In our house, Halloween was a time to overindulge on candy. It was part of the fun of the event and once the ‘good stuff’ was gone, the rest got tossed out anyway. The only thing I did to limit intake was to selflessly eat some myself.
However, I’ve picked up many fantastic ideas for controlling candy intake over the years. If it’s important to you, give these tips a try:
- Have a Candy Fairy, Halloween Goblin or Switch Witch visit your house after the children have gone to bed. The children choose some of their favorite treats to keep and leave the rest out for their spooky friend. The Goblin/Fairy/Witch appreciates the candy so much, she leaves a toy or money for your generous child.
- Let your child put a few treats into individual bags so she can have one bag every day.
- Offer to trade candy for money that goes into the UNICEF Halloween campaign box. It’s a great opportunity to teach your kids about children who don’t have enough food and never get any treats at all.
- Not everyone has the opportunity to go trick or treating. Gather up a bowl of candy to drop off at your local Women’s shelter or Ronald McDonald House. This also serves as a lesson in charity.
- Take a big bag of candy to your local police or fire station to thank local heroes for protecting us on Halloween night (and all through the year). Kids will love the visit!
- Check locally for dentists who are buying Halloween candy from children for donation to deployed Canadian Military troops.
- Play the sympathy card. Tell your kids that adults aren’t allowed to go trick or treating, so wouldn’t it be great if they could share some with Daddy’s coworkers? Or the dog walker? Or the parking attendant? Or blog editor? 😉
- Ask your kids to pick out all of the candy they think would be good in cookies, ice cream, or for decorating cakes and gingerbread houses. Freeze what they choose and mix up a surprise long after Halloween is over.
- Turn candy into a science experiment with ideas from Candy Experiments.
- Keep in mind that too much restriction can backfire. Take this opportunity to teach your child about balance, portion control and exercise. Choosing to eat candy after a healthy meal, or doing a half hour of exercise to earn an extra treat, will teach your child a life skill that will help keep him in good health for the rest of his life.
Every child is different, so keep trying these tips until something works well for yours. Remember that Halloween and other holidays are supposed to be fun. Whatever your candy alternative is, it should add joy to the occasion.
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