So now what? Trick or treating is over. Your kids come home with a treasure trove of candy, enough to last them till next Halloween. Do you really want them to eat all that? Teachers have said that children are at there worst the weeks following Halloween. Sugar highs and lows cause fights, tears and depression, even in the littlest of children; not to mention tooth decay. So what are we to do then? We want to be loving parents and allow our kids to enjoy their finds. The following is a list of ideas for you and your humongous chocolatey problems:
1. Save It- Allow them to eat one piece, of their choice, a day. Get rid of the left overs at Christmas.
2. Freeze It- Maybe there will be a future need for it.
3. Share It- Bring it to work. Allow your child to bring it to school and share (with the teacher’s approval, of course). The idea here is, with more mouths to feed, it will disappear faster.
4. Let Them Eat Cake- Melt down the chocolate and make a yummy chocolate cake, muffins, fudge, brownies or pudding.
5. Give To The Poor- (This is my 10 year old’s idea) Bring it to a food kitchen, which provides meals to homeless, (yes, the poor) and share it with them. Better yet, bring some of the treats you made in #4 to the food kitchen. If the bags of candy are unopened, a food pantry might take them as well.
6. Switch It Out- Have your children pick a few of their favorite pieces to keep and then package up the rest. Leave it out on the doorpost that night. While they sleep, switch it out for a toy that they’ve been wanting. Surprise! Come morning hopefully they’ve forgotten about their chocolate cravings.
7. Buy Them Back- Give an incentive, for each piece they give up, give them money. This puts the choice in the hands of the child. They feel empowered, yet confused. Money is really important to a kid, but so is chocolate. You will be able to have a heart to heart talk with them about priorities, healthful living choices, making long term goals matter over short term satisfactions. This offers a great learning experience that many adults have not yet learned.
8. Get To Give- Buy back the candy from the child with the agreement that what money is made will be given to a children’s organization, such as an orphanage, or Feed the Children, etc… Get your family involved and have an auction. Have your child be the auctioneer. Celebrate when they count the money and then also when they give it away too. Make sure that your child’s name is on the contribution (I went to a bank and bought a money order in their name, costs a little bit, but worth it.) Then take their picture holding their check. Many organizations send out a thank you note when you give. This will come in your mailbox addressed to your child. Really cool! Makes them smile real big!
9. Go To The Dentist- Many dentists participate in a program called Halloween Candy Buy Back. Providing dentist buy your candy back from you (gotta protect those teeth right). Then they send the candy overseas to soldiers. In turn, the soldiers use this candy to make friends with the local children. For more information go to http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com
If your dentist doesn’t participate, then maybe you can convince them to. If you want to send your unopened bags directly to the troops, you can go to Operation Gratitude at http://opgrat.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/operation-gratitude-donation-shipping-info/
10. Toss It- It really isn’t good for them, or you, so dump it all in the trash. If you can’t make yourself do throw a pile of perfectly good candy away all at once, then put one in their lunchbox and one in the trash a day. Come on you can do it! The important part is not the sweets, but the memories they created in collecting them. Remember Thanksgiving is just around the corner, welcome the pies and treats, then there is Christmas cookies and then Valentines candy; And if nothing else, next Halloween is only 364 days away.
Hope this has helped. Pass it on. Meghan