Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Candy Clutter: The True Fright at Halloween!


What should you do with all those candy filled bags coming into your home?  Ban Halloween?  Send notes with your children that all who give must give only nutritious snacks? Bury them in the backyard when no one is looking? Or my personal favorite… eat it yourself!!
This time of the year can just be simply wretched for the sugar aholics among us.  I bet I am not the only one who buys candy “for decoration” and then ends up eating it.  I can mow through a bag of candy corn in 24 hours without batting my eye!  And then there are the Halloween parties, parades, and the mother-of-them-all… trick or treating.  Years ago, we would get maybe a mini chocolate bar or a quarter per house, but not anymore!  The majority of the houses my kids visit have mini bags of candy!  Full size bars!! 
So what is a parent to do?  Should we allow our children to eat until their hearts are content and then just get them in for a good dental cleaning after a few weeks, or should we go the other way?  Ban all candy from the house?
I am suggesting a bit of a compromise:
1.  Don’t buy candy for your own house!  There are many other healthier alternatives for you to give out if trick-or-treaters come to your home.  Also, you won’t have double the candy if you buy for those who come to your house and then send your children out to get more!  Pretzels, fruit snacks, granola bars, etc. are all good choices.  You can use the leftovers for packing lunches!  A word of caution regarding fruit snacks.  My Dentist said these are an absolute nightmare on the teeth!
2.  Have your children pick out their favorites and take the rest to work.  What happens if you don’t do this is YOU will end up eating what is left!
3.  Use the candy for holiday baking.  Tandy cakes, candy bar cookies, M&M cookies, etc. are always great holiday favorites!  I freeze the candy so I won’t be tempted to sneak some.  If you don’t trust yourself, take them to a relative’s house.  Do you think I am joking??  I know how yummy frozen chocolate can be!
 4.  Re-use the hard candy.  Take the lollipops and other hard candy and stash them away until you have an occasion to stuff a piñata or need hard candy for some other occasion. 
5.  Allow your children to overindulge the first day and then be limited after that.  What I have found works best for us (keep in mind… I am not implying this will necessarily work for everyone) is we pretty much (within reason) allow them to eat whatever they desire Halloween night.  After that, they can have 1 piece of candy after school and another after dinner.
Hopefully some of the suggestions above will help you reclaim some of the control over the amount of candy in your home.   If nothing else, it certainly reaffirmed to me that I don’t need to buy a bag of candy corn “for decoration.”  Regardless, have a safe and fun-filled Halloween!

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