Halloween-y Tricks and Treats for Everyone!
Oh, Halloween. Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with this holiday or is it just me? Is Halloween even considered a holiday? I don’t know, but stores decorate for it as soon as July 4th has passed, so I suppose someone thinks it is.
Now before you start poking me with your plastic Party City pitchforks, hear me out. I love a holiday. Last year I hosted the Thanksgiving of my dreams, I am thisclose to renting a snow machine for my Christmas festivities this year, and I’m all about an Easter brunch. But Halloween? It quickly goes from snapping pics of the cutest Little Mermaid you’ve ever seen, to wrestling a half-melted laffy taffy from Ariel’s hand three hours past her bedtime, shell tiara askew, tail all wonky. The loot my children gather on Halloween causes a battle every single day until Christmas. Or until I tell them enough times that Santa isn’t going to come if they continue this behavior! So, how can we avoid the Halloween drama? Read on, my weary friends, read on.
What do you do with all the candy?
I asked around, and long story short, there isn’t a ‘right’ or ‘best’ answer. You have to make this decision based on your family, your children. If your idea of a ‘treat’ for your child is an organic fruit leather, then you might want to go ahead and confiscate everything immediately. They won’t sleep for three days straight if they get a hold of a pixie stick. But if you’re looking for some give-and-take, here are a few interesting ideas I have heard:
- Have your child select a certain number (that you decide) of pieces and you put away (or toss) the rest.
- A trade or buying system where your child ‘purchases’ something more enticing (a lego set, for example) with his or her candy.
- Include a piece of candy along with a regular, nutrient-dense snack, such as carrot sticks with dip or a hard boiled egg.
- Use the candy in a baking project. You could make monster cookies or brownies that have chopped candy in the batter or as a topping. Yes, this is an additional sugar rush, but you can use up a bunch of that candy in one pan of treats. Bonus points for delivering some to a friend or neighbor!
- Set a standard amount your child can have per day, and (here’s the hard part) stick to it! Your child will badger you for just ONE MORE lollipop, box of nerds, or twizzler, but once you consistently stick to your guns about the limit you set, they’ll stop hounding you. And before long, they will forget about it altogether.
I think one of the most important takeaways is to not entirely demonize the candy, because honestly, it just makes them want it more. Stay calm, stay neutral, and try to encourage healthier options whenever possible.
One More Thing…
Have you heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project®? This is a movement created to help children with food allergies feel included in the trick-or-treat festivities. If you pass any houses with a teal colored pumpkin outside, that is the signal that there are non-food treats available. It’s a great way to include everyone, not to mention an easy way to give children something other than candy. What types of things could you give?
- Halloween bracelets or rings
- Glow sticks
- Pencils or small packs of crayons
- Bouncy balls
- Pirate gold coins (not the chocolate ones!)
The possibilities are endless! You can easily and affordably find these types of items in Target’s Dollar Spot and party section, as well as the dollar store. (You know I love the dollar store.)
Don’t forget to tag us on social @islandprep with all your Halloween activities! We can’t wait to see your costumes!
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