Candy Control: Make a Plan for Halloween

Halloween is many kids' favorite holiday—costumes, trick-or-treating, and, of course, loads of candy. What's a health-conscious parent to do? Check out these tips for having fun with Halloween candy without gobbling it all down!

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By Skila Brown 

Kids are counting down the days. Dentists are refilling the ink in their printers for all those upcoming bills. Parents are bracing themselves for serious sugar highs, followed by crashes and bellyaches. It’s no secret that Halloween candy isn’t good for your little one, but as a parent, how can you limit your household’s candy intake without spoiling the fun? Read on for our best tips on how to set sweet limits in creative, festive ways this October 31st.

Skip Your Kid's Favorite Candy

Got a kid who is crazy for Reese’s, but hates Sour Patch Kids? Load up on the gummies when you shop for candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters. By choosing sweets your child doesn’t exactly love, you will increase the likelihood she’ll stay out of the candy bowl (and avoid a major binge-fest) after Halloween.

Do Some Candy Alchemy

Invite the Halloween Fairy to your house on October 31st to magically turn leftover candy into a new toy or book! Have your child pile all the candy she hasn't gobbled onto the floor before she goes to bed. Not only will this magical visitor prevent cavities, but your child will also actually be excited to get rid of her haul of treats. Win-win!

Trade It In

Collect small trinkets, homemade “get out of chores” coupons and movie tickets to sell to your child in a November 1st Store, in exchange for her Halloween loot. She’ll love the purchasing power, and won’t mind parting with her sweets in exchange for a new keychain or pencil case. If your kid is uninterested, offer to buy her candies at a rate of ten to twenty-five cents apiece. That way, she can start saving up for something she really wants.

Get Crafty

Use the candy, wrappers and all, to make some cute crafts with your child. Use wrappers or leftover candy corn for an adorable collage, or save them to bake turkey cupcakes during Thanksgiving. Stash other mini sweets away for making gingerbread houses at Christmastime!

Make a Sweet Donation

Turn this holiday into teaching moment that focuses on giving to the less fortunate. Drop candy off at the local food bank or children’s hospital as a family. Praise your kid for sharing her treats, explaining how her gift will bring a smile to someone's face. She’ll love the warm fuzzy feeling she gets by being generous instead of the typical post-Halloween tummy ache.

Bake It Up

Crush up candy and sprinkle it over yogurt for a more balanced snack, or bake the crushed sweets into cookies or brownies she can deliver as a thank you to the neighbors! A little reverse trick-or-treating will be a fun way to practice sharing, and getting the candy out of the house will just be an added bonus.

Have an All-You-Can-Eat Policy ... for One Night Only

Sometimes, a free-for-all is the best policy to nip sweet temptation in the bud. Allow your kid to have one piece of candy Halloween night, and the next day, give her carte blanche to eat her fill of chocolate, gummies and other sweets during dinner. The catch? Everything she doesn’t eat will get tossed. That way, your child will feel content with her candy intake, and you won’t have to worry about the surviving stash.

Setting limits on hard-earned Halloween loot may be a hard sell for candy-loving kids, but inspiring your child to get creative with her sweets in a cavity-free way isn’t impossible. Let her choose from a few of these candy solutions, and she’ll have so much hands-on fun that she won’t mind parting with her goodies.

Looking for some wickedly fun crafts? Check out our Halloween activities for all ages!

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