It’s here – treat season! Fall parades and festivals, Trunk or Treat, Trick or Treat, Thanksgiving pies, cookies with Santa, Christmas treats galore …and that is just the next two months!
My kids get candy and my kids get candy that I don’t love. I don’t ever want to have things that are foreign and completely off limits to them, because I truly believe that will just drive them closer to it.
With that said, I try to encourage and monitor for moderation because I know the effects of sugar on the body. We also talk about better choices being available for all foods and drinks, including those “fun foods”.
Today, I wanted to share with you some alternatives to put in your Trick or Treat bucket + tips for when it is all over.
As a RN + Health Coach I want to provide healthy options, but also feel societal pressure to provide the junky treats kids want. Then I see my kids go to other kids houses and get excited about the non-candy trinkets. It is fun and different than every other house. Consider switching it up or mixing some treats with some non-food options. Plus, a bonus is that offers something to kids who can’t have certain treats due to allergies.
Non treat options:
- Glow sticks
- Bouncy balls
- Dollar store trinkets
You could also still offer sweets, but upgrade them away from candy. My favorite Costco has some great options.
Non candy sweets:
- Made Good Cookies
- Fruit Leathers
- Fruit snacks
If you are still interested in candy, here is a post I did for Easter basket fillers that has some great upgraded candy options. A lot of these brands also have individual bags available for holidays, such as this.
Okay, it’s over. Now what?
My first tip: let them eat as much as they want that first night.
My philosophy has changed on this. I used to restrict it and only let them have so many pieces, but instead I want them to indulge and enjoy it but then also feel the effects it has on their body and how it makes them feel after. It is important for kids (and adults) to learn to listen to their body and see the correlation with food. Additionally, I mentioned I feel that restriction only makes the heart grow fonder, right!?!
Second tip: move it away.
Out of sight out of mind. I bet day two or three they will want some and then after that, if it isn’t right on the counter they likely are not asking about it anymore.
Third tip: consider a visit from the Switch Witch.
The idea is you set out the extra Trick or Treat candy on Halloween night (maybe reserving a few pieces for later) and then Susie the Switch Witch comes and takes it and leaves a toy.
I heard about this many years ago and decided I was going to do it when my kids were old enough. Last year (the first year I was actually going to carry through), I backed down and had the mentality that my kids aren’t entitled to get to eat every single piece of candy just because they have it and instead I would let them have some and then as a parent I would just say we are done and toss the rest. They didn’t need a prize or toy in its place and quite frankly I didn’t have that as a kid.
Well, then my oldest came home from school the day after Halloween and wanted to tell me all about his friend who had a visit from the Switch Witch and got a cool Lego. Fast forward to my oldest writing a note, putting it on the porch and my husband running to Target after the kids went to bed to get something from the Switch Witch.
Translation: “Here is your candy. We would love to play with a new police lego set. Please and thank you. Carter Dylan”
They got some candy on Halloween, a couple pieces the next day and were super excited from a toy from the Switch Witch. I call that a win all around!
How do you handle sweets in your home, especially around the holidays?