Photo by: dcjohn
October 31st. Such a magical night for children and their parents. Until the bags of candy are brought home and the gorging begins. Then, parents become the "bad cops" when they try to put a stop to the candy consuming frenzy.
How do you balance the joy and spirit of the holiday with being mindful of overindulgence and health? Quite a narrow tightrope to walk!
Like most things, it all comes down to the preparation and expectations that are set in advance. For older children, if the habit after many years is a binge-fest, expect push-back if you try to make a change. For younger children, who don't have memories of Halloween etched in their minds, setting up rules this week should be sufficient.
-Pick an amount of candy for the first night that can be eaten (one way to do this is based upon your child's age). An example: on Halloween night, a 6 year old can expect no more than 6 pieces of candy to eat. Each subsequent night can be one piece fewer.
-Talk about (in advance) when candy can be eaten. You might want to make sure that nothing gets eaten while trick or treating.
-Have your kids sort through their candy once they return home and separate it into piles of "favorites", "likes", and "dislikes".
-Donate some to charity. Many neighborhoods put together an after-Halloween drive to send leftover candy to our Troops overseas.
Halloween, like many holidays, offers the opportunity to use it as a teachable moment: from a health standpoint, a charity standpoint, and being able to teach values.
I hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable Halloween!