So, I’ve read numerous posts and articles on how to deal with the Halloween-induced sugar craze, and haven’t weighed in because I wasn’t sure how I planned to handle it this year. It was so easy the first year, when we took the boy across the street to a neighbor’s house, he got one Reeses, ate it and went to bed. Those were the days. It didn’t take long for him to catch on to trick-or-treating, though, and last year he left no door unknocked in his quest for more candy. And of course, it’s not just one night — this is our second consecutive 3-day weekend of Halloween festivities. (Yes, part of that was our own doing, but I served healthy snacks at that one too!) At first, I was leaning towards trying the “Switch Witch” idea this year, letting the boy select 10 pieces of candy and then leave the rest out for the “Witch” to take and leave a toy. (I called it the Halloween Fairy to make it sound less scary; I’ve since heard it called the “Pumpkin Fairy” too.) He reacted angrily at first, but I kept dropping casual mentions of it. He still seemed unconvinced. And frankly, he’s rather spoiled in the toy department so I wasn’t crazy about escalating Halloween to another gift-demanding day.
While I would prefer he eat nothing but fair-trade (not Nestle) chocolates and Yummy Earth organic lollipops, the thing about Halloween is that you can’t really control what candy comes into the house.* And as I grew up in a sugar-banning household, I want to avoid creating a child who swings to the other extreme when he leaves the house. I don’t want the candy to be some mystical magical thing that he lusts after all year long. I finally started to think the best approach would be to let him eat all the candy he wants this weekend and if he made himself sick, maybe that would cure him of the cravings for a while. We talked about healthy food vs. junk food again Friday afternoon, and how if we’re going to eat sweets we have to have a healthy breakfast first. I stocked up on broccoli (his favorite vegetable — really!) and apples at the market. I don’t know if it’s the best approach, but I don’t want to turn it into yet another subject of whining, bargaining and tantrums. So we’re embracing the sugar for the weekend, and bracing for the sugar crash Monday.
Here’s a preview of what’s in store … and note, this performance is before he’d even eaten the cotton candy. (Click image to watch the video.)
Happy Halloween, y’all — whether yours is artificially sweetened or all natural.
*We’re fortunate that, aside from a little hyperactivity, we don’t have any allergy or other health issues with candies. I feel for those parents who have to be more vigorous in their monitoring of the candy haul.