In an ideal world, as a Nutritionist and Mum sweets wouldn’t exist, and my children wouldn’t get incredibly excited about how many sugar loaded treats they are going to get tonight – on Halloween!
In an ideal world, as a Nutritionist, I wouldn’t like wine, chocolate and cake but here is the thing.
I do like those things, children like sweets (well most of them) and we do not live in an ideal world.
I get asked this question A LOT!
“What do you do about sweets on Halloween with your children?”
Well here is my response.
“I let them eat sweets”
Now here is my rationale behind this crazy ‘bad’ nutritionist behaviour!
If I make a big song and dance about it and say no, what do you think the long-term affect will be? They will value those sweets and other foods above my lovely wholesome meals and snacks. They will most likely at some point in the future stash sweets under their bed and hide their consumption. They will probably develop an unhealthy obsession with them because I’d banned them and made them out to be the bad guys.
Instead here is what I attempt to do with my knowledge about nutrition whilst balancing the ‘real world’ life as a parent!
We do not use sweets (or food for that matter) as a treat. I do not buy sweets. I do not give sweets out for birthdays. I do not eat sweets myself. Sweets are not part of our everyday life.
I make snack food such as cakes and biscuits. This way I know exactly what goes in to them! The children get involved. They know how to help with the baking and cooking. For my top 25 snacks click HERE.
At Easter, we have chocolate, at Christmas we have indulgent foods, at birthdays we have cake, on a sunny day we have ice-cream, on occasion we have afternoon tea and when we eat out we have dessert. Very rarely the kids will ask to spend their pocket money on sweets, I let them!
I get upset when other people give my kids sweets without checking with me, when at the end of the swimming term they get given a sweet, when birthday parties are loaded with sweets, when the hairdresser gives a lollipop for sitting still, when the teacher gives sweets as a reward for the best table in the class and when afterschool clubs give sweets or finishing your homework.
To me (and you can by all means argue this point) that is using sweets as a reward when it is completely unnecessary.
However, on Halloween, trick and treating is part of the fun and the collection of the sweets is way more exciting than consuming them all.
So, I say let them eat sweets, in moderation and balance because we do not live in an ideal world.