I heard on the radio a supposed health expert advising parents on how to handle Halloween candy, telling them to have the kids budget out their eating of it because too much isn’t good for them.
I profoundly disagree with that approach. Let me explain what I did with our children when they were trick-or-treaters.
When they would come in with their stash of candy, I would look it over and then announce something like this: “Okay, you have until Saturday night to finish off this candy. Anything left after that gets pitched.”
I absolutely did not want the candy-eating to drag on for weeks. Two big reasons for this:
1. I didn’t want the candy-eating to become a habit. Eat your candy. Get it over with, and then get back to a normal diet.
2. Concentrating the candy into a shorter timeframe is the single best way to limit the tooth damage.
On the second point, here is the physiology. A lot of people aren’t aware that your saliva has built-in defenses against tooth decay. There are minerals in your saliva that act to repair the acid attacks against your teeth. If the acid attacks are minimized and you give the saliva time enough to respond, you don’t get new cavities. The people that get a lot of cavities are the ones who snack all day long, every day. So eat your candy, get it over with, and then give your body time to respond.
My wife and took this approach every year, and my kids never got sick from Halloween candy. But if they had gotten sick, that would have been okay with me, too. Any association created between excess candy consumption and unpleasant experiences would have been welcome.
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