Halloween Trick-or-Treating doesn’t have to be all about consuming too much sugar and all the unnatural additives in today’s candy; it actually can be morphed into a learning experience for the whole family! NaturalPath has come up with a few suggestions.
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Eat before you Treat: Want to stop the instant reach for that first candy bar? Try feeding your child a full meal with balanced protein and carbohydrates before you set out the door. Bring along snacks such as pumpkin seeds and nuts, or fall fruits such as apple slices to prevent kids from dipping into the candy bag. By balancing protein and carbs, you provide their bodies with energy and muscle-building material that will counter-balance each other to keep blood sugars stable and cravings in the background.
Make a Naughty List: Don’t allow your child to immediately dig into the bag of treats. Make sure your kids wait until they get home and you can inspect the candy that has been collected before you allow them to eat it. Before that first wrapper is removed, inspect the candy for expiration dates, punctures to the wrapping and types of candy on your "no" list. Write down prime ingredients to read to your child that you know are unhealthy – such as high fructose corn syrup. Count how many “bad” ingredients you find on the list.
Explore and Observe
: Science experiments with candy can be shockingly fun. Ideas such as leaving a Skittle in water and seeing the “S” float to the surface or putting a Mentos in a bottle of coke and watching it spin can be found at http://www.candyexperiments.com
Inspect: Another way to turn Trick or Treating into an educational experience is to look up ingredients on the candy label together with your child. Together you can learn what compounds such as "dimethicone cross polymer", "soy lethicin", "red number 6" or "invert sugar" really are, and what they do in your body.
Quid Pro Quo: Set up a trade agreement for the candy, either monetary or prize-oriented such as a book. This will teach them bartering. Perhaps match the reward with the calorie content of the candy – again, this will take label reading or Internet searching, both good skills to develop.