Piles and piles of candy. It’s what your children are dreaming about, and as Halloween approaches, it’s what most parents are dreading. It’s not that we begrudge our children some fun or even a little indulgent treat feasting. The problem is we spend most of the year doing our best to make sure they eat right, and allowing them to binge on all that candy seems counterintuitive.
Let’s get real. Do you want to be the parent that passes out pencils instead of candy? Have you trained your child on what to do if stickers are dropped in their bag instead of Snickers? Me neither. But I also remember what last year was like and I have no intention of letting my toddler eat several pounds of candy over the next month. So I’ve compiled some easy parent tips on how to make your Halloween healthier without ruining the reason for the season.
Eat Before You Treat
Make sure everyone eats a sensible and full meal before going out to trick or treat. This will cut down on how much candy is eaten once you get back home.
Relax, Enjoy the Night
Be flexible about the candy intake on Halloween but talk with your children about what’s left and what will happen to it.
Offer to pay for their leftover candy. This acknowledges that the candy belongs to them and that they have a choice in the matter. For younger children, offer a toy in lieu of money or skip money all together and offer a “treat” of another kind instead. The form it takes is unimportant but they should feel they are getting the better end of the bargain.
If your children are older (this likely won’t work with toddlers) ask them to consider donating some of their candy. There are several local churches that will be accepting donations of extra candy and charities like Operation Gratitude will send your extra candy to our military overseas.
Be a Good Example
Hold off on buying the candy so it’s not sitting around the house (or put it up so it’s out of sight). Watch your own intake of the sweet stuff because your children will be watching. You never know, maybe they’ll follow suit.
Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.