What will you do with the bazillion pounds of candy your child(ren) will accumulate over Halloween?
Will you let them eat endlessly from their plastic jack-o-lantern throughout the night? Or will you
deprive limit them to a few pieces every day for several days, then hope they forget about all the rest?
When I was growing up I don’t ever remember any limitations put on my “gold,” so I asked my mom for verification. She said she was not as strict as I am with candy now that I’m a mom, and to quote: “Your dad ate most of it.” Ha!
Trick-or-treating with friends was always a blast! After running wild through the neighborhood, we would dump our bags on the living room floor to see what we ended up with. I always separated my candy by brand: Milky Way, Whoppers (my childhood favorite), 3 Muskateer, Now and Later… and the candy I didn’t like, which I left up-for-grabs. My friends and I would spend several minutes trading candy for our favorites, until we were satisfied with our takings.
Now that I’m a mother, I look at Halloween slightly differently. Now that I’m more health-conscious, I look at Halloween slightly differently.
The first year we took Emmalyn Trick-or-Treating she was eleven months old and didn’t know what candy was, therefore she didn’t have any. Bringing her door-to-door was really just for “show” and cute pictures. The second year, at almost two years-old, she still didn’t know what candy was because she had never had any before. The candy put in her bag may as well have just been rocks to her. She ended up having the time of her life passing out her collected candy to other trick-or-treaters the remainder of the night, and I went home happy because we didn’t have mounds of candy littering our house.
Last year, at nearly three years-old, I told Emmalyn she could pick out a toy at the store if she traded in her candy loot. She happily complied. I’m not sure what I would have done if she didn’t take the bargain…?
This year, because of the amount of birthday parties we have been to in the past year, she knows exactly what candy is, and exactly what it tastes like. I know allowing her to have a few pieces is unavoidable. But that’s just it–a few pieces. When we went Trick-or-Treating at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party last month, I told her she could have three pieces because she’s three years-old. I thought there might be some resistance (and possibly a tantrum), because after all, kids usually ask for “more” no matter what, but really, she forgot all about the rest of the candy and never asked for it again.
We are going to two Halloween parties this year, plus Trick-or-Treating in our neighborhood with friends. It’s going to be a long night. And a lot of candy. I’m determined to stick to my guns about “three pieces” (I know, I know… some of you are rolling your eyes right now: Three?! That’s it?! Let kids be kids!) and then let her trade the rest in for a “prize”–something tangible she can use or play with, instead of a tummy ache.
So, tell me, what are your candy plans for Halloween this year?