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