Sunday, October 14, 2012

On Halloween Candy and Preschoolers

Halloween and Trick-Or-Treating are awesome.  Last year we took Aias and a friend around the neighborhood, and they had an absolute blast knocking on doors, saying "trick-or-treat," and collecting goodies.

We were, however, very conflicted about what to do with Aias's tremendous bounty at the end of the night.  Last year he was just under 2 years old, and this year he will be nearly 3.  He knows all about how delicious candy is, and we know too!  We also know how horrible he behaves when he has it, how bad it is for his teeth, how he has one piece and gets tunnel vision from eating it... only wanting to eat candy for days and acting like "real food" is hideous poison.  Probably the worst part about the candy was that we were eating it like crazy ourselves. 

This year, we are discussing in advance what to do about the candy (we love when people give out chips, because those are a relatively benign snack).  Yeah, we know Halloween is only one day and realistically speaking, candy won't literally kill our preschooler.  At the same time, we don't want to absolutely torture ourselves (and him), so we want to come up with a reasonable "solution" as to how to "deal" with the abundance of candy that trick-or-treating often yields, without having to deny him the trick-or-treating experience entirely.

Here are some ideas we have heard of parents doing over the last few years:

-  Letting the kids eat as much candy as they want when they get home from trick-or-treating (think: candy binge), then whatever they can't eat that night gets thrown or given away

- Taking control of the candy and doling it out after dinner, one piece a night as dessert, until the candy is gone

- Letting them trade the candy for a toy, then the parents can either throw the candy out or put it away out of the child's reach

- Coming back from trick-or-treating early, and giving out the candy to other trick-or-treaters (once you've checked it all)

- Giving the candy away, either to older kids or by having an adult bring it to work and put it in the lunchroom

- Letting the kid just keep the candy and manage it themselves

- Putting the candy aside to decorate a gingerbread house/cookies for Christmas

- Putting the candy out on the table at an upcoming event (luckily Aias has an early November birthday!) or in a pinata, then more people can enjoy it instead of just one kid

We are strongly leaning toward letting him trade the candies in for a small Lego set. 

What do you guys think?

Last year's Halloween

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