It’s the day after Halloween and you very likely have a house full of candy that was collected by your hard working (and oh so cute) kids. You probably remember the days of your youth, when you would squirrel away a stash of sugary goodies. Maybe you were the kid that would diligently make your treats last until the following Halloween or maybe you were the kid that would pick through and eat the very best ones, while trading away the others. But as adults we know that sugary candy isn’t the healthiest choice for our little ones. Whether you’re the type of parent who doesn’t let your children have any sugar or maybe just a few treats here and there we have assembled a list of 5 tricks to help reduce the post-Halloween candy overload.
1. Candy Buy-Back Programs
There are many candy “buy-back” programs that are organized by businesses and charities across the country. You’ll often see dentist offices that lead the charge, but many other businesses get involved. Here’s how it works, simply gather up any unwanted to candy, bring it to a business that has a buy-back program and they will give your child some money, or a chance to win a prize. Many of these businesses either donate this candy on to less fortunate families or use them for other purposes. This is a great way to reward your child for reducing the sugar in their lives.
2. Teach Moderation
Having a pillow case full of candy can be very tempting for little ones with a sweet tooth. Consider using this as an opportunity to teach your children about moderation. This is a life-long skill that will help them to make informed eating choices as they get older. Help them to set a limit of how many candies to eat per day. This is also a great opportunity to teach your children about the ins and outs of eating sugar.
3. Switch Witch
Here’s a fun tradition that’s been gaining a lot of steam over the last few years. The Switch Witch is a good witch that, if invited, visits your home while you sleep and switches all the Halloween candy for a present. Children get to make the choice and can be a fun way to encourage children not to eat all of that candy.
4. Get Scientific
Here’s a fun way to get rid of extra candy while cultivating a scientific mind in your children. Gather up a selection of jars and fill some with water, vegetable oil, soda pop, white vinegar, etc. Then place the same type of candy in each jar. Before you start the experiment be sure to write down your hypothesis. Then each day write down any observations and take a picture. See what happens to each candy in each type of liquid and compare it to the original hypothesis. It’s fun to see how different substances affect each piece of candy and a great way for kids to learn about the scientific process.
5. Save Some for Future Goodies
Many types of candy (especially chocolates) can be frozen or stored for a later date. With your children choose half of the candy to save for a future batch of goodies. You can use these candies to spice up brownies, or cakes, or special desserts like “worms in dirt”. When it’s time to make some goodies encourage your children to join in the baking fun. This is a great way to make better use of the candy and inspire your family to get a little more creative in the kitchen.
What are some ways that you keep your children from eating all of their candy? Do you have some traditions that help to stop the sugary binge-eating? Comment below and share your Halloween secrets!
~ Alicia & Jeremy