Sometimes it feels like the months from October through March are like a sugar gauntlet, with occasions every couple of months for people to shower children with candy and other sweets. Even if your kid's not on a restricted diet, you may feel a need to place limits on that sugary bounty, or eat it yourself to protect your little ones from tooth decay and weight gain. If your child has food allergies or celiac disease or diabetes or some other disability that makes the ingestion of large numbers of poorly labeled goodies inadvisable, though, it's a particular challenge -- you've just dispensed with the Halloween onslaught when Christmas comes with its candy canes and cookies, then Valentine's Day chocolates to dispense with your dietary New Year's resolutions, then Easter baskets full of variations on that same stuff you've been surreptitiously throwing out for months. Would it be preferable to have all this sugary menace spread out more evenly through the year, or is it better to get it all over with so that the decks can be cleared and we have six or so months to work off the calories and fill in the cavities? I'm not sure, but I certainly would like a little longer to dispense with the tower of Christmas candies we got from a sugar-peddling relative before the Whitman's samplers and cartons of conversation hearts come rolling in.
Valentine's Day is less than a month away, and while there's not much you can do about what people give your kid, you can start planning for more responsible treat-delivery yourself. Read Safe Sweets and Other Inspirations for ideas on treat alternatives and other things that bear worrying about on a day devoted to love.