The tradition of Halloween has evolved throughout centuries with both Roman and Christianity influences. According to History.com, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday.
“One quarter of all the candy sold annually
in the U.S. is purchased for Halloween.”
Today 1 in 6 children live with one or more chronic condition. Each year we understand more how high allergen foods and chemicals are triggers for inflammation.
- Inflammation of the lungs is Asthma.
- Inflammation of the Brain is Autism, Anxiety, Depression, Aggression, Attention Deficit.
- Inflammation of the joints is arthritis.
- Inflammation creates Eczema, and sleep disturbances.
- Inflammation of the gut is where everything begins.
Our best effort to heal, and reverse childhood chronic conditions is by removing the exposures plus healing the infections; which cause systemic inflammation.
Sugar and high allergen foods such as: gluten (the protein in wheat, rye, barely, spelt) casein (the protein in dairy products), soy, corn, artificial sweeteners, and colors, and preservatives are common exposures; which ignite inflammation.
Is spending $6 billion annually on Halloween treats still serving our children who are clearly struggling with systemic inflammation? Perhaps it’s time we re-evaluate how we spend this holiday. Let’s take a look at other, possible traditions to create, and celebrate for Halloween.
- For children with Autism: Rather than practicing going door to door to overcome anxiety, how about allowing them to stay home and pass out candy? This can allow the child to participate yet have the freedom to seek comfort in his/her own home if the sensory input becomes overwhelming. We can better regulate the treats they do have to celebrate the holiday. If your child’s school is having a party, work with your education team to provide the non-allergen treats for your child.
- For children with ADHD: Children can still participate in the tradition with their friends, but how about donating their candy to local dentists who have programs to send care packages oversees to our military? How about we have candy without chemicals ready to replace the conventional candy contributing to their attention and hyperactivity symptoms?
- For small children: Highlighting other activities such as: Visiting Farms with hayrides, making Halloween crafts, painting pumpkins, roasting pumpkin seeds can start to shift the focus away from the candy centered Holiday. If you would like young children to still participate in trick or treat, consider having another pumpkin full of candy free from dyes, and artificial sugars. Swapping out the pumpkins, and enjoying a reasonable amount of candy with your toddler is an excellent solution to rethink the holiday.
- School Parties: If you want your child to participate in school parties by eating the treats provided, consider purchasing Inositol. The powder tastes like sugar plus helps to balance sugar levels and lower inflammation. In addition it supports emotional wellness, behavior, and mood. Supplements are not to be relied on entirely to support health. However, in instances such as candy centered holidays, supporting our children’s GI Tracts, inflammatory response and blood sugar levels are an intelligent solution. Use GOODCHOICE as a coupon code for a 10% discount.
According to a recent Parents magazine poll, the average 4 to 8-year-old child is eating approximately 15 teaspoons of added sugars a day — which works out to be 50 pounds of sugar a year. Parents must re-evaluate the thought “a little won’t hurt”; because in truth way too much sugar is being consumed.
The CDC now projects that 1 in 3 U.S. children will have diabetes in their lifetime.
Starting to reconsider this holiday’s traditions by talking with your family about other traditions, and celebrations are fantastic ways to prepare for 2018. Surf Sweets is one brand that provides conventional looking candy without the artificial, chemical cocktail. The Natural Candy Store and Thrive Market have many selections to consider for candy without chemicals.
For more ideas of how to help lead your family through these lifestyle changes to prevent creating resistance, schedule a discovery session with our functional medicine certified health coach. Call us at 513-273-9944.
Kara Ware is Good Medicine’s Clinical Coordinator and Functional Medicine Health Coach. She also provides online courses and coaching for families living with Autism.