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TEST COPIED BELOW:
One out of every three kids in the U.S. are overweight or obese and the majority of these kids will grow up to be obese adults. Obesity in adults can decrease the lifespan by 20 years. Researchers predict that this is the first time in history that the current generation of children is not expected to outlive their parents due to their epidemic of overweight and their poor lifestyle habits.
Do you understand what that means?
You are going to attend your children’s funeral!
You can prevent this of course but you must take action. Here are some suggestions:
1. It’s time to clear your house of all the sugar and processed food
2. Get your kids on a whole food diet
3. Have your kids take a high potency multi-vitamin like “Healthy Kids Multi” (no Flinstones please!)
4. Celebrate with them in other ways than junk food!
Which brings us to Halloween..With the ever-increasing awareness of the obesity epidemic in America, we need to ask ourselves these questions:
1. Do we need to send our kids out to get buckets (and sometimes pillowcases) full of candy this year?
2. At what cost do we honor the tradition of Halloween?
3. Do our kids need an excuse to launch a full-scale campaign to OD (overdose) on sugar?
4. If you're like me, and you don't want to deprive your kids of the fun of Halloween just because of the sugar factor, what do you do?
5. Do you cower in the dark, afraid of the doorbell ringing?
6. Do you put blinders on your kids so they don't see or hear about costumes or candy?
7. Do you mark October 31st off the calendar in hopes that everyone in your house will forget?
Maybe none of those sound like good solutions, but what are the options? How can we keep our kids from loading up on sugar without seeming like a killjoy? Whatever the alternative, make sure it's fun. If you try to replace chocolate and candy with broccoli, you're probably going to deal with outrage and rebellion; it won't be pretty. Here are a few ideas:
1. Host a carnival in your back yard.
Invite friends and neighbors to participate, and have each family be in charge of creating one "booth". In each booth, have an activity or game that children would enjoy. For winning at the various games, give out tickets. Instead of everyone buying tons of candy, spend that money on prizes that the children can "purchase" with their tickets. This is a great idea for families with younger children, although you can certainly make booths and games that would cater to older children, too.
2. Have a Halloween bash
Invite other people, neighborhood children, and your children's friends for a Halloween party. Offer music, a costume contest, Bobbing for Apples, and other activities. Create ghoulish, and healthier, treats for everyone to snack on during the party. Do you remember cake walks? Instead of offering cakes as prizes, offer gift cards to a movie rental store or toy store. The prizes don't have to be expensive- everyone loves to win something, be it big or small.
3. Instead of trick-or-treating, have your children dress up and go door to door for charity.
UNICEF, in particular, is an organization linked with Halloween. Instead of trick-or-treating for candy, children collect coins for UNICEF. You can vary this to accommodate your favorite charity. Another idea is to trick-or-treat for non-perishables for your local food pantry. (Thanksgiving is right around the corner from Halloween, and the food pantries would welcome donations!)
4. You can also check with your local women's shelter and see if they're offering a celebration for the children there.
They are always looking for volunteers, and children are always welcome. In larger cities, Ronald McDonald houses, Target Houses, and other organizations that house families of hospitalized children could also use extra sets of hands. They will more than likely have some sort of celebration for Halloween, and your children will most probably love being a part of it.
The most important thing if you’re going to encourage an alternative to Halloween is to sit down with your kids and explain to them that:
1. You love them so dearly and you want them to live long healthy lives.
2. Every time they eat sugar, they will cause harm to their body
3. Sugar is highly addictive and you want to work as a family to overcome your sugar addiction together
The best way to propose changes it to get their buy-in. You can explain the situation, go over the alternatives with them, ask them for their suggestions, listen to their protests and explain how their bodies would enjoy a healthier kind of party. Offer lots of praise and rewards when they make healthy food choices.
The possibilities are nearly limitless for alternatives for the classic, candy-laden trick-or-treat tradition. With a little creativity and a desire for a healthier alternative for Halloween, you and your children can have a fun evening without suffering the disastrous effects that follows overindulgence on candy.