Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sweet Dilemmas: Halloween Candy - Now What!

All year long we talk about the bad "sugar bugs" on our teeth and making good, healthy food choices.   Then comes Halloween!  I enjoyed researching various options on what to do with all the Halloween candy collected.  This is the first year I am actually concerned about how to deal with all the treats that will be brought home.  In the past, my son played with the candy without realizing it could be eaten!  A day or two after Halloween, the candy just disappeared and it wasn't a problem.  This year, may be a different story. He now knows that there are very delicious treats underneath the bright colored, crinkly wrappers.
Here are some fun and creative ideas I found.  I hope you will find them useful with your family.
* Immediately throw away all choking hazards.  Hard candy is the worst!*
1.  The Great Pumpkin or Sugar Fairy or The Switch Witch:  The kids pick a few pieces of candy (your discretion) and place the remaining candy on their doorstep before they go to bed and when they wake up the candy has been replaced with a present for the child and a thank you note.  Keep the gift small, Christmas is right around the corner!  This can be done a day or two after Halloween.
2.  Pick out and save candy to decorate a gingerbread house at Christmas time. (Use glue when attaching the candy so it won't be edible.)
3.  This can be a good opportunity to read the ingredients together and look for the really bad stuff: high-fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial coloring, etc...  Go to a natural food store with your child and have them pick "healthier" alternatives instead.
4.  Use it as a learning tool: counting, matching, sorting, graphing, weighing, estimating, patterning
5.  Candy Science Experiments:
6.  Operation Shoe Box will send it to over to our troops
7.  Local dentists will buy back candy, enter zip code to find one near you:
8.  Movie Stash: Save some money at the movie theater by bringing your own candy.
I want to set a good example for my son, so the sooner the candy is out of the house, the sooner we can get back to living a healthy lifestyle. 
Do you and your family have any special traditions or ways to limit candy intake?

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