Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Scary Sweet

When I was a kid, Halloween was one of my all-time favorite holidays. I would come home, dragging a pillow case full of sugary sweets behind me. My friends and I would start candy-swapping even before the plastic capes and pancake make up came off. And let me tell you, I'd trade just about anything for the coveted Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

But these days, I'm less inclined to promote a nougat-fueled binge. Like many parents, I am now focused on healthier living, and want to encourage my little one to make good choices of her own.

But how can you keep a kid from eating too much Halloween candy?

Today in CNN's Health section, some sneaky Mamas share their tricks for limiting their kid's treats. One Mama employs someone she calls the "Switch Witch." The "Switch Witch" arrives in the night and leaves behind toys in place of candy the children leave out for her. The more candy they leave for her, the bigger the toy she'll give.

Another Mama's approach is more direct: she buys the candy back from her kids. Her current rate of exchange is a nickel for every piece of candy the kids like and a dime for each piece they love.

Some might call it bribery, but it might just save you money on dental costs down the road. And employing a little creativity might lesson your fright when you here your kid's voices as they call out in unison: "Trick or Treat!"


Ruth said...

Last year I heard a strategy that sounded pretty good, so I decided to try it. The day after Halloween I told my son that he could have all the candy he wanted, then the rest was going in the trash. I figured he'd eat himself sick and not want candy for another year.
Instead, he kept going strong all morning and had eaten almost all of it by noon. His preschool teachers were hating me that day.
Think I'll try another idea this year.

Anonymous said...

What the hell are you people talking about?? I am going to keep giving out candy for halloween as long as I live..This is supposed to be a fun holiday, not something for you wackjob health nuts. I wouldn't want an apple or toothpaste for halloween. Have you all lost your minds!?!? Just meter out the candy and give them a few pieces at a time, no need to be a nazi candy freek. --joe

Meaghan said...

Joe, congratulations! You're the first person to leave a coarse, disrespectful and borderline unrelated comment on this blog!

Your prize? An invitation not to return to Mama's Cup, since it doesn't seem to be quite your speed.

But thanks for playing! And for using the ever-popular "Nazi" reference, a personal favorite, especially when used so trivially, rather than the more common usage, which usually refers to the systematic extermination of millions of Jews.

If you email me your address, I'll even send you a copy of Eli Wiesel's "Night" so you can get up to speed on your definition of the word "Nazi."

Thanks again for playing!

Stace said...

I agree, i wouldn't be letting Cooper have a ton of lollies, when clearly, he'd be happy if he just got two! I think the toy thing is a great idea. I don't really have to worry, considering in Australia, we hardly celebrate Halloween.
Joe - We all parent differently and if you don't agree, then you really didn't have to leave such a silly comment. You should have just not commented at all. How annoying.

elancera said...

Hi Joe. I'm sorry you were having a bad day. We're all just doing the best we can with what we have, loving our children and taking encouragement where we find it.

Regarding sugar, around our house we try to live by the maxim: Everything in moderation.

And, yes Meaghan, that applies to Reese's Peanut Butter cups.

Meaghan said...

I can't imagine a life completely devoid of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! Moderation is indeed the name of the game.

Rogue said...

What fabulous ideas!! thanks! and thanks for your comment!

Meghan said...

Love the buy back idea!

Ida said...

This is such a fun holiday for kids. Why change it - we all survived!

Ruth said...

Meaghan, don't you love that you can write about politics and nobody will comment, but you post about candy and everyone wants to have a say?

Meaghan said...

Ha! Ruth, you're so right! People feel strongly about their Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, I guess.

Heck, this post even gets more comments than the giveaway!

But the conversation is great--it's the whole point. (As long as it doesn't include the words "whackjob" or "Nazi.")