A woman in Fargo, ND, denied candy to certain children yesterday. Instead, she gave them a Halloween letter for their parents. The letter read, in part:
“Your child is, in my opinion, moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season.
“My hope is that you will step up as a parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits.”
Treatment for childhood obesity involves more than taking away sugary treats on Halloween. Perhaps the parent is rationing the candy and allowing the child to choose one or two of their favorite treats after they exercise by navigating the neighborhood while trick-or-treating. It is not appropriate to judge an overweight child or to blame the parents.
Regardless of weight, no child should be punished, banned or disqualified from celebrating on October 31. A better idea is to give trick-or-treaters healthy snacks, stickers, or small change–rather than inflict emotional scars with a rude Halloween letter.
This post was written by Nina Eng, RD, nutrition coordinator at Plainview Hospital.
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