Teaching your kids about healthy snacking is always a challenge, but Halloween can be an especially tricky time of year. Between class parties, Halloween events and trick-or-treating, you may end up with a truly frightening pile of candy in your house. And it's not just the kids — I don't know about you, but I'm more likely to dig into the candy stash than the kids because I know where it's hidden.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help make sure that no one overdoes it on the candy this year. First, sit down with the kids and go through the candy pile together. Set some ground rules and let everyone choose which candy to keep and which to give away. Maybe let each child pick out 10 favorite pieces. In my family, we like to keep the chocolate candy and give away the rest. Decide what works best for your family.
Once the candy is sorted, there are a number of things you can do with the leftovers:
Party Time1 of 7
Do you have a birthday or holiday party coming soon? Use the leftover candy to fill goody bags or even a pinata.
Do the Math2 of 7
Smaller pieces of candy can make great math manipulatives. Try using them for counting, addition, subtraction or learning percentages. Or have the kids use the candy to make graphs and charts.
Make a Dentist Appointment3 of 7
Find a dentist in your area who participates in the Halloween Candy Buyback. About 3,000 dental practices nationwide will give your child $1 in exchange for a pound of candy, which they then donate to overseas troops.
Support the Troops4 of 7
You can also donate your extra Halloween candy directly to the troops via a program like Operation Shoebox or Operation Gratitude. Mail your candy to them (non-chocolate candy is best), and volunteers will include it in special care packages to the troops.
Barter System5 of 7
Have the Switch Witch pay a visit to your home. Like the tooth fairy, this kindly witch visits your home in the middle of the night and exchanges your child's bag of candy for a small toy or money. If your kids are too old for the Switch Witch, you can simply come up with the terms of the switch together. Either way, you can donate the candy to one of the programs previously mentioned.
Make it Work6 of 7
You can always get rid of the candy the old-fashioned way — by sending it to work with mom or dad. Your co-workers may or may not appreciate free candy in the break room, but at least the temptation will no longer be under your roof.