What’s the scariest thing for a parent about Halloween?
Watching your children get hammered with a sugar buzz, a candy overdose, and a sick stomach.
Help to prevent your kids from eating too much Halloween candy with these 12 parenting tips:
- Fill their bellies with a wholesome meal before they go out Trick or Treating. A healthy and nutritious dinner at home can keep them from emptying the bag before they get back.
- Plan activities that don’t focus solely on candy and high-sugar treats. Carve a pumpkin, tell spooky stories, or create your own haunted house. Roast pumpkin seeds and watch a scary movie.
- Limit the time spent going door to door, or limit the area they can cover. Maybe two hours, or maybe two blocks…
- Give them non-food treats, like temporary tattoos or stickers, instead of high-sugar treats.
- Trade them homemade treats for the candy they collect. Homemade is always safe, if you’re the one who made it. Try Pumpkin Spice Cookies or Spiced Sugar Pumpkin Cake.
- Trade them healthier treats for their Halloween candy. Honey sticks or sesame candies from a natural foods store are always popular at my house.
- Cash them out. Decide on the exchange rate for each piece of candy, and let them “sell” you their loot. Turn it into a homeschool lesson about currency or math or business.
- Sort out the worst of the candy and get rid of it. Stuff full of high fructose corn syrup or from China should go right in the trash.
- Keep the candy out of reach. Having a bowl of candy on the counter, or letting the kids keep it in their room is bad news…
- Ration the candy. Set limits on the number of pieces they can eat on Halloween night, and ration the rest out at two pieces each day.
- Decide on a date for pitching the rest. After a week or so, just get rid of it. Make sure the kids know in advance, so there’s no surprise.
- Set a good example. Don’t pig out on the candy that you pass out to Trick or Treaters, and don’t eat all of the candy you bought from them in one sitting.
You don’t have to be the bad guy and have a candy prohibition this Halloween. Follow these tips, and you can still let your kids have the full Halloween experience without the full effect of a candy overdose.
Have a healthy and happy Halloween!
Image: *Micky at Flickr under Creative Commons
Jennifer O'Neill says
I started a tradition with my son the very first Halloween we went trick or treating that he gets to eat ONE piece of candy on Halloween (tough, I know). Then, before he goes to bed he puts all his candy on the porch and while he’s sleeping the Great Pumpkin comes and takes the candy and leaves him a new toy. So far it’s working like a charm, and he still loves Halloween and gets very excited about it.
Derek Markham says
I love it…
Does he still like the Great Pumpkin?
Love these ideas, thanks for sharing. I also just read an article where one mom (safemama dot com) does the “switch witch”. The kids leave their candy out before bed that they want to trade in. The more candy – the larger the toy. I thought that was a stellar idea!
Make it bad to make them warned..
The day of halloween we put on a mommy and daddy play.
Daddy is the daddy and Mommy is the baby.
have the Mommy pretend to eat lots of candy and be happy and hyper and then show her slow down, hold her stomach, make burping noises, hold her mouth and have cheeks puff up then have Daddy bring a bowl over and pretend to be sick.
Bianca Jackson says
Thank goodness we don’t have to make up stories anymore whenever we want to trade off that sack of candies since our local implant dentist here in Las Vegas are willing to buy back our Halloween candy because of the new Halloween Candy Buyback program! I even read that the candies are actually given to soldiers in the Middle-east to boost their morale!