is that chloralkali is used in making HFCS, and it contains mercury. While some may argue that it is a “trace” amount of mercury, I am going to do whatever I can to limit the amount of mercury entering my daughters’ bloodstreams.
Partially-hydrogenated oils are trans fats and trans fats contribute to high cholesterol, obesity, and subsequently heart disease. It is also important for children to avoid trans fats because they block the utilization of healthy Omega-3 essential fatty acids that children need for optimal brain development.
Commonly-used food dyes like Yellow #5, Yellow #6, and Red #40 are made from petroleum and have been shown to be carcinogenic in various research studies. Additionally, studies have shown that consumption of artificial dyes contribute to hyperactivity and behavioral problems and should especially be avoided by children on the autism spectrum or those who have ADHD. Note that “caramel color” is also an artificial dye.
Does this scare you? One thing you can do to combat these toxins is to make sure your kids have extra vegetables (you can even sneak them into smoothies) so that they fight the free radicals produced by this junk food.
And, as I promised, here is the list of options you can give out so as to lessen the junk that your trick-or-treaters bring home:
- Temporary Tattoos
- Bouncy Balls
- Halloween-themed Pencils
- Halloween-themed Erasers
- Halloween-themed rings (spiders—eek!)
- Bottled Water
- Swirly Straws
- Glow sticks
Wishing you all a safe and Happy Halloween!