Halloween is a sweet time of year, no doubt, but what are you going to do with all that candy? You want your kids to have fun this season and candy is part of that, but it is also a good time to teach them about eating responsibly and paying attention to their health. As with most things, good planning and a little moderation are key. Think ahead and find ways to manage the candy overload, so everyone has a good time this Halloween.
Getting your child ready to go out and trick or treat should include a healthy meal. This will keep little hands from eating candy all night long. While you are sitting down for that pre-trick-or-treat meal, talk about your schedule for the night, including:
Make sure everyone understands the plan before you go out trick or treating.
Make the candy a commodity instead of a treat. Allow your kids to trade it in for other benefits like an hour of TV or an extra few dollars at allowance time. This teaches them the value of bartering and puts a different spin on sweets. Trick or treating will be fun because it is still about getting something special, but the focus shifts from food to another perk.
Instead of trading in their candy for something extra, let them use those treats like tickets at the arcade. Five pieces of candy equal one ticket. With 15 tickets, you can buy a surprise bag filled with toys or a new basketball. Use your imagination and pick prizes that your kids will love and want to trade in their candy for.
As you are sorting through the candy, pick out the items that you can use when you cook. For example, candy-coated chocolate pieces work well in cookies.
Let your kids help find ways to reuse the candy for weekend baking projects or upcoming holiday events like Thanksgiving. This will help stretch it out while teaching them more about cooking and working together as a team. When you serve the desserts to friends and family, make sure to mention that your son or daughter gave up their Halloween candy to make it.
You can get rid of the extra candy you bought and some collected while they trick or treat by donating to troops via Operation Gratitude. Through candy collection, you and your kids can say thank you to the troops who don’t get to enjoy Halloween. Let your kids help box up their extra treats, too, so they learn to appreciate the power of sharing. Make sure to go to the website before sending your candy. There are a few rules for donating candy that you need to follow.
Operation Gratitude is just one way you can donate this Halloween. Spend time with your kids looking for local charities that take donations, too. For example, a community Ronald McDonald House, the hospital or you can even drop off a few bags at the police and fire station to thank them for all they do.
This time of year, more than any, we recommend giving extra probiotics to children with a sweet tooth. Excess candy & sugar can lead to the growth of unhealthy bacteria in their gut. You can help offset this by introducing more “good bacteria” in the form of probiotics. Adults and children eight years of age and older and who are able to swallow capsules can take Healthy Trinity, younger kids can use our Healthy Start System in powder form that can be simply mixed into non-acidic juice, yogurt, applesauce, etc. making it easier for younger kids to get their daily serving of probiotics. Children with sensitive systems would benefit most from Natren’s Life Start powdered probiotics.
Halloween is about fun – candy is just part of it, so shift their attention to the other great things about the holiday. It is up to you to teach your kids that eating responsibly matters, even when they have a big bag of treats in their hand.