Its Halloween and the grocery store isles are lined with bags of “goodies” for us to bribe our kids with for the next few months. At least that is what many parents see an opportunity for. Tonight more than any other night in the year, the very junk that gives America the highest rate of heart disease and diabetes will be handed out as “treats”. Dont take this wrong, I think its okay to have the occasional sweet, but the key word there is occasional. When you kid comes home with a pillow case full of candy you can guarantee its not going to be the occasional treat, until its gone that is. I wanted to look at some ways we can avoid keeping the stash of Halloween candy in the house, for our own good and for the benefit of our kids.
The first problem with these junk foods is that we condition our kids to associate reward with sweets around this time of year. Their behavior is altered, their attitude changes, all for a “treat”. This is very dangerous to condition the next generation to make this association between reward and junk food. Like I said before, America’s #1 killer is obesity related diseases, and cases of diabetes are right up there on the list too. Trust me, its not doing them any good to act better for treats. Its only leading to bad habits. One of the saddest stastatistics I just heard was that the current generation of children (our kids) will be the first generation not expected to outlive their parents. That is unacceptable and I am going to do my best to set the right examples so that my kids are the ones burying me!
So whats an alternative?
One thing you can do as a parent is to give your kids a certain amount of money for each kind of candy, a nickle here, a penny there, maybe a quarter for the fun size Snickers, lol. Pay them for the candy and take them to the store to buy a toy or something. This is a great way to avoid the junk and also a great lesson in work! I bet you they are going to be running from house to house next year if you pay them for their candy! Little P90X-ers in the making!
Another idea comes for a local business here in my home town and maybe you have something similar. A local dentist office is offering to replace kids candy with other healthy treats and they are sending the candy to soldiers in Iraq. What a great way to show your kids the blessing of donating for a great cause. This really is a win-win in my book. So check around town and see if you have something like this.
So do all the P90X fans and Insanity nuts have to be the buzz kill?
Absolutely not! Like I said before, the occasional sweet is perfectly fine, but if you know you are week in the area of treat temptations, just GET RID OF IT!!! I dont care how much you paid for it, just get it out of the house before you regret any decisions.
Most of all folks, enjoy the time with family and friends and just make wise choices. When you say yes to your health and no to the “treat”, your confidence will be built and you are taking steps toward a lifestyle of healthy habits. We wanna be around a long time to see and care for the people closest to us and the more we can avoid the junk, the more possible that long life becomes.
Happy Halloween RIPPEDCLUB!