October 31 officially kicks off Sugar Season! The trifecta of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. But let’s face it, Su
gar Season lasts longer. It starts earlier due to pre-Halloween celebrations at school, at scouts and at other events, it includes Valentine’s Day and it extends through Easter. The industry research on Sugar Season is worth a look. Please see page 13, “Special occasions when children eat non-chocolate candy” of the industry research and note that only even numbered pages are numbered on the lower left hand corner.
If you have been reading The Kids Living Longer blog and watching our YouTube channel (see “Soda Insanity”), you know that sugar is the root cause of most illness and can lead to death. Sugar is also a great friend of cancer (see this post for my family’s personal tragedy related to sugar and cancer: Sugar Grows Cancer – Thank You UCLA!) And Americans gorge on it repeatedly!
Americans historically ate less than 1 teaspoon of added sugar a day in the 1700s and even less before then. Today about half of Americans eat about 53 teaspoons a day. See Soda Insanity for more information.
USA Today reports that Americans eat about 4% of all candy consumed each year on Halloween Day ALONE! That equates to almost 15 days worth of candy consumed in ONE DAY! And kids, who are smaller and impacted harder, are consuming way more than their parents! Yikes! The article goes on to talk about how to make Halloween “healthier,” and I largely reject those ideas. These weak suggestions buy into the idea that it is OK to consume large amounts of sugar, when in fact humans historically haven’t. We are as a society and a species plagued by more chronic illness and preventable death than any time in history, and sugar is at the root of it all.
Halloween 2016 is THE TIME to break from your Halloween sugar traditions so that your kids can begin to Slight Edge their way to outstanding health and outperforming their peers, who are unfortunately under the illusion that consuming large amounts of candy is a great American tradition. The Slight Edge is discussed in the Kids Living Longer blog, on our YouTube channel and included in our eLearning program, Small and Powerful Steps to Wellness. Ideally you will share this blog post and the Kids Living Longer resources with your friends so that we can help as many kids as possible to excel.
So what can you do to help your kids get off of sugar this Halloween season?
Here are six important steps:
- Trade candy for something else. Trick-or-treating is an important part of Halloween. Colson did it from birth through age 11. In that time, he ate only ONE piece of candy EVER. And that was just to try it. Instead he traded his candy for a book, a Lego set, some Dungeons and Dragons dice, or another wanted item. There was never a fuss. Sure, the item may cost more than candy, but Colson avoided crashing his immune system, nuking his brain, temporarily mutating his DNA, and creating a tradition of crushing his health every October and more.
Need to read it from an expert? Check out what Dr. Sears has to say: Harmful Effects of Excess Sugar. Or Dr. Mark Hyman: Dr. Mark Hyman On Sugar & The Only Rules You Need To Eat Healthy (starts at 11:35 into the video, but watch to the end if you can). I had the opportunity to personally meet with Dr. Hyman for a few hours, and he is amazing.
- Turn sugar avoidance into an “experiment” or a game. Here is one example from our eLearning program that kids of any age can explore: Fun! We have other examples, one addressing sweets, in our eLearning program.
- Be honest with your kids and educate them. They can take it. For starters, share with them in a way that is appropriate for them the information from the Kids Living Longer home page, our blog posts and on our YouTube channel. Do they want to be unhealthy? Or do they want to excel and live vibrant lives?
- Send your kids to sugary celebrations with an alternative. One of our favorites is dark chocolate coconut milk mousse. Here is the recipe from Gluten Free Gigi, and it is excellent! Note that we use only one tablespoon of raw honey. We will be presenting a YouTube recipe demonstration in a few days. Substitutes may sound like crazy talk, but they do work.
- Purchase the Kids Living Longer eLearning program Small and Powerful Steps to Wellness. Our family took many small steps to get us to a place of health. We have condensed our nine years of strategies and tools into about three hours in hopes of inspiring others to get started. The cost is only $15, with 10% of proceeds going to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle to help feed kids who don’t have enough to eat during non-school hours.
- Please share this blog post and spread the word! We want to inspire as many people as we can, and together we can grow the change. Join us!