With all the fun of this holiday come a parent's worry -- too many sugary treats in your kid's possession, and the arguments that ensue over this treasured trove. If you don't feel like to contributing to the neighborhood children's tooth decay, consider giving treats that are healthier.
* Be aware that some people are allergic to nuts
If you are not opposed to sugar but would prefer your treats to be natural or vegan, we suggest you visit your local natural food store. Many natural candy companies offer a large variety of candies. The one drawback: Expect to pay more for these items -- natural and organic products come at a higher price tag. (See our articles "Is organic food healthier or just more expensive?" and "Vegan Halloween Candy.")
You could make a homemade treat -- but unless you are in a neighborhood with close friends, we don't suggest this approach. Most parents are trained to go through the Halloween candy and throw out any opened, unwrapped or homemade treats. If you decide to make your own treats, wrap your homemade item up well, and add your name and phone number to the bag with the treat. If the parent recognizes your name, it will make them feel more comfortable that the treat is safe.
An alternative to avoiding the junk food challenges is to hand out a non-food treat. Today, many families are opting for this choice. With a little bit of thought and some clever shopping, you can find some really nice items for a few cents per item.
Check your local dollar store for fun items. If you start early, there will also be plenty of time to shop online so you can have items shipped to you. DollarDays.com and OrientalTradingCompany.com are just two sites that offer a pretty good selection. (A quick search on Google will give you plenty more online shopping choices.)
When your children arrive back at home after Halloween trick or treating, don't let them take control over their bag or bucket of candy! Working with them, check the treats and keep only treats which are unopened. Be sure to inspect fruits and homemade goods for anything suspicious. While you are going through their candy, let them pick two or three treats that they can eat on this special night. Store the rest of the candy out of reach and out of sight.
Over the next few days or weeks, rationing the treats is the best approach. Allow your children to make their own selections, but tell them they can pick only one large piece or two small pieces. If your children have trouble with this, do it for them (in advance). Just place small amounts of candy in bags, and let them select one of the bags. If there is just too much candy, consider donating some of it to a shelter. It will bring smiles to others.
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