Hello fellow parents! We want you to know that Urgent Kidz Care here in Savannah has got your back. Dealing with Halloween Candy and all the excitement around it can be tough. But we have some ideas to keep your kidz healthy, and your relationships with them, too.
Prepare a Halloween Candy Plan with Your Kidz Before Halloween Trick-or-treating
This is your opportunity to nip the problem in the bud – before it becomes a problem. Make a plan! Manage expectations. Talk this halloween candy plan over with your kidz. Come to an agreement everyone is – at least sort of – happy with.
Before you go trick-or-treating, talk it over. There’s a lot of excitement and anticipation around Halloween candy. Give your kids a chance to tell you what they want. Remind them of last year. Do this all before your getting made up with your costumes. Maybe while consuming a healthy pre-trick-or-treat meal. That way, you’re not as hungry, your kidz aren’t as hungry, and you can all talk about the plan with civility, before the excitement takes over.
Be a Role Model with Halloween Candy
Look, I know it’s difficult, in particular because many of us parents are just kidz trapped in adult bodies, but. It’s important to be a good role model for your kidz always, and yes that includes with Halloween candy. Don’t steal Halloween candy, even though you think it’s fun. It’s surely tempting. But don’t. Unless it’s part of the plan, in which case it’s then not stealing, and perfectly okay if your kidz agree to it.
Don’t plan to store Halloween candy in your kidz’ room. Keep it in a place where everybody has access – limited or otherwise. This keeps temptation down and everyone together on what’s going on with it.
Go All Out with Halloween Candy?
Here’s a controversial idea. You might like it. You might not. Your kidz might. Your kidz might not. Instead of being a hawk and giving that Halloween candy power over your family, don’t hold back on Halloween night. Let everybody eat as much as they want. There are a couple of reasons to consider this controversial plan. Hear me out!
It takes the power away from the candy
Rather than making it a special reward or something to be coveted, you face all those demons (whether in costume or in peoples’ minds) all that once. Think about it like ripping a band-aid off. Everyone gets a tummy ache once and then it’s (mostly) over. Rather than having to deal with candy for a month or two or longer, it’s all gone. Or, at least a lot of it is. And next year, your kidz are more likely to remember that nasty stomach ache that comes from too much Halloween candy, and they’re more likely to treat it with moderation. Well… maybe not. But there’s a chance!
Give Halloween Candy Freely (hint: if you don’t like this idea, keep going…)
This idea is along the same lines. And again, you don’t have to do this. It’s just an idea to consider while making your full-family-agreed Halloween candy plan. Instead of metering it out or doing something clever with it, just let people eat as much as they want when they want it. Then, if and when they complain, use that opportunity to make it a teachable moment.
One of the great lessons that can come from Halloween candy but is important at all times is learning when to stop eating. It’s very difficult with addictive substances like Halloween candy filled with yummy, addictive ingredients like chocolate and sugar. If you can help your kidz learn to stop eating when they’re 80% full, rather than keeping going until it’s too much, you will help them learn to interpret the signals their body is giving them all the time.
Regulating diet is extremely helpful to teaching kidz to enjoy healthy foods on regular intervals. This keeps them awake and attentive, and more importantly, it helps them regulate food intake on their own. It’s tough for kidz to understand what real hunger feels like and comparing those body’s signals to cravings, which are different but often perceived as the same. That’s a very valuable and life-long useful lesson!
Meter Halloween Candy Out
If you don’t like those ideas, there are always the opposite ideas, which are just as valid.
The first thing to think about when regulating Halloween Candy is to only keep your favorites. If you don’t have to have it because you don’t love it, get rid of it. You could just throw it out, or if you know somebody who loves what you don’t like, give it to them. Perhaps it could just be an act of kindness (never a bad thing), perhaps it could be barter – again, not a bad lesson to teach. But by keeping only what you and your kidz really love, you’re learning to not keep excess around just for the sake of it.
After you’ve chosen only your favorites and disposed of the rest, you get to plan how to meter out the candy. Does your kidz’ Halloween candy go in a snack bag in their lunch? Does it come out for dessert just a few pieces every day or night? Plan and stick to that plan to keep a healthy relationship with that Halloween candy.
Get Creative with Your Halloween Candy Plan
Another option with Halloween Candy is to use it to create a dessert bank. Perhaps your kidz can turn in their candy for some other, healthier treat, like a night at their favorite restaurant. What are some things your kidz want that might have more value to them than candy? It’s up to you and your family to plan and come up with ideas.
The last idea is to create a Switch Witch. This can be helpful as we come up to the holidays because you can use the Switch Witch to find out what your kidz want in the coming months. Perhaps there’s something small they want now – a small toy or something – that they would happily exchange for Halloween Candy. These conversations can give you an idea of what they’re looking forward to as the rest of the Holidays come their way.
Whether these ideas work for your parenting style or your kidz current development stage is up to you. These are just ideas from our years of experience helping parents and kidz navigate the tough job of growing up. I hope you find them helpful! Until next time, UKC here signing off. Thanks for reading!