Goblins galore may be showing up at your door on the very last day of October. What kinds of treats will you be handing out? If you were a fly on the wall in my office in the weeks to follow Halloween, you would be shocked to see the effects sugar play on children’s ability to sit still, to concentrate and to learn anything at all. Many is the parent who brings in a child who was progressing nicely…until Halloween, and then the story isn’t very pretty. Temper tantrums, not learning and paying attention, regressing in math or reading, more tears around homework. All from eating that Halloween candy for days afterwards.
What can you do to avoid this disaster at your house? Plan ahead. Trade in the “stash” for a toy or some non-food item. If the children are small, they can pick out a certain small number of pieces and then let the “sugar fairy” come in the night and take the candy away to children who have never tasted candy. IF they are older, they can choose six pieces and donate the rest to the military overseas or to a shelter somewhere.
What can you give as treats besides candy? Pencils, coins, home made cookies (preferably gluten free and made with xylitol or stevia instead of sugar). Go to a Hobby Lobby or Micheal’s and find little give aways. Oriental traders is known to teachers and parents everywhere for great ideas and great prices on quantity items.
Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday season. Thanksgiving and Christmas follow with other “sweet” temptations. Planning ahead can bring forth new traditions in your family.
We’d love it if you would share your success stories in the sugar realm. And we’d also love to hear about the positive behavior changes you may be noticing in your children as they are weaned off sugar.
In my book, Reversing Dyslexia: Improving Learning and Behavior Without Drugs, you can read about Megan who went from D’s and F’s in second grade to all A’s….until Halloween rolled around. Within two weeks of eating sugar, she was flunking math again. When her father brought her in, she literally sat curled up in the corner and cried, “I can’t live without sugar.”
This was the same girl who lived just fine for six months without sugar and whose grades skyrocketed after our sessions. And now, she was whimpering and cowering in the corner, as if possessed or taken over by the sugar. I wouldn’t have believed the change if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.
I know it isn’t easy to cut sugar out of your diet, let alone your child’s. But I promise you; the long term rewards in your overall health and well being are worth it. Being a parent isn’t always easy…and being a good role model isn’t for weak willed folks. When you stand strong and consistent, something wonderful expands inside of you, and you feel a satisfaction far beyond the momentary pleasure of sugar crossing your lips. – Dr. B