Can you believe this weekend is already Halloween?! What happened to October? I feel like Philip and I have been so busy, both during the week and the weekend, that somehow the fall is slipping past us. While part of me is eager to start thinking about Christmas (I know, I know, I’m jumping past a few holidays) and to decorate for the season (we missed last year since we were moving into our house right before Christmas), the other part of me is wanting this great in-between time to stick around just a tiny bit longer.
Case in point: This past weekend Philip and I were able to squeeze in a run on a trail that is right outside our door and it. was. beautiful. I’m so glad we could get out on the trail and enjoy the remaining fall colors before it gets completely covered with snow.
We also celebrated another couple’s marriage this weekend – the last of the season. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, but I just love weddings! Such a fun time we had!
While I may already be thinking ahead about how I’m going to decorate our mantle for Christmas, don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to our first Halloween in a house where trick-or-treaters will be knocking at our door. Growing up in the country where the closest neighbor was a mile away, the thought of having little witches, super heroes, or princesses come to our door was unheard of. And every year since, I’ve been in an apartment where I didn’t have to worry about what to have as a treat for the little trick-or-treaters.
But this year. This year is different. I scoured the grocery store for my favorite candy and chocolate, bought them without a flinch (okay, maybe just a little one), and am ready to hand out candy this year.
Yes, I’m a dietitian who is handing out candy.
I can see both sides of whether or not we should pass out candy to children, and I fully respect whatever individual choice you have made, but here are my reasons for why I chose to pass out candy this year:
I’m not anti-candy. While I try to limit how much sugar I have in a day, I still enjoy candy and desserts. The key is to be aware of what you’re having and mindful about how much of it you’re having. It’s about being aware of how much sugar or calories is actually in one piece of candy and knowing that it’s not what we want to fuel our bodies with all the time. Did you know that one fun-sized piece of Snickers contains 8.5 grams of sugar, or 2 teaspoons? This dietitian phrases it right: it’s not about being anti-candy, but being pro-awareness. She has a great infographic on how much sugar is in your favorite candies to help you build your awareness.
I’m not going to be that house. Sure, there are a lot of great things besides candy to pass out and I love the Teal Pumpkin Project that’s been gaining momentum (and I will probably do that in future years in addition to providing candy). But to be honest, what kid wants a pencil handed to him when his hopes are to snatch up one of his favorite pieces of candy? I feel doing this would only reinforce the already awful stereotype of being a dietitian. I get enough of that already, thankyouverymuch.
Everything in moderation. Every holiday has its own food temptations. I’m not going to restrict cookies and fudge at Christmas time or chocolate at Valentine’s Day. Why should I restrict candy on Halloween? That said, for all holidays, there’s a limit to how much we should be having (maybe one to two pieces of candy a day, for example). The idea is to enjoy the foods that are nostalgic to that holiday and that help create memories.
So whether you agree or not, I’m the dietitian that will be handing out candy on Halloween, enjoying the kids’ excitement, and hoping they enjoy a couple pieces and save the rest for another day.