This is a quick post today, but one that I felt compelled to write, as I get questions about Halloween all the time!
First off, I am not a dictator in my house but I do set expectations and take the job as a role model to my kids as very seriously. So when it comes to “junk” food, I want my kids to have other options and/or be nourished in such a way that they don’t crave it on a daily basis.
They eat healthy, nutrient dense, from-scratch foods daily, so they don’t have the “taste” for super-sweet processed stuff, that is the unfortunate basis of diet for so many these days. My family is also social, so of course there are parties and other events that they attend where there are other things to eat that are out of the norm. Do I handcuff them? No….We find better options if available, then let them make choices that suit them. I am realistic and know that it will never be perfect, and I am fine with that.
So in the topic of Halloween and Trick-or-Treat, here is what we do:
Let them go out and have a blast with their friends, in their costumes gathering candy from the neighbors. When we come back, they spread it all out on the floor, and they get to pick a few of their favorites then they trade in in at “the store”.
What store?….I started this four years ago. I go out an buy real treats; cd’s, fun hair-do-dads, socks, nail polish, pencils and other age/gender appropriate things to trade for candy.
I add a value to each piece of candy; like 3 Snickers will get you a cool pair of socks.(Little math lesson too!) So things move along quite quickly. Before you know it the floor is clean, the candy is put into a bag and either thrown away, or brought to my husbands work and those guys get the sugar rush, rather than my kiddos!
Halloween candy is NOT SPECIAL!
You can go to CVS 365 days a year and get the same candy if you want to eat it. And if you want to eat it, EAT IT. Being wrapped in an orange wrapper does not make it special.
Make this super-fun holiday special in other ways like: take out Halloween books from the library, listen to fun “spooky” CDS and have a dance party in your jammies, carve pumpkins and other hand-made decorations, watch a classic Halloween movie like The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, or travel to Salem, Massachusetts for their annual spook fest!
That’s how we role! I hope that helps…HAPPY HALLOWEEN!