Do you know what scares me? It’s not ghosts, witches, or bats. It’s S-U-G-A-R! In just a few short days our adorable, character dressed, kids will be on a mission. Knocking door to door singing songs of smelly feet, searching for their pot of gold. They will accomplish their task in two hours or less, arriving at home with a plethora of sweet, sugar-filled, mouth watering…….candy. For those that try to limit sugar consumption, Halloween night can be frightening. Rest assured, I am here to tell you not to panic. Here are three tips to keep your kids happy while avoiding the “Halloween Hangover.”
1. Blame it on the candy fairy
I have heard parents use this tactic over the years and I think it’s awesome. Explain to your children that excessive sugar isn’t good for their teeth, tummies or brains. In our house we call it the “sugar bugs.” Introduce them to the candy fairy. Her goal is to keep them healthy. She will replace their candy with a present. Let your kids pick out their 5-10 favorite pieces to ration over the week and put the reminder in a bag. Have them write a list of 5 gifts they would like the fairy to leave in lieu of the candy. Reinforce that this is a gift for making a good choice about their health. To this day, I have never heard of a child denying this option.
2. Candy for cash
We all know at some point our kids won’t buy the ‘ole “candy fairy” story. Over the past couple years I have seen dentists offering cash for candy. Many of them donate dollar for dollar to a charity. This is a win-win for everyone. The kids are taught about helping others in need while earning money for their candy. To find a dentist participating in your area go to Halloween Candy Buyback.If there is no one local, you can always implement this tradition in your home. You just may want to implement a rule that they use their cash for something non-sugar related.
3. Teach them moderation
There is nothing wrong with an occasional indulgence and it’s important to show kids at a young age how to enjoy a little a day. This may be the most important lesson when it comes to food. If we deny them of sugar, they want it more. However, if we give them control over choosing a couple small pieces a day to enjoy we demonstrate self-discipline, and healthy eating behaviors. Growing up, this is the choice my parents made. I believe this taught me how to enjoy and not over-indulge. We have done the same with our children. After about a week they forget the candy is on the shelf and stop asking for it. By late November it’s in the trash and sometime around January I hear, “hey what happened to our Halloween candy?” I simply tell them I had to throw it out, it got stale:)
What are your tips for avoiding the “Halloween Hangover”?
Written By: Karyn Hendricksen, MS M.A.T
Karyn Hendricksen is a health and wellness enthusiast. She is passionate about gathering as much knowledge as possible pertaining to staying healthy, naturally.
Karyn’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Specialist Certification in Muscle Activation Techniques. She loves to educate others on how fun and easy it can be to lead a healthy lifestyle through both blogging and public presentation. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her awesome husband Russ, and daughters’ Alexa and Stella. She can be found Restorative Wellness Center.