Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ways to Avoid Halloween Candy Overload

Although we've never allowed our daughter to have much candy, Halloween is still a holiday she greatly enjoys.  This includes, of course, trick-or treating.  This will be our second Halloween while on the GAPS diet, so I thought I'd share some ideas for avoiding 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 daughter will enjoy, such as a small puzzle, 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 daughter's bag.   
  2. "Legal" sweets: Since my daughter isn't often allowed to eat things like fruit leather, they serve as a great candy replacement on Halloween.  I'll drop a few "legal" sweet treats in her bag along with the other items she has collected while trick-or-treating.  Some ideas for legal sweet treats are: 
  3. Candy Fairy: Before bed on Halloween evening, my daughter leaves her bag of candy on the back porch for the Candy Fairy (she knows that the Candy Fairy is really just me, but nonetheless she enjoys the idea that it is a fairy).  In the morning, she finds that her bag of candy is gone, but in its place is a new game or toy.  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.
Do you have any ideas for limiting candy on Halloween?

This post is part of Monday Mania , Fat Tuesday, Fight Back Friday, Pennywise Platter and Real Food Wednesday! 


    Liberty said...

    looking for a dentist...stat!

    Anonymous said...

    Alivia gets to keep some of her candy which lasts over a month since she isn't allowed to eat it every day. The rest, along with what she collects from neighbors after Halloween, gets shipped off to the troops overseas.

    Tom and Juli said...

    The are some great ideas!!

    Tom and I are horrble because we end up eating most of their candy. We can get away with it because they're so young, but since they are so young we don't go trick or treating for very long so they don't get too much candy. I let them choose one thing to eat that evening then save a few pieces that they can have here and there. I also try to do a lot of other fun Halloween activites so that trick or treating (and the candy) isn't the main event.

    Melissa Naasko said...

    I go so far as to NOT even give away candy at our house. I have given away crayon packs, stickers, and this year it is Play-Doh. My younger kids are so excited about the Play-Doh, they are hoping that there will be some left for them!

    Anonymous said...

    We just avoid the whole trick-or-treat thing altogether. What's not brought in the house doesn't have to go out again! (But with our eldest allergic to corn syrup and food coloring and also having celiac, we've never done it. Made no sense to have him receive a bunch of things we'd have to give or throw away.) Great idea on exchanging the candy for toys, though! That might have worked here.

    Jamie said...

    I agree that keeping the candy out to begin with is possibly the easiest route. Some churches and schools plan "harvest party" style events to keep kids safe and centrally located instead of out trick-or-treating, and tend to send home only tiny bags of candy or small games/toys at the end. If something like that is available in your area, it might be a great option - kids still get to dress up and see their friends, but without the focus on sugar-gobbling.

    Jill said...

    Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

    If you have grain-free recipes please visit my Grain-Free Linky Carnival in support of my 28 day grain-free challenge! It will be open until November 2.