- First and foremost, if you buy candy for trick-or-treaters purchase something you know you won’t eat! Better yet, get some odd novelty-candy that is disgustingly sour or involves a two-part eating process like dipping hard candy into a vile powder-mixture. Kids love weird candy. Adults love yummy candy. Think like a kid.
- Don’t buy candy needed for trick-or-treaters until Halloween day. You might have to spend an extra dollar or two waiting until the last minute but do you really want to hear the candy calling to you from above the refrigerator or in the back of the pantry for two weeks prior to Halloween?
- Once you’re in your PJ’s and have given up on answering the doorbell, leave left over candy on the front porch for teenagers to greedily scoop-up. If there is still some left in the morning, toss it in the trash. Don’t bring it into work or give it to a neighbor. Everyone is trying to cut back on sugar and no one likes a pusher. It may seem wasteful to throw it out but ask yourself who benefits by keeping it in the house.
- Before buying candy for Halloween, know what you are going to purchase prior to even entering the store. Standing in front of the wall-o-candy trying to decide what to get primes your palate and gives your brain plenty of time to come up with some creative rationalizations for selecting your favorites.
- When your kids come home with pillowcases full of candy, have them dump it out, do their exchange (remember that fun negotiation process?), and then ask them to put all the candy they don’t like in a pile. Yes, you will be surprised to find out that kids can be pretty picky when it comes to candy. Toss the dislike pile immediately. You have now probably reduced the amount of candy in the house by half.
- As a parent, you know how to monitor your child’s candy intake. However, if candy is a trigger food for you and guilt precludes you from setting boundaries on your child’s candy consumption, remind yourself that you are doing the entire family a service by setting limits. Children eat, on average, 32 teaspoons of sugar a day. Add Halloween candy to their diet and you are doubling and tripling that average. A few treats are plenty (that’s why we call them treats). Your kids won’t be scarred for life if they get a few less candy bars…that’s my predication anyway.
- If you want to avoid candy altogether, I suggest some fun, inexpensive toys that you can buy in bulk from online companies like Orientaltrading.com. Avoid giving out pennies or apples, unless you want your house egged. Spider rings and mini-bubbles are always a hit.
Me as a Smurf
With the candy in check, have fun and email me photos of you and your kids in your Halloween costumes. It makes me happy!