Halloween: Kids & Candy


With Halloween just around the corner, this only seemed fitting.  I’m sure parents everywhere are already shuddering with thoughts of trick-or-treating and how to limit their kids’ candy intake.  Needless to say, I’m pretty sure that paediatric dentists rely on this time every year for their businesses to survive.

I can understand how one would feel torn in this situation.  On the one hand, there is nothing better than seeing your little one light up, and candy really is the best and fastest way to get there.  Yet, one also can’t help but worry about their health, their teeth, the amount of processed sugars going into their little bodies, which inevitably leads to someone having to be the bad guy, and then dealing with the subsequent tantrums that often comes with getting off that sugar high.

The fact is, we’re not just talking about Halloween here, as we tend to find ourselves in situations like this more times than we’d like; playdates, parks, birthday parties, holidays and so on. Now I’m sure many of you already have a handle on this, but for those of you who still struggle, hopefully this piece will help.  And I realise that as a non-parent myself, it’s so easy for me to say, ‘it’s just one day, let them have fun’, but as I’ve already mentioned, it’s rarely just the one day, but several ‘one days’ throughout the year.

For now however, let’s focus on what is coming, which is Halloween, and what we can do, or mindsets we can adopt to help limit their sugar intake, but without necessarily killing their fun. Now, before sitting down to write this, I spoke to a few mum friends and asked them what they do during Halloween and decided to share some of their tactics, so here we go:

  • Allowing a very limited unlimited access – This is not as dangerous as it sounds. What this particular mum does is allow her children as much candy as they would like for that ONE day only. What she typically finds is that once they get home, they eat the stuff they like, whereas the other ‘not so popular’ treats get tossed aside and the kids lose interest.
  • Limiting the number of homes they go to when trick-or-treating; this may seem a bit cruel to some, but it’s definitely a good way to limit how much candy your kids come home with. In fact, I know a few parents who actually form groups with their neighbours to limit how much candy is handed out, and to advise on the type of treats, for example, less processed and more organic (but still yummy of course).
  • Eating the candy yourself – yes, many parents who don’t want to deal with their kids asking about where the rest of their candy is the next day, simply eat as much of it as they can, only to tell them the next morning ‘you finished it all, remember?’
  • Last, but not least, distracting them with simply anything else. Once you feel that they’ve had enough, opt for something else that is just as fun, like a fun Halloween themed movie night, games or a sleepover with friends.

As mentioned, these situations present themselves multiple times throughout the year.  And though our child’s health is of the utmost importance, we also love seeing them happy and having fun. So, it really is up to each individual household how they choose to go about navigating Halloween, birthday parties, playdates and so on.  Meanwhile, I will close on a happy note and say: Happy Halloween in advance, and get started on booking those dentist appointments!

Any tips you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments below!



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