When our son was younger, he would be susceptible to getting sick in the first two weeks of November. We were suspicious that the increase in sugar consumption following Hallowe’en was a contributing factor. Sugar depresses the immune system and results in a perfect terrain for those nasty “bugs” (be they viral, bacterial, fungal, etc) to take hold. One of our patients introduced us to the concept of the “switch witch” – which is where you swap out the trick or treat candy for a toy of choice.
We quickly got on board with that idea and when we introduced the idea to our son he was excited about it!. Thankfully, he wasn’t super interested in sugar and he was delighted at the idea of trading in his sack of candy for something more useful that would last. Ever since we did this, he no longer suffered from severe colds or nasty flus.
For us, it is always hard to navigate these sugary holidays as we don’t agree with giving kids products that have artificial food colourings and are loaded with sugar. A great little documentary to watch is “The Secrets of Sugar” – and remember that when sugar is listed on a package in grams the calculation to remember is 4 grams = 1 tsp of sugar. Ideally, you want your children consuming under 25 grams of sugar per day which is approximately 6 tsp. To put this in perspective, one can of pop typically has more than 25 grams of sugar. It really adds up quickly when we consume processed foods.
We hope everyone has a healthy, happy hallowe’en!