Ah, fall. The time of soups, squash and all things autumnal. A season where even the trees dress for the occasion! And like the shifting seasons themselves, fall’s meaning has changed quite a bit since its early ties to the reaping of one’s harvest ahead of winter.
Nowadays fall is all about ringing in the cooler weather and the pastimes that come with it! We pluck our apples, pick our pumpkins. Yet it’s hardly a secret that at the heart of all this celebrating lies the lone ingredient (aside from pumpkin) that makes eating around this season such a treat: and that’s sugar.
Autumn may very well be one of the sweetest seasons we have. This year alone, consumers are spending more than they ever have on Halloween before — $10.1 billion! And about a third of that spending (or about $30 per household) will go toward candy.
Queue the spiced lattes, the ciders, the pies!
But Halloween is only one night. And while many of us will end up with leftover candy November 1st, it’s only a fact that our mouths will have already been contending with additional sweetness since the season began — which was August 24th at 8:00 a.m. for those who didn’t catch it in their feed.
In this way, customs surrounding fall have not changed a great deal. Kids will aim to eat their weight in Halloween candy. Adults will sip their ciders and PSLs. Oral care brands will go on splitting hairs between chewy and hard, melty and sticky.
Past all that, though, we want to know whether our falls can be made more meaningful, more lasting, without relying on sugar to make the experience happen.
(Our hunch is that it can.)
Beyond the sum of sweeter moments
One slice in this appreciation pie for fall comes down to making sense of what’s on the table for celebrating! Is it all merely a buildup to trick-or-treating, or is it an entire seasonal wonderland with different shades and phases to dive into?
How we feel about fall will depend on how we define it!
What some call “free happiness" — anticipation — is another. Those brief morsels of glee for good times ahead can be made more plentiful by reading, viewing and soaking up the whats and whys behind a favorite fall pastime!
By actively cultivating our excitement and a deeper appreciation for what it is we’re looking forward to, we make the days and weeks leading up to the peaks of fall just as rich as the high points themselves.
Or how about feathering in new experiences all together?
Making costumes with kids rather than going out to buy them, for example, or instead preparing favorite meals or a spooky feast ahead of trick-or-treating?
A sidebar on the big night
The reality is that while there is certainly a place for keeping sugar intake in check across the months of autumn, one night of the sweet stuff isn’t going to wreck a smile. It might in fact be the one exception of indulgence driving positive dietary behaviors.
(Though of course you’ll want to brush, floss and rinse your mouth back to health after the candy escapade.)
By cultivating a higher appreciation for fall’s finer points, where sugar is less central to the experience, we effectively maximize the meaning and the value of a season we cherish — and still walk off with a killer set of fangs for next Halloween!