Most kids will wake up Friday morning as CEO of a large bag of sugary temptation. They want to celebrate with indulging with the bounty, but moms know how candy negatively impacts our bodies. Doctors tell us about the effect of sugar on insulin production. Dentists warn against the potential for cavities after eating sugar, particularly the sticky stuff  found in treat-or-treat bags. And moms can vouch for the behavioral insanity that follows candy consumption.

Everyone would agree that we need some sort of moderation. I asked around this week to get a sense of what parents are doing with their kids’ loot. Maybe one will spark an idea for your family.

  1. Let the kids have as much as they want and get it out of the way quickly. This requires a lot of patience from their caregiver for those few days.
  2. Dole out a small portion over a long period of time. Doctors probably prefer this method over the previous, but dentists might cringe about prolonged exposure.
  3. Put it all on top of the fridge and only give a piece of candy when they ask for it. After a week or so, the bag is forgotten and the candy can be moved out of the house. Although, this means it’s then available to mom, which carries its own danger (including looking older)!
  4. Instantly recycle it back into what you’re handing out at the door. If you have a lot of trick-or-trick traffic, this lessens the candy to buy.
  5. Make other goodies. Incorporate that Halloween candy into other treats that can be used for upcoming get-togethers.
  6. Donate the whole stashor part of it to local firefighters, police, or you can check for donation centers on-line. Operation Gratitude collects candy to send to our troops.
  7. “Sell” it. Many dentists and orthodontists will buy back your candy for rewards or cash. This highly motivates my daughter who collects points with her orthodontist.
  8. Create the Halloween fairy/goblin/witch. Similar to the tooth fairy, she will come at night, take the candy you have left out, and exchange it for a toy. Of course, that’s one more job for mom during an already busy time.

Whatever method you choose for dealing with you kids’ sugar trove, make sure to follow the common sense advice of professionals. Balance sugar consumption with fiber, protein, and power house vegetables and follow our healthy mealtime advice. Brush their teeth as soon as possible after eating candy, especially at night when the bacteria have several undisturbed hours to destroy teeth via tooth decay. Plan high energy activities to burn the hyperactive energy of a sugar rush and cut down on behavior issues throughout the day.

Most importantly, trust your gut about what is best for your family!