Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Fair Fare & Halloween Intake
The aroma of peppers and onions from the cheesesteak stand mixed with the notes of a Mayan sundance, a Texan/Czech polka and some Kentucky thumb-picking. The Richmond Folk Festival was a postmodern mix of ethnic cuisine and music, and we indulged in the food and the tunes.
The heat of the fried fish paired with cool, fresh lemonade balanced a moment. Then we added funnel cake. Ah. More sugar. But we couldn't resist. The kids have never tasted a funnel cake, and they begged to have the white powdered dough. So, the five of us split one. We constantly reinforce moderation with the kids, and they really are getting good at self-regulating and making better choices.
"Just a few bites. That's good, right, Mom?" Patrick asked with powdered sugar on his nose and in his eyelashes.
"A few bites are okay, Buddy," I said.
Patrick even declined a final bite and said he had enough.
Now, I'm trying to come up with a Halloween strategy. The kids amass a tremendous amount of candy. Last year, I slowly "disappeared" their stashes and made Dirk take it to the hospital staff for snacks. I've researched a few plans for this year, and here are a few of the best ideas for managing intake the night of Halloween, as well as the remaining candy in the weeks to come.
1. Explain the situation. Our kids realize that the candy collection and consumption is extraordinary on this holiday night. So, we're going to let them play with their spoils because they like sorting and trading with each other. But they can choose five of their favorite pieces to eat that night, and then the rest goes away for rationing.
It's that teachable moment about portions, sizes and choices. I'm also going to make them label read to look at ingredients and sugar grams.
2. Serve a healthy dinner. Give kids a healthy start to the night and sate their hunger with real food before they take off on the Halloween hunt.
3. Consider alternative "treats." Dole out dried fruit, pretzels or other non-edibles like little Halloween decorations.
4. Make a plan for actually eating the candy that night. We don't eat on the run. We wait until we get home, and I serve them milk as they sort and indulge themselves.
5. Brush 'em. We ceremoniusly brush, floss and rinse on Halloween
The Candy Glut
1. Ration it. Make a pre-holiday plan with the kids. We're going to give them one piece a day for two weeks and then donate the rest. I'll "hold" the candy for them and be the candy key master. Otherwise Patrick would sleep with it under his pillow. It's happened before.
2. Freeze it. I save all the chocolate varieties for cooking during the year.
3. Donate it. It's not the healthiest donation, but give it to a food bank, community center or church.
Nugget o' the Moment: What are the presidential candidates eating? NPR highlighted the politico's faves.
McCain: Pusser's Caribbean Grille in Annapolis, MD for Haitian Creole Seafood Gumbo.
Obama: Rick Bayless' restaurant Topolo in Chicago, IL for Grilled Skirt Steak Tacos With Caramelized Onions