It’s been two days since Halloween and I don’t know about you, but it’s time to get our candy moving on to a better place.
Today I’m going to tell you how we navigate Halloween, but first some background.
I often get asked what we do about Halloween. Being the health queen, people want to know if I let my kids go out, if I let them eat their candy, and whether I hand out “normal” treats or give out toothbrushes instead?
As passionate as I am about health, I don’t feel it’s my right or my responsibility to educate everyone. I’m intentional about who I’m here to serve, and it’s certainly not the neighbourhood ghosts and goblins on the single biggest sugar-fest of the year!
So YES I give out traditional candy at our door.
YES I let my kids (ages 8 and 10) go out. (I actually enjoy dressing up and connecting with our neighbours.)
And YES I let my kids eat candy. But there are boundaries.
Five treats on October 31.
Four treats on November 1.
Three treats on November 2.
And then the treats become “money,” which they can use to buy fun experiences that align much better with our family values. For example:
- Help with their after school paper route (10 treats)
- An extra 15 mins of reading before bed (10 treats)
- A trip to the local wave pool (15 treats)
- A kid-appropriate matinee at the movie theatre (20 treats)
And finally, there is one epic experience that costs both kids all of their candy – a weekend away in a hotel with a waterslide, a live theatre performance, and a dinner out at our favourite restaurant.
It’s been interesting to watch this little game play out over the past few years. So far it seems as though they really enjoy it. Not only do they get to take part in the best of what Halloween has to offer (without the sugar hangover!), they also learn valuable “money” skills in terms of making tough decisions with limited resources.
Here are 3 creative things to do with leftover Halloween candy.
- Gifts That Keep on Giving: Use excess treats to fill one of those extra mugs lying around (you know you have one!) and make someone’s day along with a heartfelt card. We have targeted an especially enthusiastic crossing guard who clearly loves his job.
- Give It Away: Donate to someone who will enjoy it — a local shelter for families and individuals, a nursing home, coworkers, or send it to troops overseas.
- Organize a Visit from the Switch Witch: Think Elf on the Shelf meets the Tooth Fairy. Children leave their candy for the Switch Witch in exchange for a special gift (presumably something a little healthier). Then parents can decide between choice number 1 or 2 so they don’t eat it all!
Now I want to hear from you. How do you honour your commitment to a healthy lifestyle during one of the year’s unhealthiest holidays? What creative ways have you discovered to keep all the Halloween treats out of your family’s bellies? I’d love to read your ideas in the comments below.