What’s scarier: Halloween night or that giant bag filled with sweet, sugary, argument-filled candy?
The big night of trick-or-treating has come and gone, but the candy remains. Between Halloween parties at school and a night of candy-gathering, our kiddos are loaded down with their sweet haul. And now comes the inevitable argument about how much candy they will be allowed to eat, with wide-eyed, sugar-filled kids on one side and well-intentioned parents who don’t want their kids’ teeth to rot out or want to avoid late night upset stomachs (and our own candy temptations) on the other.
How do we resolve this debate in a way that keeps both sides satisfied? We’ve come up with a list of tips for how to pacify the Great Halloween Candy Battle.
9 Ways To Manage Kids and Halloween Candy
1. Sort your candy into “favorite” categories and eat the favorites first. We all know to check any Halloween candy to make sure it’s safe before eating it. Now make it a fun sorting project. Let kids choose their favorites and leave the boring candy aside. The idea is that our kids are less likely to be excited about “boring” candy and then it will be easy to forget (and then throw it away).
2. Come up with a Halloween Candy Plan well before the big night. Get your kids involved in making up the rules or the plan for how candy will be managed. Maybe allow more candy on the first night, with only one piece each day that follows for the next week. Agree to have it with a snack after school. Offset the candy choice with a healthy choice. Work with your kids to come up with a plan that makes everyone happy.
3. Eat a good dinner.Trick-or-treating on an empty stomach, then eating all that empty sugar will inevitably lead to feeling crummy later. Get a good meal in beforehand to help balance the sugar intake.
4. Turn their candy into cash.There are local buyback programs that will pay kids for their candy. Why not turn that candy into a fun experience, like a ticket to the movies or a round of mini-golf instead of just a bagful of junk food.
5. Donate it. Many groups will accept candy donations that are then shared with food banks, assisted living facilities, or sent in care packages to support our troops stationed abroad.
6. Let your kids eat as much as they want. Halloween comes once a year, and while it is the unofficial kick-off of the holiday season, where food is a focal point, make this a special night and allow for some one-time indulgence. But prepare them for that choice, and to think about how that candy might make them feel later.
7. Hide it. Once the kids go to bed, you might take a piece (or two or three or ten) and hide it somewhere, above the refrigerator, in the garage, or “hide” it in the trash can.
8. Eat it yourself. Hey, free candy.
9. Acceptance. It’s Halloween and we’re all going to eat too much candy so plan to make healthy choices tomorrow. Emphasize moderation and above all have fun and be safe!