Why putting limits on Halloween candy isn’t such a sweet idea

We’ve all heard of pandora’s box and yet we constantly put sweets on a pedestal

In an ideal world we’d all be perfectly individuals with optimal diets — but this isn’t a perfect world.

With Halloween wrapped up your kids are likely now in the process of unwrapping their various calorie-rich hauls, which leads me to my main point.

There are two kinds of parents, ones who restrict how much Halloween candy their kids can have and ones who (for a number of different reasons) don’t. I’m in the latter’s camp for a number of reasons.

The first is that restricting candy is effectively just tantamount to fetishizing it and making children see it as something forbidden-yet-delicious. How do you think that’s going to turn out for an 11-year-old?

Let me tell you a story. When I was a kid, we had what my parents would call “weekend cereal”. If you can’t guess based on context, that was cereal that (if I’m remembering correctly) had over 10 grams of sugar per serving. We were only allowed it on the weekends.

LAST WEEK TREV THOUGHTS: The signs they are a changin’

My parents also restricted things like Halloween candy: usually one piece of candy per meal.

By the time I was 12/13 and old enough to be buying my own lunches at school when we’d go to the strip plaza nearby that had a hole-in-the-wall pizza place and a 7-Eleven, what do you think I bought?

Ceasar salads and apples?

No way, I was going for all of sugary, fatty, stuff that had been “prohibited” in my household.

This brings me to my second point: you have to let kids make their own decisions, whether a success or failure.

When you try to mold a kid a certain way you eventually hit that rebellious teenage phase where (unless you’re one of the extreme minority) you’re going to face a lot of pushback on just about every trait you try to instill on your child.

This advice is universal, but in the realm of candy the reality is eventually your kid is going to be on their own, buying their own food and preparing their own meals.

Another funny story. One Easter when I was about nine or 10 my parents were busy in the other room while I ate about 80 per cent of my candy.

You can guess the result. I threw it up.

I remember my parents saying something to the effect of “well I guess he won’t want chocolate for a while now.”

I definitely didn’t.

I don’t know why they didn’t learn from that experience and try to inevitably let me recreate it two or three times before realizing, perhaps, eating 3 or 4 bite-sized Snickers is a better choice than a full pack at once.

Instead, I went through a phase where I ate a lot of junk food.

I mean a lot.

MORE TREV THOUGHTS: You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til its gone

And while I’m still pretty impressionable (working somewhere there always seems to be sweets abound doesn’t help) I can say it was only by going through that five or so year phase where I just gorged out on junk food which made me a much more health-conscious individual.

We’re realizing more and more we have to let our kids be themselves. In terms of expression, desires and beliefs, the going wisdom in the psychological community seems to be respecting your child’s beliefs and letting them come to their own conclusions about life as opposed to trying to project your own views onto them.

I wish my parents had been more laissez-faire with me in this aspect of my life as a child. I think it would have helped me realize the importance of a structured routine at a much younger age.

In the slightly-altered words of a former queen who also didn’t understand the need of giving one’s dependants a certain amount of autonomy: let them eat candy corn.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Walnut Park rebuild on track for September 2021 opening

On top of renovations the new building will contain a daycare with 42 childcare spots

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

Seabridge Gold starts drilling along proposed tunnel route north of Stewart

Twin tunnels will connect the KSM mine to its mill and tailings site

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read