I've written about this a lot. Every year, in fact. And I always say pretty much the same thing:
- Take this as an opportunity to teach your kids some healthy eating habits.
- Rather than stress out about how to get rid of the candy, why not use some smart strategies for lightening the load.
- Hiding, dumping, buying back, and switch-witch'n are all ways to teach your kids the wrong lessons.
All the stress about Halloween highlights the mixed messages our culture sends our kids about the role of sweets and treats in their lives.
Show of hands: How many people delighted in the theirs baby's first birthday cake? I just saw a video declaring, "Smash cakes are all the rage!"
How many parents give their kids the chocolate cake "look"—I know you know what I mean—every time they bring out sweets and treats?
Or say to their kids, when the ice cream they order is bigger than their bodies, "Can't wait to see you eat that!!!"
And how many of us talk up the Halloween candy in advance, only to talk it down the morning after?
It's a little crazy, our culture glorifies, then vilifies, sweets and treats. Halloween is just one example of this phenomenon.
Here an inventory of my past Halloween posts to help you cope
- Lighten the Halloween haul so you don't have to resort to dumping: Halloween Candy
- Use Halloween (it's kind of like an enormous buffet) to teach healthy eating habits: Healthy Halloween Habits Start Today
- Why you should Ditch the Switch Witch
- How to get out of the candy-containment mindset so that your kids learn how to handle Halloween on their own. (Isn't that the goal?): But What Are You Going to Do with All that Halloween Candy?
- How to avoid the hidden problem with Halloween—it teaches kids to eat what they have, not what they want: A Better Buy-Back
- The fallacy of filling your kids up on healthy foods before they go trick-or-treating: Don't Fill Your Kids Up Before They Go Trick-or-Treating
- 5 Unintended lessons kids learn when parents try to restrict Halloween candy consumption: The How-to-Control-Your-Kids'-Candy-Consumption Con
And just because the Halloween "problem" is not limited to Halloween...
Is it fair to dump your kids' candy if they've "earned" it? I doubt my answer will surprise you: All's Fair...In Love, War and Feeding Kids!
~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~