There are a lot of things to love about Halloween – the costumes, trick or treating, themed parties, and even the interaction amongst neighbors. The excitement is of course contagious, but there is still one part of Halloween that many parents dread about – the abundance of sweets. Even if you allow your kids to have a little more sweets than usual after trick or treating, you will certainly have more to deal with long after Halloween fever dies down.
If you don’t want your kids to go overboard on sweets during and after Halloween, here are some tips that may help:
1. Get your kids to eat first before trick or treating.
With full stomachs, your kids will have lesser room for candies and other sweet treats. And by the time they are hungry, trick or treating may already be over, or they may already be on their way home. Use it to your advantage by being around as they enjoy the fruits of their labor. Indulging a little is not at all harmful especially when the situation calls for it, but you really need to step in if you think they already had enough.
2. Inspect the treats before you allow your kids to indulge.
Before you get the kids to eat their candies, screen them first. Candies with loose or broken wrappers, and those that are homemade should be thrown away. Keep homemade treats only if you know the person who prepared them. By inspecting the treats first, it will also give you the chance to set aside the candies that are not fit for eating – or those that have way too much calories. It will also lessen the number of treats that you have to deal with after Halloween ends.
3. Store leftover candies in areas that are not accessible.
If you want your kids to stop thinking about candy, do not put leftover candies on the kitchen counter, or in places where they could easily grab some. If you get candies and any kinds of sweets off their minds, you don’t have to be in the constant battle with them about how much candy they can have in a day.
4. Get your children to understand why you are setting limits.
Your kids need to know why you are limiting the amount of sweets that they are allowed to eat. Talk to them about the effects of too much sugar in their diet so that they won’t feel deprived. If they misunderstand your rules, they will end up wanting more candy, or worse eating them behind your back.
5. Encourage your kids to share their loot.
Let your kids know that Halloween can be an opportunity for them to share and make a difference. Tell them that by donating a portion of their candies to your local community center, they can make other kids happy.
6. Do not use leftover candy as a reward or prize.
If you offer candy as a reward, you are only conditioning your kids that it is something desirable. This kind of thinking will only get children to crave for more candy, and what’s worse is that it can develop a lifetime of unhealthy eating habits, particularly a preference for sweets.
7. Offer a trade.
Kids could not resist a good offer. Tell your kids that you will exchange leftover sweets for a fun day at the park, or a fun activity that they have long wanted to do. If you get the candies out of your home, you can help them control those sweet urges.
It’s hard to bargain with kids during Halloween because candy and other treats will always be part of the experience. But healthy habits are formed during childhood, so don’t feel bad when you have to call the shots. After all, it is just one way of ensuring that your kids will have healthy practices later in life. How do you stop your kids from eating too much candy during Halloween? How do you deal with all the leftovers?