How is it Halloween time again?! With the excitement of a new month and the holidays underway, we wanted to take some time to address one of the tastiest parts of the October month: CANDY! With the Halloween candy bags and buckets coming out, you may be wondering how you can manage Halloween candy with your kids. Overconsumption and sugar-filled energy rushes can be a concern for many parents. As it turns out, we have some tips that involve the Halloween candy that will still keep the fall season fun and memorable.
Prepare, Prepare, and Prepare Again
Kids and adults alike thrive on routine and knowing what to expect ahead of time. If you bring out the Halloween candy, parents might be concerned when they see their sweet child turn into a ravenous candy-eating vampire. Before you bring a ton of candy into the home, set some ground rules. Let your kids know how many pieces of candy they can have and when they can have them. This includes the days after Halloween night. You don’t need to give all the candy away, but instead, teach the value of limits and moderation.
Be a Super Role Model
We see you, Mom. You’re over at the Halloween candy bowl again eating your 5th Reese’s Pieces. It happens to the best of us, but if your little one sees you mindlessly snacking, you can bet that they’ll want to do the same. As you set limits for your little one, be sure to prepare in advance and set limits for yourself. Perhaps that candy bowl is too tempting though. In that case, put the candy bowl in a place that’s inconvenient to reach. You can, alternatively, buy less candy and buy it closer to the Halloween holiday. If Halloween candy isn’t in the house to begin with, you won’t be tempted to eat it.
A Surprising Behavior Might Be Lurking
We know that you know your kids best! For some kids, they are able to regulate their eating habits really well. This means that they’re more likely to stop eating when they’re full and can moderate their candy consumption without parental guidance. Take note of your little one’s cues when they eat sweets. You may not even need to hide the candy jar if they have no interest in pigging out on Halloween candy and treats.
You Are What You Think!
When it comes to Halloween candy, it is often viewed as “bad” food to eat. We encourage you to think about food a little bit differently around your kiddos because “good” and “bad labeling can lead to restrictive behaviors and create feelings of shame around food later on in life. Instead, try to choose language that tells a greater and positive story about the food you eat. “I’m enjoying a few pieces of candy today because it sounds really good” is a perfect example of a statement that tells a greater story. For kids and adults alike, eating food is all about balance and variety. Of course, there are some foods we want more than others, but the relationship that we build with food early on in life often goes with us into adulthood. The moral of the story: your reality becomes what you think!
Bite Into Candy Alternatives
We realize that Halloween candy isn’t for all families or kids. It’s completely okay to find Halloween candy alternatives. Some Halloween healthy treats can be:
- Dried Fruit Boxes
- Otter Pops
- Granola Bars
- Non-Food Alternatives: Tattoos, Stickers, Bubbles, etc.
Play a bit to your little one’s favorites. These treats are meant to be special for the holiday after all. Keep in mind that Halloween is much more than food too. There are so many fall sensory play opportunities to try on for size that might just be way better than a piece of candy.
Shopping with Halloween Candy
A lot of us end up with way more candy than we can eat over a year. Shopping with candy at home is a good way to not only curb overconsumption but also teach your kids about money. With collected candy, give your child the option to “spend their candy” on other goodies whether that be small items like a little dinosaur toy or something that they have been eyeballing for a while. You can take your candy to your coworkers (they would love you), or try these alternatives for what to do with excess Halloween candy.
If your kiddo doesn’t like candy, then that’s good news, right? But, what if they don’t like most vegetables, grains, fruits, and meats too? Our office offers feeding therapy for problem feeders. Contact us today.