The truth is, this is my version of a mid-life crisis: no hair plugs, no sports car, and no mistress. Instead, I try to keep my body as young as possible. But, I really do struggle with sweets. I love me some cookies and ice cream, can't say "no" to key lime pie, and I love candy, especially Peanut M&M's and Reese's Cups.
So, when parents say that their kids should not have and Halloween candy I get where they are coming from, but I also understand the kids' points of view. If your kids already don't eat any sweets or you have an understanding that works for your family, so be it. But, the majority of kids don't have a "no sweets' life.
So, what can we do to make sure our kids aren't gorging on Twizzlers, Candy Corn, and Smarties this Halloween (and the two weeks that follow)?
In my family we have always used the "junk candy" method. You know what the junk candy is (and so does your kid). It's the candy in their Halloween bag that they leave for the end. Unlike adults who sometimes save the best for last, kids save the junk candy for last. It's the candy that they move aside when looking for another Kit Kat, Crunch Bar, or Snickers. And, when none of them are found, they say, "I guess I'll have one of these butterscotch hard candies instead."
And, that's why it's junk candy, because they will eat it even though they don't really want it. We've taught our girls that eating a little of the "good stuff" is fine every now and then, but there's no point to eat the junk. It doesn't help our teeth, our bodies, our brain chemistry, and it adds to the addiction of sugar.
Therefore, on Halloween night, while the piles of candy are still titanic, we have our girls dump out the candy and put them into two piles "Junk" and "Not Junk". The good stuff stays in the house and the junk is brought to a local dentist the following week who will buy the candy for two bucks a pound and send it to our troops overseas (find your own local buy back here).
Here's the kicker, because my girls had less candy than they would had they kept it all, they ended up relishing what they did have and eating a little here and there (knowing we would not be buying candy for our home the rest of the year. As a result, when "the dumping of the bags" (as we called it) occurred on Halloween Night, there would still be some candy from the year before, and we'd get rid of this as well.
Everyone wins: kids get some candy as well as a few bucks, they save their teeth and bodies and brains, the dentist is happy because he's filling less cavities, and the troops get a sweet care package.
image courtesy of ©MorgueFile.com/cohdra