Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
31 Oct

Trick or Treat: Yea or Nay?

halloweenThere are menacing spirits about tonight. Truly horrifying, ghastly ghouls in shiny, enticing packages. Resting ominously in bowls, baskets and bags, they await their jolly little prey. With the power of the Pied Piper, they will lead all manner of small witches, scarecrows, Spidermen, vampires, princesses, cowboys and gypsies toward ebullient, screeching glee, then sugar shock and moody mayhem this evening. Dastardly little devils, aren’t they…?

Chocolates, lollipops, Tootsie Rolls, M&Ms,
Pixy Stix, Bubble Gum, candy corn and Pez!
Jaw breakers, Milk Duds, Jolly Ranchers, caramels,
Star Burst, licorice, Kit Kat, and gummi bears!
Mounds, Nut Rolls, Laffy Taffy, Life Savers,
Reese’s, Skittles, Milky Way and Now or Laters!
What, finally, should a Primal parent do
In the midst of this Halloween hullabaloo?

Corny fun (we never said we were poets) and jokes aside, Halloween is one of those days when it’s tough being a parent battling societal pressure and cultural practice. You don’t want to ostracize your kids from the group or deny them fun, but you also feel you have the right and responsibility to keep them healthy. Some parents evoke the Big Picture perspective and choose to let the little ones have their full fun for a single day. Others elect to maneuver consumption toward less sugar-loaded options. Still some forgo treats altogether or simply skip the holiday. Just like our dessert post suggested earlier this week, Halloween (like other holidays and celebrations) calls for each parent to use his/her personal judgment and make an individual decision. From some angle, any choice could be construed as a compromise (of fun, health, etc.), but that’s the stuff of life. Ultimately, we each decide how our families celebrate the holiday (if we observe it at all) and what role treats will play in that enjoyment. Whatever choice we each make, the holiday presents a great opportunity to talk about nutrition (the good, the bad, the occasional and the ugly) with the little monsters.

In truth, trick-or-treat needn’t be a full-on candy gorge or simply nada, and Halloween can be more than just a sugar rush. One Primal-minded idea for celebrating the day? Whatever your choice on the treats, consider engaging the “non-food” elements of the holiday with creative cooking, pumpkin carving, decoration making, storytelling, night walks, and costume parties. (Getting back to basics uncovers the real fun anyway, right?) For more tips, check out our post from last year on putting together a Primal-inspired party and treat options. Our “bartering” suggestion (letting your kids trade crap candy for more healthy treats, toys and privileges you provide) got the most raves. It’s a way some families have their cake and eat it too, to use a sugar-inspired metaphor.

Finally, if you’re looking for more alternative treats (to hand out and/or exchange your kids’ collected loot with), check out the truly amazing list of (food and non-food) treat ideas at Green Halloween. (A thanks and hats off to MDA member PrimalJewishAmericanPrincess for the forum link!)

Now we’ll ask you: How do you handle Halloween? Take the poll and let us know what you think in the comment board.

If you’re a parent (and if you aren’t, answer as if you were), what’s your approach this Halloween?

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Thanks, everybody! Whatever your take, enjoy the holiday and have a great weekend.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

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