Regulate Halloween Candy and Teach Valuable Life Lessons

With over 600 pounds of Halloween candy given out each and every Halloween, how do you regulate your child’s candy intake without detracting from the Halloween fun?  I’ve outlined 5 effective ways to do just that, while also teaching them valuable life lessons that will stick with them as they grow.

Regulate Halloween Candy

Kids crave what is off-limits or restricted.  It’s basic human nature.  The more we restrict something, like Halloween candy, the more kids are going to want it.  So what’s the trick?  How can we regulate the amount of Halloween candy they eat without them noticing?

Here are some tricks for the treats.

Sort Immediately

There’s no need to store pounds of Halloween candy in the pantry for months.  The faster you can get it out of the house the better.

Start immediately by tossing anything opened, or slightly opened.  Also, if your child has allergies, quickly toss all potentially dangerous candy your child is allergic to.  Then, focus on thinning out the rest.

Toss Out:

  • Candy your kids don’t like.
  • Anything with multiples – you don’t need more than a few of each type.
  • Candy that contains peanuts – they’re the worst.
  • Reduce candy containing gluten.

To learn more about leading a Paleo lifestyle and why you should avoid peanuts and gluten, check out this great post, Best Way to Start a Paleo Diet.

Teach your Children About Sugar

Sugar is very addictive and can cause very serious problems.  By teaching your children the importance of regulating their sugar intake now, while they’re young and faced with temptation, you establish a solid, healthy foundation for them to grow and build upon.

According to recent Dietary Guidelines, no more than 10% of your total daily calories should come from sugar.

What the heck does that mean?  There are two very important factors in this statement; let me break it down for you.

Let me remind you, sugar is not limited to Halloween candy.  Sugar of some type is present in almost every meal, most obviously dessert.  The maximum grams of sugar calculated above are for the whole day – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.

Let me break this down even further.  What does this mean for dessert and, more specifically, Halloween candy?

Based on an average Daily Calorie Intake of 2500 calories, roughly 65 sugar calories, or 16 grams of sugar is the maximum for dessert.  If you don’t like numbers as much as I do, here’s what 16 grams of sugar looks like.

16 Grams of Sugar

  • 2-3 ‘fun-size’ candies, all varieties
  • 1/4 cup of candy corn
  • 6 chocolate kisses
  • 5 tootsie rolls
  • 8 mini twizzlers

You get the picture, right?  It’s certainly not half the bag of Halloween candy…barely a handful.

Halloween Candy is not a Reward

Notice how I mention Halloween candy as a dessert.

Whatever you do, please, please, please do not offer Halloween candy as a reward for good behavior.  This has the potential to completely rewire your child’s brain into thinking candy, or other sugary treats, is a reward.  This type of thinking has the potential to completely alter your child’s lifestyle and can cause serious problems later in life.

Save the Halloween candy for designated dessert options and reward your children in other ways like with toys, fun activities, and lots of hugs and kisses.

Teach them that being good to others and the joy of family, fun, and friends, creates wonderful memories that last a lifetime.  Plus it’s way more important than Halloween candy.

Offer Choices

Fudge Brownies
Fudge Brownies

Treat Halloween candy as you would any other dessert option.

You may be surprised that when given the option between a few pieces of Halloween candy, a fruit salad, or a Paleo Fudge Brownie, your children may choose something other than Halloween candy.

By giving them the power to choose, you’re teaching them valuable decision making skills and independence.  They are more satisfied with their own choices.  Plus, you got to regulate the amount and type of Halloween candy without them even noticing.

Parenthood Score!

Lead by Example

Finally, set a good example for your children.  We are our children’s role models.  If we are constantly grabbing for Halloween candy, sugary treats, or other unhealthy foods, they will grow up having similar tenancies.

The more we live a Paleo lifestyle, the more our children will grow up learning it, following it, understanding it, and appreciating it.

Enjoy this Halloween.  Take lots of pictures, have lots of fun, and be sure to follow these 5 simple, but effective, tips once the night is over.

Wyatt dressed up as SuperWhy

I would love to hear from you.  How do you regulate your children’s Halloween candy?  Share your tips and tricks below and join the conversation.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Tai says:

    Very cute and good write up Tanya. Thanks for putting those numbers in perspective. 16 grams of sugar per day isn’t bad if you would that into 6 Hersey kisses. That’s allot of kisses.
    That Super Y got some flare to him.

    1. Tanya says:

      Thanks Tai; I’m glad you liked the post. I honestly never ran the numbers for sugar and what 10% of our Daily Calorie Intake looked like. It was interesting to find out.

  2. Amanda M says:

    I love this! Thank you for posting on this topic. We took our 2 yo trick or treating for the first time and we did the trade all your candy for a prize deal. But at some point when she gets a few years older I was thinking like you, being too restrictive may backfire in the later years. This sounds like a good plan, Tanya. 🙂

    1. Tanya says:

      Thank you, Amanda, for that great suggestion of trading in the candy for a prize. Is it an option? haha.

      Overall, no matter what you do, or don’t do, it’s the leading by example point that makes the most difference. Your children will see and learn from you, which is much more powerful. Giving them the information that backs up your reasons is also very important so they know. Wyatt, being 4 yo now, knows a lot more about healthy eating than most adults! 🙂 Keep up the great work!

  3. Amanda M says:

    If wanting to avoid all the additives and preservatives and food dyes, etc in all the Halloween candy, another good idea might be trading their candy for like a Fair Trade, Vegan dark chocolate bar like, Endangered Species brand or Green and Black brand. They’re a delicious and healthier option without depriving them.

    1. Tanya says:

      Excellent idea! I love your idea about trading candy either for a toy or for other, more natural candy. Here are the links to the two brands in case anyone wants to check them out.

      Endangered Species:

      Green and Black:

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