You don’t have to be a switch witch this Halloween to limit your kid’s sugar intake.
So it’s that time of the year again. Your little one has donned the cutest costume ever and brought home about 10 pounds of sugar you don’t necessarily want them to consume. Many parents are now choosing to pull a ‘switch witch’ where they offer their child a prize in exchange for their bag of candy. As a parent of three children and former child, I think this is complete crap. First of all, kids work hard for that candy. Costumes are chosen, assembled and then kids trudge through the neighbourhood (somehow it is always raining) with a bag that is heavier and heavier with each hard earned candy bar.
So, what’s the alternative? Most schools now discourage parents from sending any candy in school lunches, so kids can either choose to spoil their dinner or binge on the sweet stuff before bed.
What I propose is a compromise. Last year I let each one of my kids take one cereal bowl and fill it with all the candy they wanted to keep. Then we bookmarked the rest for other things. I found once the bowls were empty the kids were already in Christmas mode and their huge candy bag was a distant memory. But I refuse to throw out the extras. Instead I have come up with a variety of uses for your excess sugar and salt.
First of all, put the candy in the freezer. I have a deep freezer full of ancient frozen fries that I rarely visit. Out of sight and out of mind works wonders for me and my kids. Not only will you not be tempted to eat the goodies, but you can also store them for the future such as:
Potty treats–Is there anything as motivating as a single smartie every time one poops? Many parents successfully potty trained their kiddos this way. Let your little one choose their treat and you will be changing less diapers in no time.
Holiday baking—What’s better than Christmas cookies? How about Christmas cookies filled with chunks of chocolate bars? Yum. #parentingwin.
Gingerbread houses—Instead of those weak little gummy candies you usually find in the gingerbread house kit, why not decorate your cookie mansion with some Kit Kat bars? You are going to be eating it anyway so it might as well taste good.
Cupcake bar—I am the world’s worst baker so I often do a cupcake bar for my kids’ birthdays. All you need are some plain cupcakes, frosting and your leftover Halloween candy, and you have a party hit on your hands.
Loot bags—Speaking of party hit, sprinkle some of those leftover fun-size Snickers in your loot bags for a cheap filler that any parent would want to steal.
Hide and seek—Another option is to use the candy to fill a treasure chest for party goers to find after a series of clues. Is there anything more fun that discovering a trunk full of candy?
Fill a pinata—Kids will be so excited to see a bunch of treats raining down that they won’t notice the Halloween-themed wrappers.
Parents know that it is not only excess sugar that ends up in childrens’ trick-or-treat bags. Fun-size potato and corn chips are also popular Halloween fare. But have no fear, I have lots of ideas on how to make those leftovers work as well.
Make supper a little bit yummier–Get those delicious diet busters out of the house all at once by cooking one of these amazing recipes. Win-win!
Portion-controlled fun–Fun sized bags of chips/cheesies can be a great way to provide your kids with a smaller portion of a treat to have during movie night or to add to your lunch on a family day out.
Share the love–If you don’t want to store the goodies until you need them you can consider donating them to a local shelter or youth centre. Many older kids don’t get the chance to go trick-or-treating and food banks or shelters don’t always have the resources to give out treats.
So what do you think PLNers? Should kids get to keep all of their candy or should you limit their sugar intake? What is your favourite way to use your kid’s Halloween candy? Let us know in the comments!
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.