Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween. Wait! - Candy is Food?? So Candy Corns and Halloween Candy Gives You Vitamins?

As our sugar crazed kids go out to support the $2 Billion dollar generated-in-one-week-Halloween-industry it might be a good time to explore Halloween and its origins.  For starters, the historical significance of Halloween’s marriage to candy has only recently surfaced since the 1970’s.  For decades Christmas and Easter dominated the candy industry’s traditional events.  

Prior to this early exploitation and commercialism of
Holloween well before 800 A.D. Halloween had its origins entrenched into Celtic culture with Roman influence helping shape the holiday as we now know it. The beauty of America is that we have a mosaic of cultures further enriching its significance into culture and rituals.  Notably, Latino culture had shared el dia de los muertos with America bringing the tradition of ancestors and honoring the dead into the the American psyche in a way that Halloween could not.   

So, as we are becoming more engaged with healthy living, healthy eating, and a socially meaningful awareness of Halloween how do we as parents address the second largest grossing holiday which aggressively promotes candies 
as it impacts our children.  It might be good practice to set limits throughout the year with candies and all household rules so that when the bags of candies come flooding into the room we manage the candy overload. It might also be good practice to explore the cultural diversity, relevance, and significance of Halloween with children so that it is more thank just a Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy Krueger experience.

For adults to recognize the pros and cons of candy Samira Kawash’s book Candy:  A Century of Panic or and Pleasure discusses the complexed love hate and historical relationship candy as confections as food as sugar has over us.  And excerpt from NPR's weekend edition might be worth listening to.       

Furthermore, the history of our obsession with candy, or confections, sometimes gives insight to its simple pleasures and possibly how negative connotations have evolved in the functionality of candy. So whatever your thoughts are on "Candy" or Cultures or Cavities what we know is all kids LOVE Holloween! 

Read more about Dr. Strayhorn's practice and philosophy...

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