It’s that time of year again. The kids are SO excited about their big Halloween Haul! When I was a kid, we weighed our pillowcases full of candy on Halloween night, and I remember the year my brother scored over seven pounds of processed sugar, fat, and more sugar. I sorted the candy by type and ranked it according to which was my favorite. These are great moments for children. And terrifying for the parents who are trying to manage their sugar intake. Suddenly we’ve got the double-whammy of the candy we bought FOR the trick-or-treaters (and let’s be honest—none of us under-bought, and few of us bought the day of) AND the candy our own little trick-or-treaters brought home with shining eyes and sticky fingers. What’s a parent to do?
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Dr. Amanda Mulfinger is the Owner and President of Cabot Psychological Services in Edina, Minnesota. She studied psychology at Harvard University prior to receiving her master's degree and PhD from Auburn University.
There are a lot of organizations that accept donations of Halloween candy:
Think close to home, as well. Most of us have staff rooms at work where treats of all kinds pull magical disappearing acts. Take some candy to work, hand it off to friends or family members without kids.
The point is, you don’t have to keep it, even if the kids want to. Consider this a good opportunity to help somebody else while your kids learn about gratitude, kindness and generosity. Oh, and maybe something about health and moderation as well.
2. Put It Away
Now that you’ve gotten rid of a good chunk of the problem, it’s time to get the rest of it out of sight. The open candy dish on your front entrance table or kitchen island is an all-day smorgasbord waiting to happen.
The fewer times a day you get reminded of the candy, the fewer times you have to tell yourself “no, thank you.”
3 Eat It Mindfully
Let’s be real here—we like candy, we’re going to keep some of it, and we’re going to eat some of it. And there’s nothing wrong with that!! Before you eat your candy, be intentional about how much you are going to have, ask yourself WHY you want it (are you actually hungry, or do you just want a treat?), then take out exactly how much you want and put the rest back. As you actually eat the candy, pay attention: how does it taste, does it bring back memories, how do you feel? Take your time and SAVOR the candy—it’s good! Enjoy it, and give yourself permission to enjoy it.
Halloween is a scary holiday, but you don’t have to be afraid of the candy. These steps will help you maximize your control and minimize the difficulty that surrounds Halloween candy. Now…relax and enjoy a Happy Halloween!