Halloween is just around the corner and many children are getting excited about the event; choosing their costume and anticipating all the candy they will be getting. Although my son is too young to go trick-or-treating and to eat candy, I am already thinking about what to do in the future with his candy loot. We do not eat candy ourselves and are very health conscious, so we’d prefer he eat very little candy (none if possible). Have you ever wondered what you can do to reduce the amount of Halloween candy your kids eat, without completely depriving them of all of it? I’ve come across a few ideas that might help you out!
Halloween Fairy or Pumpkin Fairy
My good friend has done this with her kids for many years with great success. She allows them to go through their candy on Halloween night and choose several pieces they want to keep. The rest of the candy is put outside their bedroom door for the Halloween Fairy, who takes all the candy and leaves a small gift. And if you are creative, the gift could even be a book that relates to their Halloween costume!
And if this idea sounds familiar, you are correct! Remember my earlier post on getting rid of the pacifier? It seems as though ‘fairies’ can come in handy in many situations!
Buy it From Them
The Halloween or Pumpkin Fairy idea might work for younger kids, but when they get older you might need to have another way to reduce the amount of Halloween candy they eat. A great idea I came across is to buy the candy from them! It recognizes that the candy belongs to the child yet provides them a treat in the form of a little money.
You can set a price for different types of candy and your child can practice sorting and adding. You can either give actual money or tokens that are good for TV time or some other desired activity.
A spin on this idea is to haggle for each and every piece of candy. Make it fun by placing a huge pile of change on the table and bargaining for every piece of candy. Offer five cents for a Tootsie Roll or 15 cents for a bigger bar, like a Hersheys or Snickers. Before you know it, the candy will be gone and your kids will be happy! It’s a win-win situation!
And yet another spin on this idea is to buy it from them by weight; for example, a dollar a pound!
Donate to Soldiers
Here is another idea that might work better for older children. After you let them select a few pieces of candy to keep, have them help you package the remaining candy to send to soldiers serving overseas. Include a handwritten note from the child. Remember, chocolate might not travel well to warm climates!
Three Day Rule
If you are a little more lenient about the amount of Halloween candy your child eats, here is a method that might work well for you. Have the child pick out their favorite pieces of candy, maybe a bit more than in the methods mentioned above. They are allowed to eat this candy when they want (still within your normal guidelines, of course) but no candy is allowed to be eaten after three days. Some dentists recommend this option as it reduces the amount of time that bacteria grows in your child’s mouth (when sugar is present).
So now that you’ve gotten all that candy away from your kids, what do you do with it? Besides eating it yourself, here are some other ways to get it out of your house:
- Share it with the neighbors, although they may have enough of their own candy.
- Take it to work and leave it in the break room. That’s a guaranteed way to make it disappear – fast!
- Take it to a local food pantry, if they will accept it.
- Take it to a local nursing home.
- Save it for goody bags at a party.
- Use it for art projects like sculptures or mosaics.
- Use it as rewards for good behavior or for homework.
Wendy – Parenting Tips 365