A Parents Guide to Surviving Sugar Monsters

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Imagine this: you’re sitting on the couch after a long day, ready to dive into your favorite new series. You nestle up to a pillow, turn off the lights and begin your descent into the binge.

Then, you hear it… scurrying footsteps coming from the dark hallway behind you. You turn around and see nothing. So, you choose to ignore it.

Five minutes later, the noise is back and this time, you swear there’s a faint sound of laughter in the background. Yet, nothing to see.

And then, when you least expect it…small hands lunge at you from behind the couch!

It’s YOUR CHILDREN! **cue the scary music and shrill screams**

And what’s worse?

They’re looking for their candy stashes!

Enter the Halloween Madness

Yes, it’s that time again — Halloween! While most parents fear the night of trick-or-treaters, many forget that the real fright can come long before that spooky night and stay afterward too.

What do we mean?

All of October and through November, your children are amped and ready to devour their candy stashes as quick as possible.

Before the 31st, they become expert detectives, scoping out areas where you might have stashed snacks to give out to trick-or-treaters. And on November 1st, they’re mercenaries ready to take what is owed to them – precious sugar-filled treats that they collected the night before.

Even though the costumes come off, those little monsters stick around. Of course, we’re not trying to sound rude, but after a few of rounds of sugar, they’re kind of crazy, right?

But the story of how sugar causes the craze might shock you.

The Science Behind “Sugar Highs”

It seems to be an universal truth among parents that sugar causes kids to go off the walls (in addition to their harmful contributions to health), giving the Energizer bunny and the Road Runner a run for their money.

But actually, there’s a disagreement in the health community about whether sugar can directly cause erratic behaviors, known as “sugar highs.”

Look, we totally get it. Witnessing kids going ape after downing a handful of Skittles is proof enough for us, but there’s more to the scientific conversation.

Live Science reports that parents often point to sugar as the culprit for their kid’s behavior, when there is another obvious factor being overlooked.

What’s that factor? Well, pure excitement, of course!

Dr. Mark Wolraich, chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Oklahoma University Health Science Center suggests that most times, kids bounce off the walls on these special occasions (like Halloween and birthday parties) because they are excited, rather than as a result of the sweet additive.

He suggests that parents just attribute the madness to sugar, because it seems logical. Live Science delves a little closer into how this works:

The misconception comes from the idea that increased blood sugar levels translate into hyperactive behavior. It’s true that someone with low blood-sugar levels (known as having hypoglycemia) can get an energy boost from drinking a sugar-filled drink. But it’s a different story if someone has a sugary treat when he or she doesn’t have low blood sugar.

Laura Geggel, Live Science

We’d love to see more studies on this, but for now, the jury is still out. Looks like we have to agree to disagree.

But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where the extra bouts of energy are coming from, you still need to deal.

So, here are a few tips to help you survive:

Prepare for “sweet” cravings with tasty, “smarter” snacks.

Okay, so maybe you still believe sugar is to your kids like water is to Gremlins. That’s fine. Your best bet would be help curb your kids sugar-consumption, then. You can do that with fruits, veggies and healthy snacks. 

We have to be honest with you here, though. Getting your kids to opt for fruits and vegetables is going to be infinitely hard. 

Presentation is Everything 

Making your veggies, fruits and other snacks look more appealing can make this a lot easier. Give your child some options with platters that will visually compete with the shiny glory of a colorful candy wrapper.

Try this Monster Sushi recipe, courtesy of Brit and Co, which will have your little Monster Mashers happy and satiated.

Give this Skeleton Snack Platter a try, courtesy of Cutefetti. So yummy and so cute!

Give in to the Sweet Tooth 

As an adult, you know how serious “sweet tooth” hankerings can be, so don’t be afraid to give in.

We’re not talking about throwing an entire bag of mini Starbursts at your child. Instead, find a happy medium. You can maybe let them have a candy for dessert or may pack one in their lunch to celebrate a Friday.

The Independent suggests having snacks like yogurts, nuts, raisins and roasted veggies readily available for urges. We love yogurt because you can easily throw in little extras (like dark chocolate).

Figure out ways to spend that energy.

Whether it be the sugar or just the rush of the festivities, that energy needs to be curbed. So plan out some activities for your children to do.

Of course, it’s easy to send them to their room with the device of their choice, but there’s more productive ways to spend that energy too:

  • They can help you clean and earn a chance to eat another candy.
  • They can go outside to play.
  •  You can take them out to walk around — where that mean walking the dogs around the neighborhood or just going to the park.

Ensure healthy meals and circadian rhythms.

While there may be some disagreement about sugar, there isn’t when it comes to nutrition and sleep. These two things are super important when it comes to energy.

In fact, Harvard Health Publishing reports that low nutrition can contribute to low energy, while a balanced nutrition can lead to sustained levels.

And as for sleep?

The National Sleep Foundation suggests that sleep satisfaction can also help balance energy.

So, what can you do with this information? If you’re kids are snacking on sugar, make sure they are getting optimal nutrition elsewhere. This means ensuring they’re getting their daily veggies and fruit intake, and eating their daily meals.

Finally, make sure your kids are going to sleep on time and getting enough rest. Who knows? They may be looking to candy for a little energy boost because they stayed up too late playing Fortnite. This may also help with the cravings.

Calm Your Kids Pack

When all else fails, we’re here to help, of course. That’s why we put together our special Calm Your Kids Pack– great for kids AND adults.

Inspired by her own family experience, co-founder Amy Venner-Hamdi hand-picked Purium products that help support her kids balanced energy levels, especially when they are a little rambunctious.

  • In Focus: In Focus uses herbs, like organic eleuthero root, to help create calm and focused energy for child.
  • CHILL Spray:  CHILL Spray uses SunTheanine and GABA to help encourage calmness and stable energy, helping to relieve daily stress without drowsiness.
  • Apothe-Cherry:  Apothe-Cherry uses natural-occurring melatonin from tart cherries to help support proper sleep and proper circadian rhythms.

Together, these products help effectively (and safely) balance energy. Happy trick-or-treating!

 

 

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