Booooo To Halloween Candy (And What To Eat Instead)
Believe me, I am not a candy hating celery crunching mama-to-be (although sometimes I wish I was!). Quite the opposite in fact. While I like to crunch a few celery sticks along with the old buffalo wings I so often crave these days, I can be quite candy crazed. I do however, acknowledge this is no good thing, especially when growing a baby. Not every day any way!
With Halloween just around the corner, pregnant, and with 3 kids that will all be eagerly trick or treating I have images of myself (from past experience, I hope you know), responsibly limiting their candy in-take only to be left alone around 9 PM amongst buckets of candy and not able to resist diving in myself. I know, I have issues!
So this year, in an effort to avoid the inevitable binge, I decided to dig a little deeper into the content of my beloved candy and as you can imagine I am now completely freaked out. Let’s take those strangely tasty Candy Corns shall we? Well, they contain: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Confectioner’s Glaze, Salt, Honey, Dextrose, Artificial Flavor, Gelatin, Titanium Dioxide Color, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 3, Blue 1, Sesame Oil.
Some of these candy ingredients are obviously more familiar offenders, responsible for everything from cavities to diabetes, while others are made from animal hides and bones. But let’s take the last few ingredients. According to Center for Science in the Publics interest (CSPI) many of these have been linked to increases in certain types of cancers. For Red 3, the FDA found evidence that the dye caused thyroid cancers in rats. Many foods have replaced the use of Red 3 with the less controversial Red 40, but not in our sweet candy corn friends! If you are pregnant, this is more than a little unsettling.
I am sure I could go on dissecting all the delights in the candy bowls of my kids but quite frankly it’s depressing me and probably you too.
So what is a reasonable take away from all of this? I think it is to still allow yourself to eat them, but eat only few and keep it to the one day of Halloween. To help you with cutting down on the key offenders, you need to keep the treat factor high (I am a realist after all). In my case, that means upping the in-take of good quality chocolate, home-made cookies with non-died white icing (think ghosts, not apples or pumpkins), and make sure both you and your wee ones are full before the feasting begins, that way everyone will eat less candy.
And when Halloween is over, so too must be those pesky candy corns. Don’t let them linger on for months, toss them! Stay safe, stay healthy this Halloween and as with so many things in life, when in doubt eat good quality chocolate!