My dad is a dentist and my mom is super healthy, so Halloween was always an interesting day in our house (we were that one house that always gave out toothbrushes instead of candy). Every time my parents would hear a wrapper open, I think they actually cringed.
I remember one particular Halloween where my siblings and I came back from trick-or-treating, and my parents told us to pick 10 pieces of candy to keep because they were taking the rest. We were mortified — and I think my brother cried for an hour straight. It was a disaster. My mom felt terrible. They never tried that again, but did take a different approach the next year.
A few days before Halloween, my parents sat us down and asked how we felt about sending our candy we collected to the soldiers overseas. We loved the idea (except my brother — he was a bit bitter from last year but he came around) and it made Halloween so special because we knew we were helping someone out.
After Halloween, my mom came home with a huge box and we all dumped our candy inside. We shipped it off to a soldier's address, and I distinctly remember feeling so happy. I don't remember every Halloween, but I'll never forget how awesome it was to feel like I made a small difference for one person.
If you're like my parents, you probably don't love your kids eating every piece of their Halloween candy ... who wants to deal with the tummy aches later? No thank you.
In order to take your child's candy without feeling like a monster, you need a strategy. Here are five ways you can feel good about cutting down on your child's Halloween haul:
This will have a huge impact on your kids, and it'll set the tone for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Help your kids understand that there are people in need (and kids who can't go trick-or-treating) who would love a bit of their candy. Your kids might not be 100 percent on board with the idea of giving it away, but they'll always remember the feeling they got and how important service is.
Another way to get their candy is to pay them a few cents per piece. If your child comes home with 50 pieces of candy (and you let them keep 10 pieces), you'll only pay your child $4 if you give your child a dime for every piece. (Plus, you'll actually save hundreds by avoiding the dentist … it's a win-win situation).
Every child has a few favorite types of candy. They might think they can't live without the rest, but they totally can. Get them really excited about all their favorite candy they collected, then downplay the rest.
If you only want your kids to eat a few pieces of candy on Halloween, let them know you're saving the rest for later. Assure them that you'll put it somewhere safe (don't tell them where), and pack a piece in their lunch every once in a while.
This technique is similar to a tooth fairy idea. Have your kids put their candy bags somewhere in the house or in their bedroom, and when they go to sleep, take it and leave a small gift or toy they've been wanting. They'll be so excited to wake up to a little gift!
How do you keep your kids from eating all their Halloween candy in one night? Or, do you let them have it all? Let us know in the comments!