Thursday, October 24, 2013

Avoiding Halloween Candy Overload

Although we've never allowed our kids to have much candy, Halloween is still a holiday they greatly
Volcano and Dinosaur, ready for trick-or-treating
enjoy.  Pumpkin carving, costumes, and trick-or-treating! Here are some tips for avoiding Halloween candy overload. With all of these options, make sure you talk to your kids in advance of Halloween so they know what to expect. 
  1. Non-edible treats: In advance of Halloween, I buy a few small items that my kids will enjoy, such as small puzzles, coloring books, animal figurines, and even Halloween socks.  I leave these items at my mother's house so that, when we arrive there and say "trick-or-treat", these items get dropped into my kids' goodie bags.   
  2. Natural sweets: Since my kids aren't often allowed to eat things like fruit leather, they serve as a great candy replacement on Halloween.  I'll drop a few natural sweet treats in their bags along with the other items they've collected while trick-or-treating.  Here are some ideas for natural sweet treats (many of these are GAPS-legal): 
  3. Candy Fairy: Before bed on Halloween evening, my kids leave their bags of candy on the
    back porch for the Candy Fairy (they knows that the Candy Fairy is really just me, but nonetheless they enjoy the idea that it is a fairy).  In the morning, they find that their bags of candy are gone, but instead there are a couple new games or toys.  This has worked particularly well for us.  It may not work as well for older kids, but may be worth a shot. 
  4. Teach moderation: In advance of Halloween, take the time to talk to your kids about moderation.  They should know that, while tasty, candy is not good for their bodies.  This can help soften the blow when they are not allowed to gorge on candy.  
  5. Compromise: I would guess that moderating the candy intake gets more difficult with older children. A compromise may be in order, such as allowing the child to select a few pieces of candy that are favorites and then allowing the child to pick a toy or game to have in return for the rest of the candy.
  6. Trade money for candy: Where we live, there are several dentists who will pay kids for their candy.  This may be a good option for some kids.
  7. Celebrate without trick-or-treating: Having a Halloween party or going to a harvest festival at a local school or church can be a great way to enjoy Halloween without trick-or-treating. (This great idea was shared by a commenter.)

Do you have any ideas for limiting candy on Halloween?

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Katie @ said...

Great suggestions! We do a lot of these ourselves. I am teaching my 4 and 6 year old boys what are good treats and bad treats, and why they are good or bad so that they can make wise choices as they get older. Visiting you from Joette Calabrese's site.

Don Henderson said...

Great ideas! Another idea that I use each year starting when our son was about 4 was to read selections from the Nourishing Traditions (pg 21) about refined carbohydrates. I substituted "sugar" in place of many of the other terms to avoid confusion. I also told him stories when I was a kid and threw up when I ate too much sugar. Luckily my body rejected the Snickers and donuts on an emptly stomach. He's facinated by the stories and has me repeat them stories all the time.