Trick-Or-Treat Candy Moderation

In today’s Dear Abby column, a reader offered her method for dealing with her children’s Halloween candy. Instead of letting them reach sugar highs for the next two months after October 31, she introduced the “Halloween Witch.” Shortly after her kids return from trick-or-treating, they can pick and keep a certain percentage of their candy. The remainder is then “sacrificed” to the Halloween Witch who comes in the middle of the night and swipes it. In the candy’s place, she leaves a toy.

Not a bad idea! I found it to be creative and fair. It got me thinking about other ways parents can productively manage their children’s Halloween candy intake. I came up with my own five brief ways to do so.

Special Delivery: Mom and dad can teach giving and consideration. Using extended family, kids will have to give two pieces of candy to 10-15 people such as aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. The children will have sole discretion on what to give to their family members but they must use what they know about each relative when making the decision. For example, if they know their Aunt Connie likes peanuts, they would give her a Snickers bar. The kids will hand deliver the candy or mail it off, depending on what is feasible.

Operation Candy Bowl: Children will fill the candy bowls at the work places of both mom and dad while also stocking the candy bowl kept in the living room at the house. Also, parents will encourage their kids to reach out to a business they know has an awful selection in its candy bowl (i.e. Jolly Ranchers that are five years old) and offer to replenish it with candy that people will actually eat.

Express Yourself: The oldest “Will you go to Homecoming with me?” trick in the book is when someone spells something out on poster board using different candy bars. How about teaching them early? Parents will have an arts and crafts night in early November where the kids will have to use no less than 10 pieces of candy to tell a story or express an important message. This will be an activity where mom and dad will have to assist quite a bit but not only will it cut down on candy consumption but it will be a great learning exercise.

Can You Meet Me Halfway?: Okay, so your kids don’t want to give any of their candy away? Try this hack. Allow your children to keep all of their candy under one condition…they can only eat half of each piece. If it is a Baby Ruth fun size bar, they break it in half. If there are 20 Skittles in a pack, they eat 10 and throw away 10. While they do this, they must log the calories they are saving. When the Halloween candy runs out, they add up the total amount of calories they ended up not eating. For many, that number will be in the five digits.

Treasure Hunt: After the children decide on what pieces of candy they want to keep, the rest is put in a garbage sack or a toy treasure chest and is taken out in the backyard. A parent then digs a deep hole and places the sack or chest inside it before “burying it alive!” On October 30 of the following year, the candy will be unearthed. Kids can then see how the candy decomposed all while getting excited for the following night. Also, just knowing that a load of candy is buried in the backyard is something that will keep capture the imagination of the children throughout the year.

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What ways do you have for moderating your children’s candy intake? We have an easy method for Sloan this year. It is called give all your candy to mommy and daddy. Have a great Sunday! Don’t Blink.