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Create new Halloween rituals with healthy eating and playful living

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30.10.2019

Kathleen Kevany, Dalhousie University

Food is used to mark special occasions in culturally distinct and personally valuable ways. People love their food and celebrations, but they don’t love the consequences of lower-quality diets. Halloween can be a time of fun and festivities as well as a frenzy around sweet treats that can be quite unsavoury to parents.

A poor-quality diet is characterized by eating foods high in fat, salt or sugar often — foods such as processed meats, chips, white bread and soft drinks. As a result of these diets, obesity among children and youth has nearly tripled in the past 30 years in Canada.

More children are becoming picky eaters as they are exposed to ubiquitous processed foods. Children’s taste buds can be modified with more exposure to junk food and it may be more of a challenge for them to eat healthy foods.

Consuming unhealthy foods on special occasions would not be a concern if this was rare. But these special occasions seem to be increasingly commonplace. As a result, some schools are seeking to increase healthy options and ban unhealthy ones.

Putting healthier consumption of food at the centre of seasons in fun ways will have lasting impacts.........

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