There is often talk about candy and reflux. Should my child with reflux be allowed to excessively eat candy on Halloween? Should I eat the leftover candy? Will something cause my reflux to flare? Is it worth it?
For most of us indulging in too much of any food will bring a bout of indigestion. It may cause increased reflux and/or gas. Right now, we’re standing at the bottom of “Holidays Hill” which is mounded with indulgences. Should we or shouldn’t we?
The problem is – there’s no right or wrong answer here. Sure, overindulging is never a good thing. We shouldn’t ever overindulge but we all know it happens. So, what are some things we can do to help avoid feeling yucky this time of year?
1) Are some foods worse than others? - Try to keep a food log to see if there are particular foods that trigger your reflux. If you know chocolate is going to cause problems maybe you can go for the hard candy. On the other hand, maybe you’ve noticed that those sour candies with all the citric acid cause issues.
2) How much is too much? I have an issue with homemade chocolate chip cookies. They always give me heartburn. Store bought isn’t an issue. It took me a while but I finally realized the real issue is that I really like them homemade and eat more of those than the store bought. I then tested this issue and ate only ONE homemade cookie and I was fine. Knowing my own limits is important.
3) Is it worth it? I often ask myself this question. Is this piece of pizza worth feeling yucky all day? Occasionally, I have to admit the answer is yes especially when we’re out somewhere and it’s my only choice and I’m hungry. Most of the time though I realize it’s not worth it and can make better choices.
4) Keep other choices around – Is chocolate an issue for your child? You may want to keep other better options around or with you during this season. There are plenty of Halloween treats available now that may be better options for you or your child. Have you found something that works for you? You might consider handing that out at the door. I know for years I’ve had an alternative option for kids allergic to peanuts and for kids too little for candy bars. Goldfish crackers and pretzels are treats in our house so getting little bags of them for Halloween that can be packed in lunches is a nice option.
5) Get rid of the temptation – How did I only eat one homemade cookie when I was testing my theory? I was at my sister’s house. I ate one and I left soon after. By not having the cookies in my house I was better able to make this test. Now that I know they cause me problems though it’s easier to keep from over indulging especially when I know that I can handle one (or maybe two J). I also try to pack up things to get them out of sight as soon as possible.
6) Indulge and then get rid of it of the leftovers – We generally let our kids eat whatever they want when they get back from trick or treating. This is probably a No-No in many reflux books. We know this can cause them bellyaches but what we’ve found is that allowing them access this one night generally takes care of the excitement and the candy bowls are quickly forgotten after that and can be packed up for donating. If we only allowed one piece of candy at a time feels more like forbidden fruit and seems harder for them to forget. Plus, in our house it’s worth one potential bellyache over many mild bellyaches over a period of time.
7) Set a cut-off time for eating those sweets. This will also help with not being too hyped up on sugar. Cutting off the sweets before bed time will also allow the body to digest the food before being in a lying position.
So, in the long run the real answer comes down to trying to figure out the best option for you and your family to navigate your way through the coming Holidays! Happy Haunting!