There are few kids out there that don’t enjoy the occasional indulgence in candy and other sugary treats, and Halloween seems the perfect time to allow them to satisfy their sweet tooth. However, while Halloween is a great time to experience as a family, making costumes, carving pumpkins, and Trick-or-Treating, you don’t always have to let your children’s health go by the wayside. In fact, it can be a great opportunity to instill even more healthy habits in your kid and encourage them to make good eating and snacking choices while being offered less-healthy options.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be the family on the block that only offers chopped veggies to wandering ghosts, goblins, and witches. Nor do you have to absolutely ban any and all candy from the household. Instead, it can simply mean being more aware of how much candy is being consumed and talking to your kids frankly about the long-term consequences of such. As we’ve noted before, kids enjoy learning and being given the chance to make their own informed decisions. The same applies to consuming candy on Halloween! Here are some ways to address the sugar dilemma while keeping the kids happy:
- Don’t forget dinner – Before heading out with bags and plastic pumpkins to collect neighborhood goodies, make sure the kids get a full and satisfying dinner. This will curb cravings and slow their tendency to gobble up whatever candy is tossed their way by the handful.
- Door-to-door limits – Even if your neighbors are giving away candy by the pound to each kid, make it clear that your children can only take a certain amount of candy from each house they visit—anywhere from a single piece to just a few per stop. This will keep kids from hoarding or getting sick from eating too much.
- Dental donations – Many cities have dental offices that accept donations of candy in exchange for cash or discounts, encouraging oral hygiene while also giving you something in return. Do a quick search to see if any dentist in your area is offering such a promotion and decide what percentage of collected candy could be set aside for that.
- Sugar substitutes – Some treats are better than others. Instead of Skittles, M&Ms, or candy bars, see if your kids will enjoy some dried fruit, granola, gum, or even homemade, low-fat treats.
How do you address candy consumption in your family? Do the kids go wild and regret it the day after, or is nothing chocolate, caramel, or sugar-coated allowed to cross your threshold, no matter what tricks are played?