Jill Smith moved to Sartell nine years ago. A native-Minnesotan, she has spent the majority of her career in HR technology, but recently transitioned to medical practice management. Her husband, Dr. David Smith, opened Sartell Pediatrics in 2012. Jill now spends the majority of her workday managing the practice operations and staff. When she is not working, Jill enjoys spending time with their two boys ages 9 and 10, plays chauffeur, and trains for marathons.
I’ve come to the conclusion that parents either love or hate Halloween. The latter is a strong word, but I think I fall into the bucket of parents who, quite frankly, could do without the goblins and witches. Don’t get me wrong – they are cute, really cute, and kids love dressing up in costumes. The smiles on their faces should make it all worth the effort, but I just can’t get over the candy.
It starts off small – mostly because they’re small. Baby pumpkins and lady bugs, traveling to the homes of dear friends and family, collecting a treat or two while Mom and Dad socialize. Perfect. The next few years work out OK too. More charming costumes, a leisurely stroll through the hood, and Halloween’s complete.
But just like that, Halloween changes. The costumes get scarier and the evening becomes a carefully planned out marathon. It’s no longer a saunter through the neighborhood with plastic pumpkins in toe, but a strategic expedition companioned with king-size pillowcases. There’s nothing casual or social about it. The goal is to fill that sack and still be home by nine.
As parents, we stare at the pounds of candy head-on, doing our best to ration, careful not to over bribe or bargain, only to find ourselves in the treat bin after a long day at work. And, if your household is anything like mine, this continues until the Christmas cookies arrive (or longer).
Controlling the Candy Chaos
Trust me – this is by no means a snack-size raisin campaign, but rather a reminder for us all that sometimes less truly is more. So, as we enter into this very sweet season, here are a few tips we’ve gathered over the years that have helped to encourage moderate candy consumption in our house:
- When kids return from their grand rounds, sort the candy, portion, freeze some, or toss out the pieces that are too high in calories
- Set a limit ahead of time and have kids save only their favorite pieces (perhaps 2-3 pieces for each year of their age)
- Take charge of deciding how much and when your child can eat their candy
- Have a conversation with your kids about eating in moderation
- Banish the pillowcase and opt for smaller loot bags
- Offset the candy with exercise – encourage your kids to add physical activity for the treats they eat
- Introduce the concept of sharing with individuals who have less
Sometimes, appealing to a good cause can encourage kids to turn over their loot voluntarily. On Monday, November 3rd, Sartell Pediatrics is hosting its 3rd Annual Halloween Candy Buy Back in conjunction with BLEND and Pediatric Dentistry. It’s wonderful to see kids return year-after-year, excited to weigh their candy and drop it off for the troops. The benefits? For deployed military, the Halloween candy they receive represents a warm memory of life back home. For our kids, eating in moderation is a lifelong healthy habit, and sharing is one of life’s greatest lessons.
The 3rd Annual Halloween Candy Buy BackWho: Children ages 2-17 What: Weigh & trade candy for cash, fun giveaways, and door prizes. When: Monday, November 3rd, 2014 from 5:00 – 7:00p.m. Where: Sartell Pediatrics (111 2nd St S, Sartell MN). Why: To enjoy Halloween in moderation! For additional information, view flyer!
Thanks for reading!
Read more blogs about our 1st and 2nd Candy Buy Back events, here!
The 2nd annual Halloween Candy Buy-Back event hosted by Sartell Pediatrics and Pediatric Dentistry is set for Friday, November 1, 2013 from 5-7p.m.! BLEND helps sponsor this event and we couldn’t be happier. This event can help reduce the amount of candy children and families consume and it’s a fun way to engage the community.
In case you missed out last year – several blogs were published and a fun video was created to highlight how great this event turned out!
NEW this year!
BLEND will be giving away cool lunch sacks to the first 600 children attending the event. Get there early to snag one of these – but not too early…the events starts at 5:00p.m. with no early drop-offs.
Also, to help keep lines from getting too congested, organizers have created an advanced copy of the door prize registration form – simply print and fill out before the event. ONE entry per child, please!!
This is a guest post by Dave Tilstra, M.D.
Pediatrician Dave Tilstra, MD, provides leadership and strategic direction as the president of CentraCare Clinic. Dr. Tilstra also is on the BLEND Board of Directors and was instrumental in creating and launching BLEND.
