My kids love Halloween: pumpkin carving, costumes, and trick-or-treating. Over the years, we've used the following methods to make sure the kids don't have Halloween candy overload. If you want to try out any of these methods, make sure you talk with your kids in advance of Halloween so they know what to expect.
In advance of Halloween, I've bought a few small items that my kids will enjoy, such as small puzzles, coloring books, animal figurines, and even Halloween socks. I left these items at my mother's house so that, when we arrived there to say "trick-or-treat", these items could be dropped into my kids' goodie bags.
Conventional candy is loaded with artificial colors, preservatives, and other unnatural ingredients. One method that has worked well for my kids is to put some natural, healthier alternatives into their Halloween bags. Many of the following can be purchased individually at natural grocery stores:
Before bed on Halloween evening, my kids could leave their bags of candy on the back porch for the Candy Fairy (they know that the Candy Fairy is really just me, but nonetheless they enjoyed the idea that it was a fairy). In the morning, they would find that their bags of candy were gone, but instead there were a couple new games or toys. This worked particularly well for my kids when they were younger.
Teach Moderation and Wise Choices
As my kids have gotten older, I've taught them about why we avoid conventional candy and try to moderate our consumption of sweets. This has worked very well in helping my kids learn to use their own judgment in determining how much Halloween candy to consume. When my kids do choose to consume some Halloween candy, I give them the option of trading their conventional candy for healthier organic candies.
Some years, my kids have decided to make a contract with themselves in advance, stating how much Halloween candy they were planning to keep, how much they would eat each day, etc. This gave them the opportunity to make a purposeful decision about how much candy to consume rather than making that choice with a big pile of candy in front of them.
Trading Money for Candy
Where we live, there are several dentists who will pay kids for their candy. Especially as they've gotten older, my kids have enjoyed trading in their Halloween candy for money.
Celebrate Without Trick-or-TreatingAnother option that has worked well for other families is to leave out the Trick-or-Treating altogether. 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.
Do you have any ideas for limiting candy on Halloween?
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