Smarty moms already have tricks when it comes to reducing Halloween treat overindulgence; we buy our least favorite candy and wait until the day or so before to purchase bottomless bags of goodies. What about children, though?
Those little devils and angels are so proud of their haul, most parents don’t even mind finding wrappers stuffed between couch cushions the first few days; however, around day four or five, the endless sneaking of treats at all hours begins to wear on even the most patient of us. So how do we keep our kids from tummy aches, cavities, and sugar-spiked bad attitudes — while still letting them be kids?
Here are three steps to try this Halloween. Wave goodbye to no-longer-welcome candy bags and put whatever is left to good use.
1. Decide on a timeline.
Will it be an all-you-can-eat buffet until bed or a few pieces a day for a week? Perhaps the kids can choose their favorite pieces to fit in a sandwich bag and enjoy until emptied. Whatever tactic you choose, stick with it.
2. Make the swap.
If you go a route where there will be leftovers, prepare to make an exchange. Trade in the remaining candy for a family game or movie night. The Switch Witch has also been known to ride in on her broom at our house to trade out candy with a special toy.
3. Put the rest to good use.
If you find a lot of loot remaining, here are some ways to get rid of it — and even support a good cause or save money in the process.
– Charitable Donation – Teachers often spend their own money to purchase candy for rewards during the school year. Why not let your child’s teachers keep more cash for themselves or other needs by asking if they’d like your stash? Operation Shoebox, Ronald McDonald House, Treats for Troops, and Operation Gratitude are other avenues for giving. So is a Smarty favorite, the Hull & Coleman Orthodontics Halloween Candy Buyback.
– Leftovers for Lunch – Pull all the M&M packs for trail mix add-ins. Set aside some mini candy bars to put in school lunches as an unexpected surprise.
– Budget Bites – Hide the rest in a tightly sealed container for future use (Think s’mores, birthday pinatas, stocking stuffers, gingerbread house accents, and a dessert night bank.) After all, candy is no exception to inflation.
– Whip up a Treat – Freeze chopped up chocolate bits for milkshakes or a healthy-ish delight like this Halloween bark.
– Work with It – Use wrapped candy or small pieces as pawns in math games. Conclude the mental practice by enjoying some together.
Lastly, make sure to let your little ones catch you in the act of being a kid again by savoring some Halloween goodies yourself on occasion. It’s important they see you modeling a healthy relationship with food that avoids good versus bad labels — and one that strives for moderation over deprivation.
Disclaimer: The information contained here is of a general nature to provide research-backed educational content. It is not intended to offer professional medical diagnosis and treatment. While a certified nutritionist produced this article, your specific needs may or may not apply. Consult your team of professional healthcare providers with health concerns or questions.