Let Them Eat Candy!
I know. Coming from a Nutritionist, you’re probably thinking…she’s crazy! What Nutritionist says kids can eat candy?
Yes, it’s true. I believe in letting your kids have candy on Halloween. I have two main reasons why:
Reason #1: Balance
It’s ONE DAY. Your kids dream of this day all year long. They probably change their mind about what they’re going to BE on Halloween about 100 times. It’s exciting, it’s fun, and it’s one day a year. You do your best to serve them nutritious foods and make sure they get loads of vitamins and fruits and vegetables all year long…so why not let loose for ONE DAY?
Once Halloween is over, you can make the decision about what to do with the rest of the candy. You’re in charge. Do you ration it? Trade for the remaining candy?
Here’s what we do:
Once the kids come home, we make sure to go through all the candy with them. This is important for two reasons. We make sure everything they are keeping is safe (we don’t keep anything homemade or unwrapped) and I get to “help” them decide what to keep and what to put back in the bowl to go back out to the trick-or-treaters. That’s right. If you come to my house later at night, you’re probably getting recycled candy.
There are certain treats I simply don’t want them to have-ever. I allow many on Halloween, but some I simply don’t like any time of the year. That is my choice, and you will have yours. Know what you’re going to allow them to keep and what you’re not. Organizing the candy will be much easier if you start with ground rules.
They are allowed a few treats on Halloween night and then everything is out of sight (and magically, out of mind.) I always end up donating or tossing bags of candy months later.
Some people like to trade for the remaining candy. If this is your tactic, be ready with something better than a bag full of candy…like money, or movie tickets, or their favourite toy.
My kids know this is all happening. The key is to not surprise them at the end of the night when they’re all sugared up and just take it away. Hello MELTDOWN CITY!
Reason #2: It’s Not All About the Candy
My kids have been dreaming up their costumes for months. MONTHS. Zombies, sports players, witches, cartoon characters, etc. I feel like it’s been constantly changing for the past YEAR. I suppose they’re going to have to make up their mind….soon. But that is part of the fun of Halloween! For one night, the kids can be ANYTHING they want to be. No matter how silly, strange, creepy, or inspiring….they get to decide. And that is something that is unique to this one day.
Honestly, I feel like if I took candy completely out of the equation, my kids would still be excited because they get to wander the streets in the dark with their friends (and adults supervising of course). NEVER do I let me kids just wander the streets and go door to door on a regular day. Halloween is one of the special days of the year that you get to say hi to all your neighbours, wander the neighbourhood, smile, laugh, and have fun. In the dark.
There is a freedom to Halloween that doesn’t exist at any other time. Freedom for children is very important these days-they don’t get very much of it.
I know lots of people nowadays aren’t the biggest fan of Halloween but really…throwing caution to the wind for one night isn’t going to ruin their teeth for life and it certainly won’t ruin their insides. I am all for fruits and vegetables for kids. I am all for healthy eating and getting kids to try new things. I am all for a very healthy lifestyle. It’s one day. It’s all about balance.
Have rules. Have fun. Let them eat candy. Happy Halloween!