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Tricks to Stop the Treats

Janis Covey

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Halloween is here and so is the dreaded candy.  If you’re like me, you try to have your children eat healthy and steer clear of artificial dyes, high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar, and then Halloween sneaks up, out of nowhere, threatening to fill your children with all the garbage you have been working so hard to avoid.  Now don’t get me wrong, I want my children to enjoy the whole Halloween experience.  I want them to dress up and go trick or treating with their friends.  What I don’t want is them eating candy for days and weeks after.

To avoid this sugar binge, here are a few of the strategies I have used:

1.     Let the kids hand out the candy:  After they have had their fun trick or treating, my girls love to come back and hand out candy, they are always bummed when the last pieces are gone and we have to turn off the light.  In the past, to keep the fun going, they have given out the candy they received while trick or treating.  They pick out a couple of favorites and then enjoy some more time seeing other kids' costumes and handing out candy a little longer.

2.     Swap it:  Have you heard of the Great Pumpkin or the Switch Witch?  One of them shows up after your kids go to bed and take all the candy and leave your child a prize instead.

3.     Donate it:  Operation Gratitude collects Halloween candy every year to send to our troops.  Get more information here.  You could also reach out to a local nursing home.

Now, I know what you’re thinking!  What do we give out for Halloween?  You don’t want your kids to eat it, so how can you give it out?!  Here are a few healthier options:

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1.     Non-candy treat:  There are so many options!  Hot chocolate packets, mini pretzel snack bags, bubbles, activity pads, slap bracelets.  The list could go on and on.

2.      Money:  I don’t know about you but growing up there was a house that always gave coins instead of candy.  This was my favorite house to go to.  They handed out quarters and I loved to add the coins to my piggy bank and dream about what I was saving for.

3.     If candy is a must, go organic. I realize no candy is truly healthy but if you're sticking with the classic Trick or Treat fare then why not make it organic and free of artificial dyes.  Yum Earth has some great options.

In the comments below, tell me your ideas to avoid the sugar high Halloween usually brings.