Making Halloween Healthier

 

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Halloween is right around the corner and I wanted to share my thoughts on how to make this holiday as safe, fun and memorable as possible … from a health stance, of course.

The kids want to go trick-or-treating, but you do not want them to consume a large amount of candy and sugar, right? Well, here is what our family has done over the years…

1. We let the kids decide what they want to do…For years, my kids would choose to experience Halloween and visit our neighbors homes with the excitement of collecting large amounts of candy, door to door. But, last year something amazing happened – my children decided (on their own) to forego the Halloween experience and make the choice to have a “Extra-Special Family Halloween Time.” We spent the night playing board games, watching a movie, eating organic popcorn and laughing all night long. We took breaks when the doorbell rang to give out – treats. We do not want to add the sugar-gluttony of the night, so we typically give non-food items. I recommend anything useful, simple and inexpensive – like the little tubs of Play-dough, pencils, notepads, etc.

2. Useful ways to get rid the sugar…When our kids did collect candy years ago, we would allow them to choose three of their favorites (limiting the amount of sugar) and use the “Switch Witch” game. This means that the children would place their candy outside of their room so that later that night, the ‘Switch Witch’ would visit and replace their candy with a special item (maybe a new toy, book or shirt). You can also donate the candy to many local fire stations or army offices to be sent to our troops overseas (although I prefer that our troops to eat healthier choices abroad).

3. You’re the adult, the children will listen … Sometimes people will say, “well that works for your family, but not mine”. Then the excuses come following. We need to stop this madness – just because almost every other child is stuffing themselves with candy from October 31st to November 6th is not a valid excuse to allow your kids to consume a large amount of (obesity-causing, diabetes-causing, heart disease-causing, cancer-causing) sugar. In fact, The Journal of Pediatrics in 2005 uncovered that the amount of sugars in your child’s diet is a major contributing factor to the rising in childhood obesity rates. Of the 5,000 children (ages 2-5) that were studied, the research found that the results of the study confirmed that the more added sugars kids ate, the less they benefited from key nutrients such as fiber, protein, calcium, iron and folate.

What are the U.S. statistics? Well here are the facts you need to tell yourself when you remain strong and take the candy away:

a. According to the Wold Health Organization (WHO) in 2013, the U.S. is the third-worst mortality rate by nutritional deficiencies and has the highest absolute age-adjusted mortality rate amongst all developed nations.
b. This new generation is now forecasted to be the first generation not to outlive their parents due to the current dismal health of our children.
c. The CDC states that Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
d. The CDC states that Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents already appears to be a sizable and growing problem among U.S. children and adolescents. Health care providers are finding more and more children with type 2 diabetes, a disease usually diagnosed in adults aged 40 years or older.
e. All of this even when we spend the most amount of money on healthcare compared to any other developed country

So now you have the ammunition you need … to throw out the sugar and make this Halloween a healthier one for your children and our community.

 

Dr_Matthew_EisenWho is Dr. Matthew Eisen?

“Dr. Matt” as he is known to his patients, is in private practice, an author, nationally sought after speaker, visionary and health ambassador to the general public as he educates and empowers others about true health and well-being.  He runs a large multi-discplinary health clinic in Roswell, GA (just north of Atlanta) and has over 10 years of clinical experience.  You can reach him at drmattcares@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this email are based upon the opinions of this office, unless otherwise noted. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information presented is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician. The information here is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.  © Copyright  Dr. Matthew Eisen.  All rights reserved.

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