Halloween. Fall Festival. All Saints’ Day.
Doesn’t matter what we call it. Our kids know it by one name only.
Gobs of Free Candy Day.
I remember my 7th grade Halloween: trick-or-treating with friends, followed by a sleep over. Totally unsupervised, we ate a ton of candy.
That Halloween was epic.
I also remember the holiday when my mom “went healthy” and gave us carob treats instead of milk chocolate. FYI, carob = bletch.
Now, as a parent, I find myself wanting to strike a balance between good health and good times. I don’t want to cross into carob territory, if you know that I mean. I also don’t want to acquiesce to a candy orgy.
Have you looked at the ingredients for Halloween candy? High fructose corn syrup . Sugar . Food coloring. And hydrogenated oils. Nobody should ever be eating hydrogenated oils, which are, essentially, poisons that will kill you over time .
We are not Spartans. I want my kids to be part of American cultural traditions. I am a proponent of good old-fashioned fun.
So, we’ve worked out a compromise.
After a night of trick-or-treating, my kids have free reign to eat their candies for 30 minutes, or so. The trading is furious. The consumption is near nauseating.
The next day, I give each of my kids a plastic sandwich bag, into which the child may load favorite candies, to keep and eat at leisure.
Then I pay $20 in exchange for the remainder of each child’s candy.
Because what do kids like even more than candy? Cold, hard, cash. It is an easy swap.
Yeah, it is a little pricey, especially with four kids. I want to make the trade attractive to my kids, so that they won’t miss the candy. I look at it as an investment in my kids’ health.
Lastly, I donate or throw away the exchanged candy because, you know, if that candy stays in the house, who is going to eat it? Me. I have no will power around chocolate and sugar.
With this barter system, my kids fully enjoy Halloween. I have peace of mind that my kids are not gorging on pounds of toxic candy. And my own waistline remains unchanged.
Its a win-win-win situation, I think.
The no recipe closing:
Only give out candy that you would serve your own kids. Here are a few suggestions:
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