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On Your Table Blog

October 31, 2023

Scary? Nope!

Scary? Nope!

This is one of our favorites and speaks to us on so many levels. This article first appeared on October 26, 2018. Five years later, Elizabeth's plate is even more full, but she's still crushing it.

Image courtesy Alex-fotas on Pixabay

By Elizabeth Magee, RD, LRD

A list of things that are scary this time of year:

  • Ghosts, goblins, skeletons
  • Clowns
  • Black cats
  • Fake blood
  • Dark streets/alleys/sidewalks
  • That gross taffy candy in orange and black wrappers; candy with razorblades/needles (was that just an '80s thing?) I haven’t been checking my daughter's candy for that, just stealing my favorites — #oops
  • Haunted houses
  • A full moon

A list of things that shouldn’t be scary (any time of the year):

  • Eating
  • Meals
  • Feeding children
  • Healthy choices
  • Being hungry
  • Grocery shopping

There are so many stressors – throughout the whole year – not just at Halloween. Hunger is one of those things that follows us around, lurking throughout the day and sometimes when we aren’t expecting it. That can pose stressful choices we need to make.

  • What’s a “good” snack?
  • Am I hungry? Am I thirsty?
  • Didn’t I just eat? Why am I hungry?
  • What should I eat? Where should I eat?
  • Why won’t my kid eat that? He devoured it last week and even requested I make it!
  • Have I have too many calories? Have I had enough calories?
  • Am I giving my body the right fuel and at the right times?

It feels like an endless battle and it can be exhausting – I only have one kid, a very picky one, and I’m exhausted! Parents out there who have more than one; I am absolutely clueless how you’re doing it. Props to you. You probably feel like you aren’t “doing it” but trust me, you are!! I got so sick of the whining a few years ago that I designated Thursday night as “Make Your Own Dinner Night.” The only rule I have is that a fruit and veggie must be included. It’s my favorite night of the week!!!! No complaining and I don’t have to cook.

Focus on the things you ARE doing, scary or not, you’re still doing them. Every day. Over and over. Even when you think you’re failing, you likely aren’t.

I figure if my kid is loved, fed and clothed I must be doing something right. I don’t want to brag, but I’ve kept her alive for 12 years now without any major issues or nutrient deficiencies.

So, try to take the fear out of meal times, snack times, whatever times are the scariest for you. Focus on the good. And if you serve candy for dinner on Halloween, I’m certainly not going to judge you. Just give them a glass of milk to balance it all out.

Elizabeth Magee is a licensed, registered dietitian. Her posts appear once a month on OYT, around the middle of the month.