I was there at the “birth” of BLEND on July 25, 2006. Like any expectant father, I had big dreams for my little one. BLEND was going to change the world and reduce the epidemic of childhood obesity.
Those early days were rough. We walked the floors at night working out the details of how we were going to get medical professionals, policy makers, educators, health care advocates, and parents committed to improving the health of children in the St. Cloud area.
In the beginning…
Soon, our “baby” BLEND started to sit up. We reached out to child care providers, who are in a unique position to support healthful eating and promote physical activity among young children. “BLEND Beginnings,” a nutrition and physical activity program, was created to assist child care providers to build environments for young children that support the increased consumption of healthy foods and promotes more opportunities to engage in physical activity.
Entering the crawling stage, BLEND engaged health care professionals in the prevention, assessment and treatment of overweight and obese children by promoting the 5-2-1-0 Wellness Program. 5-2-1-0 is designed to encourage smart eating and physical activity for children and families. The concept focuses on making changes in nutrition and physical activity that can be both healthy and enjoyable.
BLEND’s Medical Committee, comprised of physicians from CentraCare Clinic, Sartell Pediatrics, St. Cloud Medical Group, Health Partners Central Minnesota Clinics and Williams Integracare Clinic, have developed tools for health care providers to use in their office to address the issues of childhood obesity, which includes materials for both patients and providers.
Walking came next. BLEND made it a priority to engage community members, decision makers, and schools in discussions to create environments and policies that sustainably support active living. By supporting programs like Complete Streets and Safe Routes to School, the BLEND coalition works to increase opportunities for kids to be physically active, both in- and out- of school, and to create new opportunities for families to move together.
BLEND Walk-A-Thons, just like Safe Routes to School and Complete Streets, encourages kids to be active in- and around- schools – and, during the school day. BLEND works with area schools to promote and adopt healthy fundraisers like walk-a-thons and 5K/1K events. By choosing these active fundraisers – rather than the sale of unhealthy food products – schools are making a positive contribution to children’s health and spreading excitement about being active.
Early on, BLEND walked hand-in-hand with schools to learn and grow – developing a walk-a-thon “how-to” guidebook along the way. Now, with 19 local elementary, middle and high schools implementing healthy “active” fundraising events, it’s no surprise schools are finding tremendous success in this low-cost, all-inclusive fundraising opportunity.
Like all children, walking quickly turned into running. BLEND launched the NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System in eight St. Cloud area stores in October 2010 in partnership with Coborn’s Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Under the NuVal® System, foods are graded on a scale from 1 to 100. The higher the number, the more nutritious the food is overall. Now, the NuVal® System is available in Sartell – St. Stephen Schools and Coborn’s, Hy-Vee, Lunds and Byerly’s throughout Minnesota.
Learning to ride a bike (with a helmet, of course) was memorable. The BLEND Bike Parade is now called Kick It In Gear Bike Event and is part of the Bernick’s Family Fitness Series organized by the St. Cloud Area Family YMCA. The YMCA, in an effort to improve the health and wellness of our community, is promoting this family friendly series to provide fun, education, and activities all year round. Following the Y’s mission of inclusiveness, every family will have equal opportunity to participate in the Bernick’s Family Fitness Series.
The training wheels came off and the Fit Kids Club was formed.The BLEND Fit Kids Club Series provides opportunities and incentives for youth 14 and younger to remain active throughout the summer. By encouraging participation in endorsed race events, like Earth Day Run, BLEND’s goal is to give children and families the opportunity to try something new, pass on the idea that exercise is fun, provide a sociable setting, and reward children for positive behavior. In return, by promoting daily exercise in childhood, the tone is set for a lifetime of physical activity and improved health.
I am very proud…
The saying that it takes a village to raise a child is appropriate when it comes to BLEND. It took community support to help BLEND grow to be successful.
Looking back at the milestones in the life of BLEND, I can’t believe how quickly time passes. My little baby is going to be seven. I couldn’t be more proud.
Dr. Dave Tilstra
President of CentraCare Clinic
BLEND Birthday Celebration – Contest #4
To enter, you will need to read the blog and make a comment. Tell us your BLEND story – your favorite BLEND moment – or, how BLEND has made a positive impact on you, your family, your school, or your community. We look forward to reading your comments!
