For those of us who grew up in America loving sweets, the holiday season was a time of abundance, starting with Halloween. That was an occasion for my brother and me to stockpile and pig out on the candy we normally ate only on the weekends, when we’d run to the corner store with our allowance and immediately cash it all in for candy bars. Our goal was to fill several brown paper grocery bags full of sweets and of course trade with one another the items we considered less desirable for the ones we really wanted. It’s mind-boggling to think of the amount of sugar we consumed! As I run errands during the first weeks of November, the store shelves full of the Halloween candy that is now 50% off represent to me a candy graveyard I’m so grateful to no longer be tempted by. The excess that’s produced is astounding!

On Thanksgiving, we went crazy with desserts. On top of a super carb-y meal with potatoes, stuffing and sugary cranberry sauce, we went overboard with the pies after our meal and in the days following. Though I still believe in low-carb pie, the amount of traditionally sweet pie we consumed in that short period was probably enough to last a week. And this emphasis on sweet treats continues on through the new year, often as gifts. With such traditions, how can parents convey that it’s the quality, not quantity, of sweets that counts, or to get their kids to care about the long-term impacts of high-sugar habits? Many kids develop a taste for what’s overly sweet at a young age because of the ‘kids foods’ marketed to their parents, including bars, sugar cereals and vegetable drinks filled with fruit sugar.

One of Goodbuy’s dreams is to see healthier alternatives available more widely so when kids do indulge, they do so much more healthfully, including during the candy-heavy holidays. One strategy for parents is to let their kids acquire all the candy they can, and then switch out their supply for something healthier and/or mete out their stash bit by bit rather than all at once. Another approach is to offer fun, small gift items kids can exchange for their sweets. Even so, Goodbuy believes that kids can enjoy holiday treats without overdoing their sugar consumption. We also know that sometimes when parents ban sugar altogether, kids grow up feeling deprived and can become overly focused on obtaining such ‘forbidden’ foods. We aim to provide parents with alternatives that kids find delicious and won’t led to unhealthy eating patterns. Some treats I’d personally stock in my nephew’s trick or treat bag (though there’s always a risk his parents will hoard them):

The sugar-free, low-carb versions of toffees, brittles and caramels that CurlyGirlz has mastered—especially their organic cold brew coffee toffee, cinnamon-y, vanilla-spiked hemp brittle and their classic, crunchy, butterscotch-y toffees. For chocolate purists, we love Lily’s sugar-free dark chocolate with coconut and their salted milk chocolate, as well as Choc Zero’s Keto Bark with almonds. We believe in KETO BARS instead of candy bars. The beauty of these is that they are so insanely, melt-in-your-mouth rich, they’ll stop your kids in their sugar tracks (before they can overdo it). Both Love Good Fats and Bhu Foods make them in variety of flavors kids will love, including cookie dough. Finally, for confections, Koochikoo’s lollies offer flavors that are truly fruity and unique. Other great alternatives include Stevita hard candy, Smart Sweets’ gummy bears and Glee’s fruit tarts. Your kids will never know the difference! Yes, these products cost more than their sugar-laden counterparts, but with these products, kids will eat less— and since less is more, we think it’s worth it.

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