A little while ago I found out about significant trickery surrounding my childhood Halloweens. Each and every year my mother would feed us a good, hot stick to your bones meal (think beef stew or chili) to make sure we’d have a solid meal before our journey into Candy Land. We would go off, get a crap load of candy, eat a ton of candy on Halloween night and then surrender our goods to the giant bowls of candy that would sit in the centre of our family dining room table. As we ran lower on candy, bowls would shrink until we were out of treats.
What I didn’t know, until very recently, was that my mother was secretly, gradually throwing a significant portion of our candy into the garbage to make sure that we weren’t indulging too much for too long. Generally all Halloween goods were gone well before Christmas season. As a trusting and obedient child I never suspected a thing. When we got older my mother began to throw out candy in front of my brother insisting that it had “gone bad.”
This isn’t an issue that we have to deal with this year, as my children will be visiting a total of five houses (two sets of grandparents and three neighbours mainly to show off their costumes), but it’s something to consider for the future. When I complained to my partner Chris about my mother’s confection deception he shrugged and told me that growing up he ate a lot of candy that he didn’t even like after Halloween simply because it was there.
So what can you do to limit the amount of candy you (I know how much candy I eat on Halloween night when I give out treats and can only imagine the candicopia headed our way) and your child consume following Halloween? Here are some solutions I found/worked out which will lead to a healthier November for kids and parents beyond my own mother’s tough love method to healthy eating.
The Halloween Witch
The Halloween Witch is a household tradition for Baby Gourmet found Jennifer Carlson and her children Eamon and Findlay. Trick-or-treating is an experience that children love and Jen knew it would be very difficult (and disappointing for the kids!) to convince them not to participate – yet she was concerned about them eating big bags of candy. Eamon and Findlay have fun picking out their 10-15 favourite treats to keep and then they leave the rest of their candy next to the fireplace. The Halloween Witch visits their home each year and takes away the candy in exchange for a new present. Jen’s children enjoy the whole of experience of Halloween without the lingering damage to their nutritional plan.
- You’re lying to your kid.
- You need to go out and purchase replacement treats and create yet another hallmark holiday.
The Switch Witch
This is an online version I found that is a bit different then the one above. The Switch Witch is coined as an eco-fairy who comes on November 1st and takes away the most-offensive candy and replaces them with healthier surprises.
- You’re still lying to your kid.
- You need to go out and purchase replacement treats.
Encourage your children to play with their food by letting them do experiments to turn their candy into science projects, art work or jewellery.
- Some candy will get consumed in the making of the crafts.
- It encourages wasting and playing with food.
- Your kids could burn down your house creating a candy experiment or try to eat a varnish covered candy off of their bracelet.
Sharing is Caring
Why not encourage your kids to select some treats for mom and dad to bring into work and share with coworkers, give a goodie bag to the bus driver, postal worker, hair dresser, barber and the grandparents. Check and see if your local food bank will accept donations of wrapped candies.
- You have to negotiate with a child caught midst a CANDY CANDY CANDY state of mind with no pay off but kindness. Think negotiating with Cookie Monster at the Christie factory outlet.
I’m open for other suggestions and comments and will probably entertain a combination of a few of the above methods. At least I have another few years to prepare for Candygeddon.