Well, if you're not exactly sure, let me tell you. Over here in the good ol' U. S. of A., we pay like a majillion dollars for a flame-retardant (poison, endocrine disruptor) costume (or $17.99) for a little, and send them out begging for
Then the last week of October comes and the giant bags of candy go on sale at the grocery stores. The bags have to be giant because there are so many
Okay, okay, okay. I'm not exactly the Scrooge of Halloween, but I am trying to make a point.
The point is that there is so dang much candy for those little bodies that I think you could induce a sugar coma in no time.
Now when I think back to my growing up days, my parents were much more
Once we got that green light, it was frenzy time. It was like Christmas morning, but Halloween night. Shreds of wrappers littered the floor, tongues turned blue, then purple, then red, then yellow. I would trade Tootsie Rolls with my brother for anything else (since who eats those unless they are totally desperate?!). I would hand my mother the McDonald's bucks and think to myself how weird that was that people passed these out.
Maybe the candy didn't contain TBHQ (butane derivative - good thing you have those flame retardant costume, eh?), high fructose corn syrup, artifical flavors, colors, soy lecithin, partially hydrogenated oils, and other chemicals. Maybe it did. But what I know now is that much of the candy in fact does contain such ditties. Some of these are carcinogens, some mess up your endocrine system, others carry heavy metals because of their processing (like mercury) which causes neurodegeneration, and some are petroleum derivatives (yummaaaay).
And I haven't yet mentioned even the amount of sugar our candies contain. So what? Let the kids have a little sugar now and then! Yeah, except for two things. Sugar follows the same path in your body as cocaine, lighting up those exact paths in your brain. Sugar is a narcotic. Yes, it's legal, yes, most people think nothing of it (except maybe when they have to go to the dentist). But it is a narcotic. The more you have, the more you need. When people comment about being addicted to sugar, they may be speaking more literally than they could imagine.
The other issue with sugar is that your body can only process a certain amount of sugar at a time. Beyond that (depending on age/weight/etc.), you get, in essence, an immune system shutdown. Everything has to stop its productivity to run over and get this fructose, glucose, sucrose, lactose, etc., out. It is like factory shutdown. Hopefully at that time you don't get innundated with an enemy front and get sick three days later.
So what to do? No parent wants to be Oscar the Halloween Ruining Grouch, for sure. But we are also responsible to protect our children when they are unaware of dangers. This is a personal decision, and each parent ought to think through what this looks like in their own home. I'm just here to pass on the info.
As far as my home goes, I will go ahead of time with them to pick out a few treats from the health food store (72%+ dark chocolate, some organic suckers, Glee gum, etc.) so they have something to look forward to. After we go trick-or-treating, we get home and weigh the candy and they trade it in for money to buy something they like that lasts longer than a Tootsie Pop. (I dump all of the
Happy Crackoween, ya'll.
Peace, love, and that treat might be a trick,