Let ‘Switch Witch’ help handle the Hallowe’en sugar rush

The Switch Witch

Have you heard about the Switch Witch?
She’s hungry, fierce and fat!
She’s on the hunt for candy
To feed her naughty cat.

He likes the brightest lollipops
The green chews and the blue
And if you have some bubblegum
He’ll really want that too!

After trick or treating
Pick out some things to keep
And then put in a bucket, sweets
To swap while you’re asleep!

Only when you’re snoozing
The Switch Witch will drop in
She’ll take out all the candy
And who knows what she’ll put in?

You might wake up and find a toy
Maybe some clothes to wear?
Something for your piggy bank?
Or a funny game to share?

So give the witch your brightest treats
For her cat instead
And in the morning you will find
A SWITCH upon your bed!

“Darling,” said my mother, holding up the one naughty thong that I own, “is this washable?” And so began Super Granny’s stay. Oh don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the help, but how is it possible that within a nanosecond of arriving, she was already elbow deep in washing? I hadn’t thought, let alone had the time, to censor the laundry pile. And yet here she was at my desk, incriminating thong held at arm’s length, wondering if I had a second job as a stripper.

Fortunately, things have since improved. Despite a fairly damning assessment of my kitchen drawers and cupboards, things are now ticking over nicely and I am enjoying domestic nirvana. It’s amazing how much work you can get done when someone else is there to worry about the shopping, washing and cooking. Every wife needs a wife!

So, among all the usual business, I have been having fun working on this Switch Witch idea for Hallowe'en. The concept is not an original one but I wanted to come up with a version that allowed kids to enjoy some Hallowe'en treats, while encouraging them to filter out all those artificial colours and flavours.

The idea is that after trick or treating, your kids pick out the things they’d like to keep (you can set a limit on this if you wish) and then they put the rest — especially the brightly coloured junk — in a bucket for the Switch Witch. In the middle of the night, once they are asleep and the sugar rush has finally worn off, you can swap these out for something else instead. It could be a toy, a book, a T-shirt, a game, maybe a few dollars — it is completely up to you. It’s also up to you what you do with all the candy. I suggest you get it out of the house fast though!

If you think your child would be scared of the witch, you can always edit the idea and leave the candy outside the front door. My kids are at the age where they find a little bit of scary stuff fun and I did explain that the witch is just interested in the candy and not in them. Some parents bring out their Elf on the Shelf for this occasion instead, which is also a great idea.

The Switch Witch is of course just one way to help you make Hallowe'en that little bit more healthy, whilst still taking part in all the fun. I know it’s devious, but no more so than Santa or the Tooth Fairy. My kids listened to the poem wide-eyed and got so excited afterwards. Let me know if it works for you and your family! In the meantime, here are some extra tips too:

More tips for handling the Hallowe'en sugar rush!

1. The protein trick

Curb that sugar rush by filling your kids up with quality protein before they trick or treat. Grilled chicken, healthier nuggets, Applegate sausages, bolognaise or a bean chilli would all work well. They will be less hungry and the protein will also steady the release of sugar into their bloodstream.

2. Healthier treats

If you are giving out candy yourselves, go for the more natural treats rather than the artificially coloured and flavoured junk. I have a great visual of the better options on my Facebook page if you’d like to check them out, but these include, mini Smarties, the Cadburys treat size collections (Buttons, Dairy Milk, Crunchie, Twix etc), Yummy Earth lollipops and gummy bears, Organic chocolate Bug Bites (Down to Earth) and Jelly Babies. Try and avoid colours like Red 40 and Lake Blue 1. Gross!

3. The healthiest treats

I kid you not, last year we had kids running up our drive asking for the small boxes of Sunmaid Raisins, so consider including these! You can also decorate tangerine oranges as pumpkins with a black marker, which looks super cute too.

4. Toys not treats

Of course you have the option to give out tiny toys in your neighbourhood, instead of candy. Tattoos, bouncy balls, stickers, pencils and plastic jewellery all go down really well.

The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION is the managing director of Natural Ltd and a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a registered dietitian. For details visit www.natural.bm or call 236-7511. Join Catherine on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nutrifitandnaturalnutritionbermuda.

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Published Oct 12, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 11, 2012 at 12:45 pm)

Let ‘Switch Witch’ help handle the Hallowe’en sugar rush

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