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T’was the night after Halloween and throughout the house, candy wrappers were littered causing Mom to grouse.

“Mommy, my tummy aches,” cried little sister Sue.

“Mine aches, too,” said big brother

Tom, “What should we do?”

“I warned you,” said Mom, “about eating too much candy.”

“Now you’ve got a tummy ache and it’s a dandy!”

“Sorry we didn’t listen,” they replied, looking pale.

“Oh, it’ll be okay,” she said softly.

 “Here, sip this ginger ale.”

If this scene sounds familiar, be prepared to use some home remedies for an upset stomach to save the day (or help get through the night). Many of these ingredients can be found in most kitchens. If one does not work, try some of these remedies compiled by EcoChildsPlay.com:

Water – flush a child’s digestive system with plenty of drinking water to speed healing. Keep them drinking water until everything comes out the other end.

Peppermint, chamomile, lemon or ginger tea are tried and true remedies for what ails the stomach. Sweeten the tea with a little honey and encourage the child to sip it periodically until symptoms disappear.

Fennel seeds – used as a culinary herb, these seeds can be chewed up or brewed as tea (crush first) to calm an upset stomach.

Cardamom – mix a small amount (1/8 teaspoon) of ground cardamom into tea or warm milk to relieve stomach pain.

Fresh fruit – a piece of fresh organic fruit, such as a banana or an apple, can help cleanse the intestines with healthy natural fiber. Apples are full of pectin, which stimulates elimination.

Yogurt – plain yogurt (organic if available) helps to restore intestinal flora to healthy levels and most kids can digest it easily. Substitute soy yogurt for those who are allergic to dairy.

Smoothie – blend fresh fruit, orange juice or water and yogurt for a healing treat. Avoid frozen smoothies when children (or adults) feel ill.

Plain toast – toasted bread can soothe the rumbling in the belly caused by a candy overdose.

Baking soda – mix a small amount of baking soda with warm water as a natural version of Alka-Seltzer. Kids might not like the taste, but it can be used in a pinch.

Ailing tummies aside, half the fun of the Trick or Treat ritual is, of course, enjoying the treats. Having a few carefully chosen sweets that evening and the next day is part of the fun. Halloween gives parents the perfect opportunity to teach their children about delayed gratification.

Give each child a reusable clear or opaque container with a lid. Containers that hold about two-to-four cups should work fine. Let each child write his or her name on the tub using a colored pen or marker. Treats can be sorted according to desirability, for example, Sue, Tom, Share and even, “Icky.” This way they can stake out their favorites and put the ones they don’t like in the “Share” container. That leaves “Icky” for those treats no self-respecting kid would eat.

Let your children choose two treats for their school lunch each day that week. Point out that having only a few sweets at a time stretches out the enjoyment for a week or two. Be firm when telling them no treats before dinner and promise to reward them with a couple of “favs” after the evening meal.

Come to think of it, delayed gratification can work for adults, too. Call it the Trick or Treat Diet!

Contact Eco Gal at ecogal247@yahoo.com or read her blog: http://askecogal.blogspot.com.

Safety Tips

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued tips for trick-or-treating and party-going this Halloween, to ensure festivities are fun and safe:

Children going trick-or-treating should:

• Use only short, soft and flexible swords, knives and similar costume accessories;

• Test make-up in a small area of skin first and remove it before bedtime to prevent skin and eye irritation;

• Lower risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses;

• Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags;

• Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Instead walk in groups or with a trusted adult;

• Hold a flashlight when trick-or-treating;

• Walk on sidewalks and look both ways before crossing streets; avoid lit candles or luminaries;

• Enter homes only with a trusted adult;

• Eat only factory-wrapped treats.