My No. 1 Tip For Keeping Halloween Fun Without Letting Seasonal Illness Trick Its Way Into Your Home With The Treats!
As I wrote in my weekly newsletter yesterday – if you have not subscribed then please do so by entering your email address in the left hand column of this page – flu and cold seasons typically spike just after Halloween and then again after the holidays.
In this video I give my number one tip for keeping the illness out of Halloween while keeping all of the fun!
Because white sugar is a processed substance that our bodies have only been exposed to in the last couple of generations, our immune system does not recognize it as food and attacks it to protect us from the foreign invader. Rather than our digestive system using it as nourishment the body turns OFF the digestive system and our immune system is occupied to the tune of 4 hours per teaspoon of sugar consumed. While fighting off the candy and treats consumed on and around Halloween (and, later, the holidays) our immune systems are not available to protect us against things like the common cold and seasonal flu. Combined with the fact that doors and windows start getting closed due to cooler weather and fresh air becoming less and less of our daily routine, we have a combination that results in missed school, missed work and misery with illness that we often just chalk up to chance.
So what can we do to remove illness from the late October set of traditions? I have to credit a Toronto Star article from a few years back for this idea to reduce sugar consumption in our house on and around Halloween. It’s worked great and has created a new tradition that our kids don’t fight at all.
Each Halloween night we all go out trick or treating. The kids collect as much candy and goodies as they want and then we bring it all home. Then the kids are allowed to sift through everything and pick ONE candy to eat. In exchange for the rest they will receive a toy or gift of some kind (doesn’t have to be big or expensive) the next day. I’ve heard of some parents telling their children that the tooth fairy comes over night and exchanges the candy for a gift to protect their teeth. They don’t have to know it’s really about dramatically improving their chances of avoiding the flu.
My kids don’t mind this at all. They look forward to seeing what they get so that they can pick the best item. And the bonus is that they usually want to get home pretty quick to make their decision rather than staying out and hitting as many houses as they can to pick up the most candy possible (which is good for my shoulders and back).
If this tradition seems like it might work for you, then give it a try! Just don’t be tempted to keep the collection for yourself after swapping it for your children’s gift!
Happy and healthy haunting from Nutritionist Chris!