Secret Halloween Antidotes
By Molly Morse
Candy. It’s here. Short of offering the evil raisin, sure to downgrade your house as a desirable destination for passing children, it may simply be time to gear up and give in. Even so, along with arming our little ones with plastic swords and shields, we now have a few tricks and treats up our sleeves to arm their delicate immune systems for the long awaited Halloween night and its infamous yet delectable sidekick, sugar.
Our first line of defense is to build their gut or intestinal flora. These terms refer to the beneficial microorganisms living in our intestines. There are 10 times as many of these friendly bacteria as there are human cells! Our bodies are actually small biospheres supporting a diverse world of life. They are meant to be there and daily life would be a challenge without them. Just a few of the many skills these organisms possess are their ability to patch up and protect our intestines, teach our immune system to show their unfriendly counterparts the door and most importantly help us digest food and deal with sugar overload. The more sugar we eat, the more acidic our bodies become and the more friendly bacteria we need.
Here is where we can turn to delicious coconut kefir and probiotic supplements such as acidophilus and bifidus to help us optimize digestion and balance blood sugar levels. These supplements may be found in various forms in a local health food store. They are packed with symbiotic strands of microorganisms, making them a great way to amend any intestinal state. Serve a virgin Kefir Margarita and keep your kids begging for more! Add 2/3 cups of coconut kefir, 2 ounces of filtered water, 3 ounces of lemon juice, ½ tablespoon coconut oil, 1 pinch of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla powder, 1 large handful of ice, low glycemic yacon syrup or agave to taste and blend!
When our miniature superheros return home on Halloween night to sort, revere and eat their prizes, these friendly organisms will gobble up the sugar, leaving little left for our child’s body to process on its own. Kids are happy. Their bodies are happy. There is an added benefit: kefir contains tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids, B vitamins and magnesium, well known for protecting the nervous system, but also producing a calming effect. Now parents are happy, too.
Mango Fetzer, a Laguna Beach resident and mother of two, suggests employing the Candy Fairy the night of Halloween to exchange candy for toys. “My survival tactics include making sure my kids have plenty of sleep, plenty of water and keeping hand sanitizers at the ready.” Mama Mango explains. “I choose to empower my children by teaching them to make the healthy choice. ‘Is the brightest color the healthiest, kids?’ ”
An additional trick is to fill everyone up with his or her favorite dinner to quench the snacking. And if all else fails, try storing their candy at the end of the night in the freezer. When kids bite into a hard candy bar, unable to sink those teeth in, they might just lose interest and fill up on a healthy alternative while waiting for their candy to thaw.
Could there be a Halloween night without candy? Unlikely. Yet a study conducted by Yale University showed children were just as likely to choose toys on Halloween, if given a choice. This leads us to our final stratagem of what I like to call, “C-Commerce.” The art of child commerce includes bribes, trades and purchases in exchange for their chocolaty treasures. The half-pint negotiator may take the profits and run down to the store for more candy, so make sure you include a trusty no exchange policy.
Sweets are not what they used to be and one day we may want to rethink the choices associated with the abundance of sweets in our holidays. However, the show must go on. Luckily, we have the tools to keep everyone smiling and having fun. Trick or treat!
Laguna Beach resident Molly Morse is a holistic health therapist.