Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Putting The Squeeze on Halloween Sweets

Everyone in our house is getting totally excited for Halloween.  I bet everyone in your house is too.
Since starting the Listerine Smart Rinse, Sweet Smart Challenge a few weeks ago, we have been brushing up a storm around here!  We brush and floss and mouthwash {except for the 4yr old} TWO times a day.  That is a pretty big accomplishment for each one of us.  We were nowhere near that good before.

Now that we have sparkling teeth and the freshest breath possible, I am getting a little worried about Halloween.  I love candy like the rest of the world, but I don't like an endless supply kept in a pillow case under the beds of children around the country.  I have been doing a little snooping around and came up with a couple suggestions that looked pretty Sweet Smart to me.

Before you go out Trick-or-Treating 

1-Eat before you go out.  A full belly is less likely to squeeze in a lot of extra candy.
2- Help other people out by buying lame candy ;0)  People can't resist the candy bars and chocolate, but if your kids come home with a bag of lame candy, there will be WAY less snacking on sugary sweets.
3-Don't super size- Don't impress the neighbors with king-sized candy bars, or even fun sized bars.  Go for smaller mini bars and save them calories.  
4- Skip handing out sweets altogether!  
Here are a couple ideas for an alternative:
School Supplies {like pencils, erasers, or tiny notebooks}
Temporary tatoos
Plastic Jewelry or animals {dollar store}
Sidewalk Chalk
Party favors
Juice Boxes
Granola Bars
or My personal favorite***Glow Bracelets***
We have given out glow bracelets the last four years.  I buy the packs Michael's sells for $1.  They have 15 in each pack.  The teenagers were just as excited for glow bracelets as the toddlers.

OK, so once you have your bags of booty, here are a couple ideas to keep you I mean your kids from gorging on candy.  I would not FORBID them from eating candy {it will only make it more tempting} but offer a few creative options so it doesn't all end up in their bellies.

1- Keep it Out of sight- Let the kids eat a few, then put it away, or better yet, give it away!
I have several friends that let the kids have their fill, then put the rest in the freezer for stocking and even Easter Basket fillers.  How about that frugal idea!?!
2- Sell it, A Trade for Money- Many dentists offer to buy the candy.  And if you don't know of any, offer to buy it yourself!  Pay a penny per treat {probably more if it is your teenager} and then get rid of the temptaion yourself.
3- Play with it!  Those candy bars and tootsie rolls can be made to make a mini village or used like legos to build and imagine.  Make cars out of bars and have a little race.
4- Graph your winnings- Valerie from ThisN'That even has a printable sheet you can use to graph with, but you can even use the candy itself and a big posterboard.  Hot glue the candy in place then display it for a week and throw it away.  You can graph by candy type, or even color of wrappings.
5- Make a sculpture or topiary out of the candy.  Again, display it for a week, then throw it way.
6- Save it to decorate gingerbread houses at Christmas.
7-Give it to an organization - there are several organizations that will gladly take the candy off your hands and take it to the soldiers over seas.  They need their days sweetened.  One of those organizations is Operation Gratitude.  
8- Cook with it!  Here is a round up of recipes that use candy.  Check those out at TheKitchn.com.  Make the treat and then go give it to those neighbors that filled the candy bags ;0)
9- Exchange it!  I have read of a couple ladies that started a Halloween night tradition, the Candy Fairy or Pumpkin Fairy.  They set the candy bags out at night, then wake up to a special surprise {a wanted game or toy} from the fairy.  You can read more Here and Here.
10- Have some Science Experiments with it!  Check some out at CandyExperiments.com or google about specific candy brands.

I especially enjoyed reading Sarah's comments on her blog Nourished and Nurtured.  She avoids sugar on a regular basis, so she had a couple extra ideas for making the holiday magical, but healthier for her little ones.
She purchased books, games, and toys ahead of time, then dropped them off at her mother's house for when the kids came trick-or-treating there.  Next, she dropped some healthy snacks in her kids bags as they went around.  Some of the things included honey sticks, fruit leather, fresh fruit, home-made treats, organic candy.

I suppose, if you know your neighbors and are really set on staying away from candy this Halloween, you could make up bags and drop them off at neighbors houses....but that would require forthougth :0)  
Also be sure to remind the kiddos about the dangers of eating too much sugar.

Moment of Honesty
I do just about none of this :0)
Probably shouldn't tell you that.  
I allow the kids to have at it when they get home from trick-or-treating and I have checked over their bags.  I do require my kids to dump their candy all together, then the candy becomes public property.  No one has a stash in their bedroom.  We all have a few, and then in the next day or two, I bag up all the other candy and we send it to work with dad.  I know I am just transferring the sugar from my house to someone else, but at least it is off my back ;0)

I do really like the idea of the Candy Fairy though.  That is fabulous!  I may just do that this year...after we have eaten a few....and brushed, flossed, and mouthwashed our teeth!

I hope that helps you have a couple ideas about how you can face the Sweet Challenge presented by full candy bags this year.  Remember, you can dress like candy, but you don't have to be full of it ;0)

I found great ideas and resources from the following sites:

1 comment:

  1. I always put glow sticks mixed with candy in our stash as well. Never fails, the glow sticks always go first.


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