Happy almost Halloween! I have to admit, this is not my favorite occasion. For obvious reasons, the sugar aspect causes issues in our family, but the doorbell that makes the dog go crazy, kids out in the dark, and then the after effect for the next two days isn’t so much fun either. I LOVE fall, but I am always happy when the 31st of October has come and gone, and there is an official start to the holiday season that awaits around the corner.
The holidays are a whole other ball game, but let’s get through Halloween first. Erin posted earlier in the week about how she handles Halloween for her daughter. We do things slightly differently, mainly because we have older children. The age/s of the child/ren in your household can make a big difference. My children are 10, 8 and 5 if that helps at all. They range from being all about Halloween and the candy, to really just wanting to be with their friends.
We are extremely fortunate to be invited to the same party with the same people every year. This helps me because I don’t have to have my internal struggle about handing out candy at my house. I have a voice in me that screams, “How can you hand out candy when you preach about sugar?” Luckily, I get to turn that recording OFF! The kids (and adults) are fortunate because we are all with friends and the focus turns to playing and visiting instead of tracking down the best candy in the neighborhood. Don’t get me wrong, I let the kids trick-or-treat, but that is not our sole focus of the evening. This helps a TON!
I do have a few ideas for your weekend:
- Watch the forbidden food syndrome. Unless sugar is going to have severe health consequences on your child (sort term), let them partake in trick-or-treating. These years fly by, and if they enjoy it, it is one night out of 365.
- Give them a time period that candy will be allowed in the house. I tell my kids (you are not going to believe this one), “Eat what you want on Halloween, pick out a few for tomorrow, and on the third day it will magically disappear.”
- Find a place to donate the candy. Yes, I know it is bad for everyone, but there ARE people that deserve a treat every once in while like our troops overseas. There are places around that will take donations (Schools, banks, etc.). They collect unwanted Halloween candy and ship it to the troops.
- My friend, Mona, recently told me about the Switch Witch. You can give your kids a choice (or not) to leave their pumpkin full of candy on the front porch on Halloween night, and the Switch Witch will take the candy and exchange it for (you fill in the blank – some toy they want, baseball or football cards, dark chocolate, an iTunes gift card just to give examples). Start planning now if you want to use this idea.
- Divy out a certain number of pieces for each day – and specify the number of days. Then stick to it!
- Use the candy for teaching any number of things. For younger children, it is great for sorting, patterns, and counting. It is always fascinating to people how much sugar is in those little pieces of candy. This is a great time for the older children to understand conversions. Read the labels. Remember, for every 4 grams of sugar or carbs, that equals 1 teaspoon of sugar. This is a great multiplication and division activity for the older ones. You can even make up word problems about the candy. Tina, that one was for you!
No matter what you decide to do with your candy, you, just like I, will get through this day. It is one of my most dreaded, but we always power through. Your kids will be on a sugar high, but then we will be there to catch them on the way down to lift them back up with healthy foods. The best thing you can do is to have a plan in place. Figure out how and when you are going to dispose of that white powdery substance disguised as candy and follow through. Then life returns to normal.
Have a very safe and memory filled Halloween!