- Halloween Apocalypse -
Halloween is a favourite time of year for both kids and parents alike. However, many parents express concern over the amount of junk food their children are exposed to. Any teacher will tell you that there’s nothing worse than a kid riding a high from fun dip. Outside of the obvious that junk food contributes to an already alarming DIABESITY (diabetes/obesity) epidemic, there are many behavioural issues that can increase after halloween.
Here are some strategies for surviving the post Halloween apocalypse:
Candy overdose - Let the kids have as much as they want the night of halloween and then police the treats or get rid of them all together.
Ration the treats - let them choose their favourites and then over time, give it them in their lunches or as a treat.
Personally, I don’t believe that either option is ideal. The first one encourages gluttony and the second encourages the concept of candy as a reward. Either way, we are looking at an increase in the consumption of fats, glucose, corn syrup etc, all which are very bad for our waistlines and cardiovascular health.
Have the kids sell their candy - Here’s a neat option, the kids will choose the value in their hard earned trick or treating skills and work on negotiating skills. Kids and parents can sit down after trick or treating and come to terms on the cash value for the junk food. (According to online mom threads the going rate for candy right now seems to be $1 per pound FYI)
(My personal favourite)
Switch Witch - A week or two before halloween, I start talking about the “Switch Witch”. Basically, the switch witch is a good witch that travels from house to house looking to trade halloween candy for toys or trips, etc. It doesn’t have to be a physical item, it could be a “free” trip to the wildlife park, tickets to the movies, a visit to hanks farm, whatever. Last year we tried the switch witch with our then 3- year old. We went to the toy store and he chose a special toy. I took a picture of him with the toy and then “sent it to the switch witch”. Halloween night, he kept his favourites from his pile (cheesies) and the rest we laid out for the switch witch. The next morning, the candy was “gone” and there was a bright new T-Rex waiting for him. He still plays with that T-rex to this day.
What to do with all the candy that you’ve bought, traded or given to the switch witch?
Good question. - Get it out of the house! There’s no point in keeping it out of your kids mouths only to put it into yours. This is basically making it somebody else’s problem, but better their problem than yours.
**It’s important to talk about healthy choices with your kids all year round**
We talk about health food on a regular basis with our kids. We are probably the only people around that have a 2 and 4 year old that talk about what’s healthy for their stem cells. By talking about healthy food all year round, they understand why they should only have one or two treats and it’s really not a big deal for them.
**It’s easy to criticize parents who want to police the candy from special events**
Saying things like “let kids be kids” or “well it didn’t hurt me”, doesn’t help the situation. Let’s face it, diabetes, obesity and other major illness are more common now than ever. Perhaps it’s time to start changing the old ways. I believe the saying is “Do the best that you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” (Maya Angelou) The writing is on the wall, we know better, now it’s time to trash the (candy) stash.