I don’t know what came over me, but I started reading about sugar. As a Florida girl, sugar is part of my community’s history, and I have treated myself to field trips to processing plants, sugar fields, and even a small museum of sugar in Clewiston, Florida. My curiosity took on a different bent, however, as I recognized my own sugar “bender” that has plagued me for nearly six months. Unable to lose those last five to ten pounds I had to take an honest look at my behavior, more specifically my eating behavior, and what I extrapolated from my reflection was an addiction to sugar.
This said, I have been well, crazed, candidly, about sugar consumption in my home. I am taking a much longer look at food package labels going beyond caloric, fat, and fiber content and zeroing in on sugar content. With birthdays, Halloween, and the holidays ‘round the corner I am beginning my strategy for dealing with these sugary days at least a week in advance.
Halloween, the sweetest day of the year for kids (and ultimately adults too) is just a week away. My newly gained enlightenment regarding uber sugar consumption stands in contrast to this night of Hallow’s Eve. Outfitted with an onslaught of information describing, on a cellular level, the impact of sugar, I cannot, in good faith offer candy to my neighbors, nor to my children. In fact, I happen to know several children in my neighborhood who are diabetic. Let my house be the beacon among the Candy Land that is our subdivision!
As any typical American, my memories of Halloween include buckets and bags full of treats. As an adult, I have browsed the rows of candy honing in on the “coolest” candy thereby winning me brownie points (vegan ones, of course) with the kids. This year, however, I’ll be choosing items for their pillow sacs and Jack-O-Lantern pails that do not spike glucose levels and can be enjoyed by all children.
Here are some examples of alternatives to candy that you may want to consider if you choose to be a no sugar rebel:
1. Waxed lips
4. Temporary tattoos
6. Sugar free gum
7. The ye olde wee packages of dried fruit
8. Packets of Goldfish or whole grain pretzels
- Slime (of which you can make your own, look for “Gak” recipes on line)
- Glow sticks
- Super balls
- False teeth
- Packets of sugar free hot chocolate
- Cheese and cracker packs
Dropping these items into the buckets and bags of zombies, princesses, and super heroes won’t find you in the dog house. You won’t wake up with toilet paper swirled in your trees or eggs splattered on your windows. These are, well, cool treats among the hundred or so pieces of chocolate, taffy, and Sweetarts.
In 2004, the Institute for Applied Biomedicine launched a research experiment focusing on homes offering alternatives to candy on Halloween. The experiment included an “Ask me for Non-Sugar Treats” door poster and follow up questions. The poster and information for organizing a community Non-Sugar Halloween can still be found at: http://appliedbiomed.org/halloween.html. While dated, the event can be revived and findings can be shared among your community. A suggestion that made sense to me was if you are planning to offer non sugar treats, do so with uniformity, in other words, try to have all non sugar treats in your bowl rather than a mix of non-sugar combined with candy.
Kids are going to have sweets regardless but you can be the one to offer an alternative. WIth Type 2 diabetes on the rise and childhood obesity a global topic, why not attempt to be part of the solution?
If you have offered alternatives or if you plan to offer non sugar treats, talk to us about it. Why did you choose to go this route? How were your treats received? What did your kids think about your choice to go candy free? Do you avoid Halloween all together and shut out your lights? Tell us about it, we would love to hear your anecdotes! Share you stories with us at: www.trampolineblogs.com, @FitTrampoline or Facebook us, www.facebook.com/FitnessTrampoline.
Until next week, Happy Halloween!
Heidi Aspen Lauckhardt-Rhoades
Professional Fitness Instructor, ACE, AFFA, TRX, Indo, PIA, GROOVE
Dance and Creative Movement Productions
Writer and Social Media Correspondent
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