I always harbor some dread when the candy holidays come around. Kids process sugar in different ways- mine winds up tap dancing on the coffee table and juggling the china. When there are handfuls of candy involved, the day always ends in tears. His reaction to processed sugar and food dye is swift and extreme. It even aggravates his wandering eye.
I’m torn about allowing him sweets because the issue is strictly behavioral; it’s not as if he has some terrible physical allergic reaction. So we stumbled upon a candy compromise that really seems to be working for us. I allow him to munch the goods (within reason) and then when he starts to go bonkers, I say, “This is how your body feels when you eat candy. It feels uncomfortable.” I also remind him before he eats it. The cumulative result has been that he very rarely tries it anymore. I always bring some gluten free relatively healthy cookies along so he has a treat. This year he had a ball looking for eggs and then just abandoned his loot in a corner. I feel that it’s a victory, because he’s learning to be present in his body and to keep himself regulated, rather than me laying down the law. It works so much better when it comes from him. I wish I could figure out how to apply this method to more situations.
We had two egg hunts. We crafted and our hands stayed green for days. We hung out with a small group of friends and I felt grateful for the chosen family we’ve built around us. The day was candy-free but truly sweet.