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  • Writer's pictureSarah Nantel


My kids can’t WAIT for Halloween. What fun to dress up and go door-to-door for a free candy-overload! I too, remember the excitement of going from house to house, hoping for as many full chocolate bars as possible. Now as parents, I know many of us dread letting our kids eat a pillowcase full of sugar and food coloring.

Here are some ides to make Halloween healthier, and how you can deal with the candy overload at home:

  1. Have a good dinner (including some protein and veggies) before going out trick of treating. This way, your child has some healthy food filling their tummy in preparation for sugar overload.

  2. Buy your child a small plastic pumpkin to fill for trick-or-treating, as opposed to a large pillowcase. Once it’s full, you’re done trick or treating!

  3. Trade the candy for money. There are some dental offices that do a candy “buy back” and exchange your candy for money. I would only suggest this if it excites your child, and they would rather have the money to buy a toy than the treat they are exchanging.

  4. Have a visit from the “Switch Witch” or “Candy Fairy” – similar to the tooth fairy. I did this with my son for a few years while he was young. We’d put most of his candy out on Halloween night and the switch witch comes and leaves a toy in exchange. He loved it! But it certainly wouldn’t fly now – my kids prefer the candy, so I let them keep it.

As for how to dole out these treats:

it’s best to let your kid choose how much to eat, within some guidelines. If you follow feeding-guru Ellyn Satter’s advice, she suggests letting your child gorge on Halloween night, and then offer the candy only at a meal and at snack. She suggests offering 1-2 small pieces as a meal, and letting your child choose how much to eat at snacks (but still offering other foods). Besides giving your child some control over how much they eat, the candy will be gone more quickly

You can also choose to dole out small portions at a time, like 1 or 2 candies a day. Depending on your child’s personality, they might not have a problem with this. But when it is offered in limited portions, you might find your child coveting the candy and searching for your hiding spot! And studies show that children who are tightly restricted of treats will binge whenever they get the chance and actually weight more.

How do you handle the Halloween candy overload in your home? Please share what’s worked with you below!

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