Halloween night is an exciting time. Children in search of Halloween candy, running around, dressed in fun costumes, anxious to see how full they can get their trick-or-treat bag. Regular parking lots are transformed into areas filled with games and contests. Festive treats are prepared. Mom and Dad attempt to take no less than seventy-two pictures of their darling princess or daring Jedi warrior.
Then November 1st arrives and the whining begins.
“Can I eat some of my Halloween candy?
“Why can I only have three chocolate bars before bedtime?”
“No fair. She has seven more pieces of gum than I do.”
The after-Halloween, candy-crazed whines coming from children obsessing over their Halloween stash can drive parents mad, making them question why they dressed up their children and took them out begging for candy in the first place. Before the 31st of October, and the influx of candy, arrives this year take a few moments to make a plan of attack against those candy whines.
- Donate the candy. The day after Halloween have children choose a few select pieces they wish to keep (set a number or be prepared to battle) and donate the rest to a women and children’s shelter. Before donating, be sure all candy is sealed in original packages and is not homemade.
- Bake with it. The Internet is full of recipes that call for particular kinds of candy. Find a few baked treats that the family would enjoy and set aside candy to use in those recipes. Kids are a lot more willing to let go of their prized Halloween stash if they know Mom is going to bake some yummy cookies for them in the upcoming weeks.
- Give it to the Great Pumpkin. Many parents have begun the tradition of having children donate their sweet treats to the “Great Pumpkin.” On Halloween night, children select a few choice pieces and then lay the rest of their stash out by the fireplace for the Great Pumpkin to gather. In the morning, the candy is gone and a small trinket is left in its place (perhaps a Thanksgiving book to set the mood for November). The “Great Pumpkin” can choose to deal with the candy however deemed necessary, either taking it to the break room at work or tucking it safely away into Mommy’s secret stash.
- Sell it! There are many dentists who will buy children’s Halloween candy from them, including Dr. Janet Stone Gonzalez in Coppell. Children can use the money they earned from selling candy to buy Christmas presents for family and friends in December.
- Save it for Christmas. Have children tuck away their sugary sweets for a month, saving it to use on the family’s Gingerbread house during Christmas time.
- Reuse it. Have a child’s birthday approaching soon? Save Halloween candy for the pinata. Involve the child in this process, talking about how fun it will be for him to share his candy with his birthday party guests once the big day arrives.
- Send it to the troops. Unfortunately while children at home are trick-or-treating, America still has thousands of men and women serving in the Armed Forces and fighting a war. There are many organizations collecting candy for the troops, including Operation Gratitude and the YMCA of Coppell.
- Have a candy-fest, then call it a day. Give children a time period (a day is a good rule of thumb) and tell them they can eat as much candy as they want during that time. After the time period is up, no more Halloween candy can be eaten. Although children may have a tummy ache and will need to experience a good tooth brushing afterward, they will get to enjoy their candy and not whine about it in the following days. Worried about an intense sugar-high (and subsequent intense sugar low)? No worries. The sugar/hyperactivity link has been debunked.