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In every town, there is a house that children avoid at Halloween. When I was a kid, we had a house like this in our neighborhood. The residents inside loathe Halloween, but they feel obligated to answer the door and hand out something, anything, so that they don’t seem like Halloween grinches.
Kids hate trick-or-treating at this house too, because they know what is about to happen. It happens every year, but just as the residents feel obligated to open the door, neighborhood parents feel obligated to drop their children off for a few seconds on their front porch. After all, their children see this resident twice a year, and it’s important for neighborhood relations.
When children push the doorbell, the creaky door cracks open, out comes . . .
the neighborhood dentist!
Everyone knows a dentist in their neighborhood that hands out toothpaste and a toothbrush for Halloween instead of candy. Halloween is the time where dentists can make a statement of opposition to eating massive amounts of sugar without resorting to lectures and creepy photos of rotten teeth meant to scare kids into brushing on the regular.
Sorry dentists, but the gig is up. The kids have figured it out. Still, your cause is noble, and as parents we are on your side. So what can we do to teach our kids about the dangers of eating too much sugar during a holiday that has been reduced to kids begging candy and to adults drinking too much?
There is a secret to avoiding Halloween candy temptation, and dentists actually have it all figured out. The is this:
Make one better choice and stop caring about what everyone else is doing.
Dentists know that they can’t control what other parents give out to trick-or-treating children, but they do know that they can control what they give out.
The same goes with you. You might be tempted to dip into your child’s stash while they are asleep, or even sneak a piece or two from the candy rations that you are giving them so that they don’t gorge all at once. It happens, but it doesn’t have to happen this year.
The secret to avoiding Halloween candy temptation is to make a choice not to dip into the office bowl of candy corn, or drink six beers with your friends at a costume party. Instead, be the one person who celebrates and has fun without candy, just like your neighborhood dentist. Why not share your love of healthy living like dentists do by bringing an alternative treat to work on Halloween, like this recipe for apples and creamy cinnamon dip from the blog Happy Healthy Mama:
No Sugar Apple Dip
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey (preferably raw)
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
In a small bowl, stir all ingredients until well-blended. Served chilled with sliced apples or your favorite fruit.
Or, instead of binging on booze at your buddy’s Halloween party, have one or two servings of this spiked apple cider from Rachael Ray:
2 quarts apple cider
1 cup apple brandy
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon curry powder
In a large pot, combine all the ingredients over high heat and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and keep warm. To serve, strain through a fine mesh sieve into a heatproof pitcher and pour into mugs.
Have a happy and healthy Halloween!
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