What’s not to love about Halloween? Money spent on a costume that gets worn one time. Walking around your neighborhood past bedtime on a school night. Excessive amounts of candy that will likely cause its fair share of battles – and cavities. Sure, that’s a pretty sardonic look at one of childhood’s most beloved traditions, but the truth is, for some families, Halloween can be a real nightmare! This year, don’t let the Halloween battles of years past put a damper on your fun. Here are some practical tips that will make getting your kids to loosen their grip on Halloween treats as easy as taking candy from a baby.
Lead By Example
Will you be passing out treats this year? Start healthy habits at home by skipping the candy and giving out something else, like pencils, temporary tattoos, spider rings, bubbles or any other non-edible treat. You can also swap candy for healthier treats like pretzels or crackers.
Rationing is harder than it sounds for some, but it's always a good first step when it comes to controlling your kids’ candy intake. Before your kids head out trick-or-treating, discuss with them how much candy they can keep, and how much they can eat each day (one piece a day is a good number). Let them choose their favorite treats and then either donate or throw away the rest immediately. Make sure they agree to brush their teeth well after eating each piece.
Candy buybacks and donations to charities are always a possibility - some organizations even collect excess Halloween candy to donate to troops overseas (check out Soldiers Angels or Operation Gratitude)! But if you don't want to participate in an organized buyback or donation program, you can create your own! Let your kids trade in their candy for a prize. It doesn’t have to be a toy - you can offer more screen time, a later bedtime, a movie, a special outing or any other activity your child might like. If one doesn’t cut it, offer a combination of several.
Who says you have to go trick-or-treating? Take your kids to a Halloween party instead! There will be more fun and a lot less treats. Can’t find any parties? Throw your own! Invite classmates, family and neighbors. Your kids will be so excited to be hosting they won’t even miss trudging door to door.
Ultimately, whatever you decide to do, have a safe and healthy Halloween. If you have any questions or concerns, or to schedule an appointment, give Dr. Abelar’s office a call at 858-866-9692.