Halloween can be a lot of fun--but oftentimes, it’s also a lot of sugar. Whether you’re worried about the health concerns, or trying to make sure you get enough Reese’s pumpkins for your secret stash above the fridge, limiting your kids’ intake of Halloween candy can help you make Halloween healthier for your kids.
Time Timer ® spoke with Beth Robeson, The Picky Eater Coach, who offers 3 Ways to Have More Fun with Less Sugar this Halloween:
1. Fill Them With Healthy Food First
Feed your kids a healthy meal before they head out for trick or treat. They’ll eat less candy, and the food in their stomach will actually help protect them from some of the negative effects of sugar.
2. Focus on the Other Fun Parts of the Holiday
Make the focus of Halloween the fun of creating a costume, carving a pumpkin, playing games with friends, or snuggling up and reading spooky stories instead of making it all about the candy.
3. Introduce a New Tradition, the Great Pumpkin
Don’t forget to tell your kids about the magic of the Great Pumpkin, who, if they’d like, will trade all that candy for a very special gift. Kids need only to put their candy in a blanket on the porch or by the door and light their Jack O’ Lanterns before they go to bed. That way, the Great Pumpkin will know to visit your house. When they wake up in the morning, kids will find a special gift wrapped in the blanket!
I always left it completely up to my kids, and every year they chose the gift of the Great Pumpkin. I let them eat and play around with the candy for a while before bed (setting a Time Timer would be great for limiting the amount of time), and then at bedtime they could pick out 5 pieces of candy before they wrapped it all up in their blanket and set it out for the Great Pumpkin. They actually said they thought our Halloween was a lot more fun than their friends Halloween.
Beth Robeson has a Bachelor’s Degree in Motivational Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Sociology, and has spent the last 20 years researching, writing and teaching mothers, kids, and families about eating healthy and positive parenting. She is an experienced public speaker and the author of The Making of A Picky Eater! and 2 upcoming books, The Magic of Mothering, and The Field Guide to Healthy Kids Fast! She is the creator of the 30 Day Picky Pirates Program, a 30-day program designed to help kids take responsibility for their own health and co-producer of the weekly podcast, “What the Hell Are You Eating.”