This year was the first time we really participated in Halloween. We went to a trunk-or-treat event at a nearby church and the kids had a blast. We have been on the GAPS/paleo diet for over a year now, and Halloween was the first time that our kids have had ANY candy in that time. It was quite the event in their eyes.
We have a 5 ½ year old, 4 year old and almost 2 year old. Prior to the diet our kids hadn’t yet developed any real chronic childhood conditions, and I say yet, because most children have at least one. But, since being on the GAPS diet our kids overall health has clearly improved. Infectious processed like colds or stomach bugs come and go without making us flinch and they are MUCH less frequent than when we were eating a more typical American diet. My sons lactose intolerance has improved greatly as he can now drink raw cows milk without diarrhea and is eating cultured dairy without a problem. All three of their stools (very important indicator of overall health) are as perfect as can be (yes, we talk A LOT about poop around here!) and they seem to be functioning at an optimal level for kiddos their age.
Lets face it: Kids LOVE candy. Even if they never eat it, they still love it. Adults do too (even though I tried a M&M this halloween and was so disappointed how fake it tasted!) We don’t tell our kids not to love junk food- we explain to them why they should avoid junk food and what it does to their bodies. They are not at all expected to think its nasty. But they are expected to follow our lead when it comes to what they put in their mouths, and one day hopefully when they are older they can make wise choices based on knowledge, not rules.
Since our children’s health is at a very stable place, we thought eating a little Halloween candy would not jeopardize that any, but we also wanted to be pretty careful here as they have not had any refined sugars in over a year, and candy is nothing but bad news to your health.
So this Halloween:
- they were each allowed to pick one piece of candy the night of halloween
- for the next 3 days they will eat 1 piece a day, after their tummies are full with lunch (help reduce blood sugar fluctuations)
- they enjoyed homemade marshmellows, caramel apple pudding pie (recipe coming soon!), and a grain-free chocolate cookie the night of Halloween
“The Baby” Camden didn’t eat any candy, and didn’t even know he was missing out. He has his own little bag of homemade marshmellows and chocolate cookies and he thought that was just the greatest thing. Since he was born he has had breastmilk/homemade formula, and nutrient dense foods without grains until we introduced rice around 18 months. He has not had any refined-sugars whatsoever. He has definitely been fed the ‘best’ as we have learned with each child the importance of real-food for babies and the connection to their development of chronic problems.
The kids really liked searching through all the candy they collected and picking the three ever-most-cherished candies to savor over the next three days. The rest was thrown out.
This might seem rather extreme to some who let their kids just have a blast and eat whatever Halloween candy, and might seem liberal to others who didn’t allow their kids to eat any junky candy.
The reality is, this worked great for us and they certainly enjoyed lots of tasty sweets during our fun night. They were not lacking in the least, and I felt comfortable with what I was letting into their little bodies.
The best comment of the night from the newly-candy-eating-kids was from Lucas my 5 year old while eating a tootsie roll:
“Mom, I can’t believe I’m eating cardboard….and it tastes so sweet still. I can’t believe this fake food is tricking my brain into thinking it tastes so good!!”
Ha! The ways we try to teach our kids about taking care of their bodies and how much they really try and listen… On how they can savor life is so precious.