Sometimes it can seem as though the time from Halloween to Christmas is a constant barrage of candy coming into your home. Even if you never buy a single piece candy, parties and gifts mean your children are likely to receive a great deal of candy and sugary treats.
So what is a health-conscious parent to do? You don’t want your children getting the blood sugar spikes and other health damages caused by a diet full of sugar, but taking a tyrannical stance on all candy can lead to kids wanting it even more! Try these practical hints for taking a healthy and balanced approach to the holiday sugar rush.
- Set Up a Treat Jar. Rather than giving little ones free reign over cookies and candy, create a treat jar. Let your kids choose one piece of candy per day (or whatever you feel comfortable with) instead of gorging on sugar until they fill sick.
- Choose Favorites. Siphon off some of the excess treats by encouraging your children to pick their favorites and part with the rest.
- Set a Deadline. You don’t keep other treats in your home endlessly and candy does not have to be any different. Let your kids enjoy a few piece of candy on the day they receive it with the understanding that it is for that day only. Use what is left for hints #4 or #5 (see below).
- Create a Swap. For younger kids, leave the candy out somewhere special at night and have it magically transform into a small toy, book, or other prize the next morning. If your family uses an elf, the elf could take the candy away.
For older kids, let the candy become currency. Let your kids trade in a certain amount of candy for prize or privileges. Create a trade-in hierarchy where the more candy traded in equals bigger prizes.
- Share. Consider sharing wrapped candy with local firemen or police officers. Or take hard candy to a local hospital where chemo patients appreciate it because of the bad taste left in their mouths after treatment. Kids will enjoy the good feeling they get from sharing with others even more than the candy!