If you missed any of the other contests – you still have time to enter them. Learn more about our weeklong celebration and contests, here!
This is a guest post from Jennifer Rapatz-Harr, physician assistant in pediatrics. Jennifer and Dr. David Smith have worked together for 7 years. Jennifer joined Dr. Smith’s Sartell Pediatrics Clinic in February 2013 prior to that Jennifer worked at St. Cloud Medical Group for 23 years. Jen loves outdoor activities, gardening, landscaping, jogging, singing and playing piano. Jen and her husband, Steve, have 5 grown children.
Remembering my summertime childhood spent almost totally outdoors from 7a.m. – 8p.m. is peppered with many happy memories. Those “free play” times: exploring in the backyard, laying on my back looking at cloud designs across the sky, building forts, playing softball, doing night games are just a few of the things I did with my family.
We loved the summertime because we had “no worries” and we had extra time with our folks who were more laid back, too.
Capture the Flag!
Sartell Pediatrics wants parents to know that the summertime family memories are important to the health of a child. Knowing that parents love spending time with their child is a building block to self worth and self esteem. Our friends at BLEND are committed to providing great summertime activities for family fun. One in particular – the 2013 BLEND Fit Kids Club Series. In their 4th year, BLEND has rounded-up, and endorsed, some of the best race events Central MN has to offer. From April through October this series will allow the entire family to enjoy each others company while participating in community race events with other families. You’ll be sharing family values that helps build community and promotes a healthy lifestyle.
Taking part in the BLEND Fit Kids Club Series not only provides health benefits and opportunities for our kids to be active, the series has some added perks as well. BLEND is rewarding kids (14 and younger) who participate in 3 Fit Kids Club Series events. The more events the better the incentive! Kids can also win more prizes by participating in 5 or more events! View and print the flyer!!
As part of our ongoing commitment to health and fitness, Sartell Pediatrics is on a mission to get kids active this summer and enjoy the great outdoors. So, we’ve come up with a plan. We’re giving away 3 BLEND Fit Kid Club Series passes, good for 5 race entries of your child’s choosing! Find the dates that work for your family and we’ll pick up the tab. Choose from the Sartell Apple Duathlon (May 24), the YMCA’s Family Track and Field Days (August 10) or ANY five of the remaining 17 endorsed events!
To enter, simply go to the Sartell Pediatrics Facebook page, look for the photo above and “SHARE” the post by midnight on May 12th! You must “LIKE” (or have previously liked) our page, too! We will choose 3 winners at random on May 13th.
Join us for fun in the sun!
A Winning Event!Thank you parents for supporting this event and caring for your child’s health. This event surpassed all expectations, but the excitement will last a lot longer for the grand prize winners (below) and for the troops overseas receiving the care packages.
2012 Halloween Candy Buy-Back Event Winners! iPad – Devan S. XBox – Grant P. Bike – George D. BLEND Prize Pack – Krista H. $25 Coborn’s Gift Card – Marilyn H. (for the closest guess on Facebook)
It Matters Piece by Piece…
From a health perspective, there is a sense of relief when weighing and boxing away 1,186 pounds of candy. Children should not consume large amounts of candy (sugar) and risk compromising their physical well-being and dental health. BLEND, Sartell Pediatrics, and Pediatrics Dentistry P.C. couldn’t be more pleased by the remarkable turnout and the positive message parents passed on to their children. By supporting events like the candy buy-back event it helps shift kids’ focus away from candy to something more positive and responsible. It’s not going to hurt if kids eat a little bit of Halloween candy, however, it becomes a big concern when a night of trick-or-treating turns into a week-long candy extravaganza.
Take a look at the guide below…these are the most popular candy handed out for Halloween. As you can see the grams of sugar varies based on the candy. Calculating the weight of sugar in the candy collected would’ve been a painstaking task. Just for fun, though, we estimated how many pieces of candy was collected based on a website science project called How Much Halloween Candy Can You Get in a Pillowcase?. By doing a little bit of math – approximately 35 pieces of candy in a pound – the event gathered more than 41,500 pieces of candy. WOW – that’s unbelievable!!!
Again, thanks to Sartell Pediatrics and Pediatrics Dentistry P.C. for being a great partner…and to everyone for supporting healthy kids and healthy communities! We all look forward to the next candy buy-back event!!