North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

'Tis the Season of Sugar


Halloween is over and if you are like most parents your pantry or cupboard is filled to the brim with Halloween candy. Halloween is the official kick off to the Season of Sugar.

Did you know, the average American child consumes 32tsp of sugar per day. That's 128g of sugar per day which is more than five times higher than the recommended max.

Every year the stores fill up with candy before Halloween and it doesn't seem to end until after Easter. Every event is an excuse to get more and more sugar in our system.

If you are dreading the Season of Sugar, we have some great tips for you.

Make it about the fun:

Instead of loading up on sugar, get out there this holiday season and do something fun and active with the family. Try a hike, go skiing or create a scavenger hunt! The kids will love it and appreciate a non-sugar coma inducing event.

Put it on display:

Have your kids make a display with sugar cubes to show them how much sugar is in their average day and meals. This helps them have a hand in deciding how much sugar they really want to consume each day. (Each sugar cube is 4g of sugar.)

Make exceptions:

If you are cutting sugar out of your house, having your kids donate their Halloween candy to a local candy buy-back or bringing less sugary treats into the house this year make an exception for a special treat or two. If you have a holiday tradition of baking cookies continue baking and educating the kids on how special it is and that it is okay to have a sugary treat now and then. This will help them to not over indulge as they have candy and treats surrounding them for the next few months.

Crowd it out:

No matter what you do this Sugar Season the sweets and treats are going to be there whether you like it or not. Make sure you have a plan in place when you know the sweets will be lurking. Fill up on water, fruits and vegetables, complex carbs and protein. This will help you fill up on the good stuff leaving less room for the sugar.

Make a sweet swap:

If you are in charge of Thanksgiving this year or bringing a dish to the gathering, consider making a sweet swap. Swap out something that is over indulgent with something a little healthier. The sweets will be everywhere, you can do your part in helping cut down on sugar by swapping out a few ingredients for healthier versions, using a little less sugar in the recipe, or making a different dish altogether.

Many small steps will help take you in the right direction to reduce the amount of sugar consumed during this Season of Sugar. The average American consumes 150-200 pounds of sugar a year. If you can reduce your consumptions by just 10% you will save yourself 15-20 pounds this year! Every little bit helps.

Don't forget to bring us your Halloween Candy! Ideal Wellness is collecting Halloween Candy from Nov. 1-12 and not only will we pay $1 per pound, we will be sending all of the candy to Operation Gratitude to send in care packages to our Troops.

Emily Countryman is a board certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness located at 2639 172nd St. NE Suite 104 in Smokey Point/Marysville She can be reached online at


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