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Healthy Halloween

Halloween season is here, pumpkins, gourds, bats, ghosts, and goblins Oh my….

Welcome to sugar season! This officially kicks off the cold and flu season and that is NOT a coincidence.

Combine weather changes with lowered immunity from sugar and the cold and flu bugs start multiplying.

 No one is immune unless you take precautions to better your health proactively.

You will be exposed regardless of your situation. The bugs do not discriminate as they travel through the air in tiny micro-droplets working their way into your nasal cavity and throat.

Moms, Dads, Coworkers, Grandparents, frequent travelers, school teachers. All it takes is one person to cough or sneeze within a 10-foot radius of you and expel their virus into the air.

Since becoming a mom I have learned to be a better negotiator when it comes to Halloween candy. As my son has grown my approach to this sugar-laced holiday has become more of a hands-on approach. I find that I need to quickly work to navigate the pitfalls as they appear.

I have a few hard and fast rules but “stuff happens” and that means being present and handling the challenges one by one.

Here are my three rules when it comes to candy:

  • I will not buy any.
  • If I feel candy is unsafe in some way, will make you sick, break your teeth, create an allergy, then as the parent I have the right to remove it.
  • Candy is a treat and can only be eaten after a meal aka “real food”.

It seems that everywhere I turn I am being asked to buy candy. This is what I have turned to for alternatives:

  • Play-dough minis (Costco had an 80 pack of individual canisters in assorted colors specifically for Halloween). Along this vein, you could also consider glow sticks, rubber balls, tattoos, bracelets, or some other small toys.
  • Goldfish, cheez-it, chocolate covered raisins or pretzels in mini packs (Costco has the best pricing)
  • Annie’s Organics bunny snacks (Costco has a large box of individual packets)
  • Granola bars

If you have younger children 5 and under you will be dealing with the “This is mine and I’m going to eat it all right now” thought process. Younger children have no concept of moderation. They live eternally in the present.

My strategy for this is to keep the pumpkin level low where I pick out all the candy that I feel is unsafe, a choking hazard, will break their teeth. Then if they see me and react I respond with, “I love you and my job is to keep you safe. These will break your teeth and then we will have to go to the dentist. It’s important to protect your teeth.”

If you have older children you will need to become a master negotiator. Kids today are smart and they have a lot less to manage than you do. That means when it comes to their Halloween stash they’ve got the upper hand.

For kids who like rules and schedules you may want to set up a candy schedule so they know how much they can eat per day and for how many days.

For kids who are unstructured by design you may consider a 14-day candy cut off policy where anything remaining goes into the trash.

For kids who are motivated by money this would be a good time to practice trading candy for coins. Get out the calculator, it’s also an opportunity to count, add, subtract, multiply, divide, and learn fractions.

Bottom Line

Each experience is a teachable moment.

Look for the opportunities when the challenges arise to teach them something. There is great value in conflict because it presents an opening for something else.

My desire is for you to be healthy. You have to want that too. I don’t heal you. Your body does the healing. I can guide you and provide you with valuable information. Now that you have the information you have more knowledge. It’s time to apply that knowledge by taking action.  That’s where my free gift comes in. You can boost your own immune system by eating clean, fresh, and whole and grabbing my Immune boosting strategies handout (see below).

With So much love

-Dr. Purcell

Dr. Andrea Purcell

A trusted and well-respected Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Purcell has been in private practice for over twenty years. Dr. Purcell is a published author and has a women’s specialty practice for hormone balancing, weight loss, mystery illness, and gastro-intestinal concerns. Dr. Purcell assists her patients by identifying the underlying cause of disease and removing obstacles that impede the body's natural ability to heal. Drugs and surgery are used as a last resort. She believes that increasing health on the inside shines through to the outside.

One Comment

  • Clinton Van Berry says:

    Hello Gracious Lady and thank you so much for the update. Hope all is well with you and your family. All is well on my end. You are absolutely correct, the holiday season is upon us and we need to be prepared and equipped to enjoy ourselves without putting our health at risk. Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness and kindness. Clinton

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