Halloween. The day where children dress up in costumes and go door to door asking for treats. Trick-or-treating has been around in some form or another for centuries. It didn't become a door-to-door candy hunt until the 1930s. Communities, tired of Halloweens pranks and tricks, began to organize the night into what we see today - handing out treats but no tricks.
However, the candy tradition didn't hit a high until after WWII, when sugar rationing ended. Candy companies helped boost this sweet practice through promotions and marketing efforts. Today, it is estimated that over $2.6 billion is spent on Halloween candy in the United States.
On Halloween, the average child consumes around 3 cups or 7,000 calories of candy. Did that catch your attention? Just for comparison's sake, that is the same as eating 13 Big Macs. Consider how many days they continue to consume this much candy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey states that American children between the ages of 2 and 19 consumed 124 grams of sugar, or 29 teaspoons, every day. Teenage boys in particular (age 12-19) consume an average of 161 grams or nearly three-quarters of a cup of sugar daily.
The American Heart Association recommends that children 2 to 18 consume no more than 25 grams of sugar a day. This number, combined with the increased intake on Halloween, is cause for alarm. Even small steps are helpful.
In more recent years, a movement has begun to make Halloween healthier. Many people hand out pencils, stickers, slap-bracelets, temporary tattoos, and even toothbrushes. Most of these trinkets end up in the garbage within a few days.
Discover Books wants to helpcreate a better Halloween treat - Books Not Candy. We sell childrens book bundles ranging from $5.50 to $12.00. We know for most people, giving out 100s of books isnt feasible, but giving 10-20 books is a start.
The average 8-12 year old spends 6-9 hours on media and technology a day. With most kids doing school online this year, that number is probably much higher. Even more discouraging is the fact that most spend less than 10 minutes a day reading. Reading exposes one to different points of view, cultures, and ideas, and it engages the mind and imagination in a way technology cant match. Encourage your children, yourself, and those in your circle of influence to spend 30 minutes each day disconnected from gadgets reading a real book.
The benefits of switching 30 minutes of technology time to true reading time are unfathomable. One benefit is the gift of focus or attention. When scrolling through endless content online, we arent necessarily engaged or focused. When we read, it trains our brains to be present even as our minds create the pictures in our heads. It takes focus to see the words, create the concepts, and process the meaning of the story. In short, we are exercising our brains.
This Halloween start a new tradition - give Trick-or-Treaters the treat that lasts more than a day, doesnt harm their teeth/body, and improves their brain. Give them the gift of literacy through a gently used book from DiscoverBooks.com. Get yours while supplies last.
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