Creative ways to cut down on Halloween candy consumption
Every parent dreads the day after Halloween — the kids wake up and want to jump straight into their trick-or-treating candy bucket and you are running for the toothbrushes. This year, use these creative ideas to cut down on your kids' Halloween candy consumption.
Head to the dentist
The Halloween Candy Buy Back program is a fantastic idea that is actually two-fold in parenting goodness — not only do you get rid of the candy from Halloween, but your kids get the chance to learn about doing something nice for others. The Halloween Candy Buy Back program is mainly run by local dentists — they can register on the website and then buy back Halloween candy from little ones in the neighborhood in exchange for new toothbrushes or other fun sugar-free goodies. From there, the dentists send the candy to troops overseas via Operation Gratitude.
Let them trade it
If your trick-or-treaters are old enough to follow this reasoning, negotiate with them to trade their bucket of candy for a new toy or book they've had their eye on. Or, trade their candy for a visit to open jump time at your nearest bouncy house gym or that cool science museum they've been asking to check out. Whatever you can use to barter that candy away — go for it! We do recommend making this deal pre-Halloween so that everyone is on the same page when the candy starts rolling in.
Wait for the Switch Witch
Have you heard of the Halloween Switch Witch? She is friends with the Tooth Fairy, but instead of coveting little freshly pulled teeth, the Switch Witch exchanges candy for other fun, non-sugary treats. This is a great idea for smaller kids who may not be as keen on willingly giving up their candy for a new toy. There's even a children's book written about the magic that the Switch Witch possesses — a fun way to make this part of your family's non-candy-filled Halloween traditions.
Set limits on how much they can keep
A good rule of thumb is to let them keep one piece of candy for each year they are old. Let them have the power to pick those special pieces out of the bucket (help them weed through to make sure they are ones they'll actually like!) and then get rid of the rest. Veteran Halloween parents will tell you that as you trick-or-treat, sneak candy out of their bucket as you go, putting it in your purse or another bag. This way, when you get home, it won't seem like such a bounty anyway.
Whatever method you use to cut back on the Halloween candy this year, pick a tradition when your kids are young and stick with it. If they come to learn over the years that a limited amount of Halloween candy is status quo, they won't throw a fit every post-Halloween morning.