Last night I was thinking what a crazy American tradition it is, building an entire holiday around consumption of sugary sweets. Of course, it didn’t start out that way. Originally, it was simply a fall fest to drive away evil spirits. Sugar was introduced later with the Trick-or-Treat tradition.
Nowadays, it is aptly referred to as the “Sugar Fest, with Imagination.”
Mexico’s Day of the Dead, for example, is more about fine dining: “In some places, people will have dinner [at the cemetery], usually dishes that were the favorites of the deceased,” explains Jorge Carretero of MIT’s Mexican Student Association. “In a way, it is like sharing a meal with them.”
Our Halloween “feast” is more about getting a sugar-rush: the time-honored tradition of kids eating too much candy and groaning from a belly ache later. And what a nightmare for parents of diabetic children!
I guess it helps that there are plenty of online tips on how to deal with Halloween. I also just discovered this very cute book on Trick-or-Treat for Diabetes, which you D-parents may know quite well.
I am happy to report that my three don’t have diabetes, but I’m still concerned about the sugar loading. So here’s what I do: put their candy in the cupboard and let them pick a few pieces each night for dessert. Of course, I sort it first (when they’re in bed) and discard anything too disgustingly gooey or rock-hard. I also immediately throw out anything too tempting to me (me first, right?). Over the next week or so, I gradually throw out more and more (when they’re in bed). Luckily, my kids aren’t old enough to read this blog.
Anyway, the costumes are fun. We’ve got a vampire rock-star, a shiny unicorn, and an oh-my-God-how-cute poodle going at our house this year. Enjoy!