Tricks to man­age post-Hal­loween treats

StarMetro Edmonton - - DAILY LIFE - Bar­bara Quinn

Hal­loween may be over but, the treats linger on. In terms of nu­tri­tion, how we han­dle this candy-filled hol­i­day is a sticky topic, ac­cord­ing to regis­tered di­eti­tian and fam­ily ther­a­pist El­lyn Sat­ter.

On one hand, we don’t want to en­cour­age our kids to eat su­gar-loaded nu­tri­ent-de­fi­cient foods. But we also don’t want a child to sneak or hide food be­cause they sense our dis­ap­proval.

We’ve all seen un­for­tu­nate ex­am­ples of well-in­ten­tioned par­ents who overly re­strict a child’s in­take. It’s a per­fect setup for a life­long pat­tern of dis­or­dered eat­ing. And we’ve seen chil­dren raised on a steady diet of junk foods who don’t fare so well ei­ther. Sat­ter sug­gests a more bal­anced ap­proach.

“Your child will learn to man­age sweets and to keep them in pro­por­tion to the other food he eats if you mat­terof-factly in­clude them in fam­ily meals and snacks,” she says.

“Chil­dren who have reg­u­lar ac­cess to sweets and other for­bid­den foods eat them moder­ately. Chil­dren who don’t have reg­u­lar ac­cess load up on them when they aren’t even hun­gry. If you have a treat-de­prived child, you know they also beg, whine and sneak to get high-su­gar, high-fat foods.”

Sat­ter sug­gests we use this hol­i­day as an op­por­tu­nity to teach chil­dren how to man­age their stash of good­ies. That means we try not to in­ter­fere too much.

“When he comes home from trick-or-treat­ing, let him lay out his booty, gloat over it, sort it and eat as much of it as he wants. Let him do the same the next day.

“Then have him put it away and rel­e­gate it to meal- and snack-time: a cou­ple of small pieces at meals for dessert and as much as he wants for snack­time. If he can fol­low the rules, your child gets to keep con­trol of the stash.

“Oth­er­wise, you do, on the as­sump­tion that as soon as he can man­age it, he gets to keep it. Of­fer milk with the candy and you have a chance at good nu­tri­tion.” Won’t all this junk make our kids hy­per­ac­tive? The an­swer at thes­tar.com/life

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