It’s Halloween time again, and many parents worry about the mountains of candy their children bring home.
Should you set limits? Let children decide for themselves how much to eat?
There isn’t just one right answer. Often using your judgment with what you know about your child’s personality and eating habits is best.
If your family eats sensibly during the rest of the year, a few days of overindulgence will be okay.
That being said, many children bring home enough candy to supply daily treats until Christmas. So what are some ideas to deal with the candy?
De-emphasize candy by reducing trick-or-treat time. There are many fun things about Halloween besides the candy. Invite friends over for a “dressing up party,” have a Halloween-themed dinner and only trick-or-treat at friends’ houses.
Make it more about the occasion than the candy. Spend more time socializing, decorating, costuming and taking photos and less time accumulating candy.
Trick or Treat on a full stomach. Have your children eat a meal before trick-or-treating. This will minimize the amount of candy they eat during and after trick-or-treating.
Trade candy for cash. If you feel strongly about not wanting your child to have too much candy, some parents offer to “buy” the candy back from their children. For older children, this acknowledges that the candy belongs to the child, but that they can choose to use the money to buy something else more desirable, like a toy.
Make rules for candy. For younger children who don’t wish to give up their candy, setting limits can be a good idea, especially if they are the type to eat it all at once.
Allow children to choose a piece or two after supper or in their lunch. Throw away candies that they don’t really enjoy.
After a few days or a week, declare Halloween over and throw away any remaining candy.
Store candy out of sight, so that they are not constantly thinking about it.
– Serena Caner is a registered dietician who works at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.