Ahh, it’s October, leaves are falling and Hocus Pocus is on repeat at our house. It’s safe to say October is one of my favorite seasons! If you celebrate Halloween, you might be preparing for an influx of candy at your house.
It’s a common discussion in parent groups or online about how to manage kids and candy, especially during Halloween. In our house, we don’t have any rules. Well, not many, but I’ll get into that soon. But candy during Halloween is okay. It’s actually encouraged!
During the holiday season, it can be easy to get into the mindset of wanting to monitor or even restrict sweet treats, not only for our kids but also for ourselves. I am here to implore you to challenge your thinking and not only ease up on the restrictions but also enjoy it and let your kids enjoy it too!
In our home, we take the view that there are no bad foods, there are just different foods that provide different sources of nutrition and value. Of course, we can’t get everything we need from just one food, so we can’t eat ALL candy, all the time. But having a piece of candy after dinner during and after Halloween is perfectly reasonable.
Once the kids get home from trick or treating and go through their haul, we combine it all into one big bowl. Everyone gets pretty free range that night. They can choose something from their stash even while we’re still trick or treating!
Learning Healthy Regulation
After it’s combined, the candy is accessible. They know they are allowed to eat from it what they would like. My kids never go through the entire stash and in fact, by day 4 or 5, they are tired of it. The candy loses its appeal and they actually kinda forget about it.
In doing this, we are helping them learn to listen to their body and trust their bodies. One year, one of my kids said after they ate Skittles, their teeth felt yucky so they felt the need to brush their teeth right after.
It also teaches them some natural consequences. If they eat too much, they might feel kinda yucky after. If they eat all of it right away, there isn’t any to enjoy later. All of these have never really happened though and I think it’s because we don’t make a big deal of it. It’s just candy. It’s there to enjoy if you want some, and if not- that’s ok too.
We don’t describe candy as unhealthy or bad for you. It’s simply a sweet treat we can enjoy once in a while. We also don’t attribute it to weight (saying that eating candy will make you fat). I will admit, applying this to myself is easier said than done.
Diet culture, insecurities, and old ways of thinking can trip me up. If I’m not mindful, I can find myself being hard on myself if I feel like I’ve overdone it on my favorite- pumpkin-shaped Reese’s peanut butter cups.
So, if you’ve been wondering what to do with all that candy- let your kids (AND YOU!) enjoy it while fighting over the peanut butter cups (or is that just me?)