How to avoid eating too much candy at Halloween

Learn how to teach your kids, and yourself, to avoid eating too much candy when trick or treating makes it pile up.


Now that Halloween is over, are you wondering what to do with all that candy in the house? This time of year drives me crazy for a number of reasons. I like sweets, and the way I manage not to consume them is by not having them in my house. But I bought the Halloween candy two days before the big night this year, and I’d had about six of those little chocolate bars before the trick-or-treaters even got to the door.

Halloween — and the post-Halloween hangover — is a tough time to be a parent as well. My kids are 13 and 10, and they love getting as much high-sugar loot as they can. It isn’t even because they’re going to eat it all — they just like to get a pile of stuff so they can admire their haul and appreciate the work they did.

So how to reduce the amount of candy in the house post-Halloween, both to keep your kids from eating it all and to keep you from eating it all? First we get to separate all the stuff with peanuts in it. Allergies help us pare down the amount of junk they get. Then we start going through all the stuff that they only sort of like. If it’s not an, “Oh, I love this candy so much” kind of treat, then it gets separated out too. What they’re left with is still an ample pile of junk, but much less than what it was.

We let them go big for a couple of days because it’s Halloween, after all, then take the rest away. We do not let our kids have access to junk food at their own discretion. My wife and I firmly believe that parents must exert control over what their children eat. Most children lack the maturity to make healthy food choices, no matter how well you train them.

We’re ogres about this kind of thing. They’ll live, hopefully for a long time.

As for all that candy we confiscate? It goes to the food bank — it’s better to just get it out of the house. Honestly, I’m not really sure what they do with it and if this is really a wise idea. I assume that it is parceled out in small bits, because everyone does deserve to have treats now and then. Cheating and eating junk food occasionally is good for the psyche. My psyche should be good for a couple of months after all those little chocolate bars I’ve eaten this week.

If you’re looking for additional advice about dealing with Halloween, here’s a good article at the LA Times.


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