If you are like me, the thought of your kids bringing a bag full of artificially colored and flavored sugar bombs into your house on Halloween makes you cringe!
You don't have to let them eat all that sickly, cavity-causing, hyperactivity-inducing glop. And you don't have to get guilted into it just because all the other parents are telling you
It's just once a year! Don't take away all their fun!
Well, you don't have to take away the fun with the Halloween candy!
(Note: This post contains affiliate links.As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
You can also implement this idea without making your kids whine about how mean a parent you are! Think of that! You're kids won't be stuffing themselves with candy AND they won't call you the meanest mom in the world. (Well, not for this, at least!)
First up, my very, very favorite idea for what to do with your kids' Halloween candy:
Save the Halloween candy for your holiday gingerbread house!
Brilliant, right? I wish it was my original idea, but a friend suggested it to me. I felt it was my duty to pass it on to you.
We've done this every year for the last six or seven years and it has been great! Our gingerbread houses are the craziest ones out there and the kids love the idea that the candy will not go straight into the garbage.
But how, you are wondering, are you going to get your kids to save their Halloween candy instead of eating it? Just follow this easy 3 step plan.
Halloween Candy 101
Try this three step plan!
Step 1: Be Upfront
No Surprises. Don't suddenly spring it on them after they get home that they won't be eating their candy. The results will not be pretty. Explain that the fun part of trick or treating is going around the neighborhood with friends, not scarfing down the candy afterwards. Fortunately, I have already successfully
indoctrinated taught my kids that artificially colored and flavored sugar bombs rot their brains are not good for growing bodies. If you plan to save it for a gingerbread house, let them in on the secret.
Step 2: Trade the Stash for a Coveted Toy
If you wonder how you might convince your kids to forgo eating their trick-or-treat treasure trove I will tell you that for the past several years I have been trading the boys their bag of candy for a toy they have been coveting. I solicit their opinions on which toy, book or game they would like to receive when they willingly hand over the sugar goods.
I make sure to that the item they choose available on Halloween so they don't have to wait for it. Waiting=Whining. One year they each asked for $10 instead. Sold.
I've heard others use the idea of a " Switch Witch," to get their kids to give up their candy. The "Switch Witch" is a sort of an Tooth Fairy type creature who enters the house by stealth in the middle of the night and switches the candy for a toy. However, I find that my kids prefer immediate results and do not want to wait until morning. You may prefer to hire the Switch Witch to perform the task for you, especially if your kids appreciate a little magic in their lives.
Step 3. Have a Sweet Treat Substitute
Just before Halloween I purchase an organic candy with no added artificial colors like Sundrops (an M&M imposter) and YumEarth Organic Lollipops. Candy without artificial colors are much less likely to cause ADHD-like symptoms in children who are sensitive to the coloring chemicals.
I deal out a little candy each day for five days so that when their friends are happily gobbling down Halloween candy in front of them, they don't feel left out of the fun.
But what if your children are used to eating as much candy as they want?
If your kids have been gorging on Halloween candy for years, you might have to do some extra work convincing your kids of the value of this plan, but don't let others convince you that you are sucking all the joy and fun out of your kids' childhoods just because you're teaching them to resist the allure of florescent lime green flavored sugar squares. And if you (or your mother in law) need convincing, take a look at these articles:
No child ever expired because they had fun on Halloween without gorging on candy. Focus on the costumes, the parades, the bobbing for apples and the scares. Their brains and your sanity will reap the rewards.