Yes, we do trick-or-treating. My kids love to dress up. They have huge imaginations and often dress up in their costumes on any given day of the week. So, when they have another opportunity to dress up and get free candy, it makes it even more awesome!
But, I won’t say I don’t get a bit anxious about the whole ordeal. Ok, not the whole ordeal, just the candy.
In the several years that we have been trick-or-treating, I haven’t really had a good strategy for once we returned home from our little neighborhood outing. This year, I made the decision to have a plan in order to save the sanity of us all. We have already been to our local small town event, Trick-or Treat on Main St., this year. So, here are a few tips that are working for us that I thought I would pass along.
TOP FIVE HALLOWEEN TIPS
1. MAKE A PLAN
Before you go out on your trick-or-treating adventure, make a plan with your kids. Start this talk a few days in advance so there are no surprises the day of Halloween. Help them understand what you will be doing with they candy they get and involve them in this plan so they feel empowered and “in the know” about what will be happening to the candy that they have collected. Ask your kids questions like, “what is your favorite part about Halloween?” and “what do you think we should do with the candy that we bring home?” These questions can open up incredible conversions with your kiddos. The more that kids understand before you go, the easier it will be to carry out your set plan when you return from trick-or-treating.
2. DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH THE CANDY
It’s just so hard to know how to deal with the aftermath of gathering all of that candy. Let them eat it all? Eat it all yourself? Take it to a local dentist (check our local dentists to see if there are options for this in your area) that will pay them for their candy? Have the Halloween fairy come for it in the night and take it all, leaving behind another fun toy? Throw it away?
The struggle is real.
Choose something that you feel good about and your kids understand. In our home, we do a selective reduction when we get home and get rid of about half of what they have collected or what ends up to be about 20 pieces. My kids get to do this so that it’s their choice and I am don’t become the “bad mommy” taking their candy. Then, my kids get to have one or two pieces of candy a day until it’s gone.
3. TALK ABOUT A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
This is a great time to reiterate healthy habits in your home and how sugar is best eaten in moderation. Depending on the age of your child, it is a wonderful way to begin or continue the conversation of eating healthy, nutritious foods and how candy is better eaten in little bits. Kids can be very receptive to discussing what sugar actually is and some of its harmful effects if eaten too often if we bring it to them in a way they understand.
The other day we were driving in the car and I told my six-year-old that I have had a sweet tooth lately and I need to really be careful because sugar isn’t good for the baby in my belly. He asked, “Mom, what is a sweet tooth?” After explaining this to him, his response was, “I have a sweet tooth too!” What kid doesn’t?
Sugar is just so addictive.
Here are some helpful talking points and questions to ask that help kids understand what sugar does to the body:
- “After you eat a cookie or have a sweet drink, do you feel a little more antsy, like you can’t sit still?” This will help them see and visualize how sugar can make them more active and even hyperactive. It also can make us feel moody, irritable and out of control of our emotions.
- “Did you know that sugar can suppress your immune system and if your immune system isn’t happy and functioning well, you can get sick. And, if you are sick, you can’t go to school or play with your friends or do your fun activities.
- “Too much sugar can make us feel yucky. It makes our insides sad and can also make us gain extra weight that we don’t want or need.”
Be careful not to encourage feelings fear in your child when having these conversations. We want them to understand, but not be worried or anxious about it.
4. IMPLEMENT HEALTHY HABITS
Staying on top of your family’s health and wellness needs is key, especially during the times of year, like holidays, when sweets are more available. We have a regimen of vitamins and supplements in our home for our kids. Playing outside and being active every day will support their little growing bodies as well. Some of things we love in our home to support our kids’ health are:
- Drinking plenty of water. We need about half our weight in ounces of water daily and this includes kiddos too!
- Play outside for at least an hour each day.
- Keep teeth healthy by brushing them every day. And, an extra time after eating that Halloween candy or other sweet treats.
- Getting your kids plenty of veggies and dark greens. I love to hide kale or spinach in their smoothies and they don’t even know it’s in there.
- Sugary treats and candy come in moderation and only after eating a healthy meal or snack.
- Providing them with a multivitamin and an omega supplement that supports healthy brain function, cardiovascular health, immunity, healthy joint function and antioxidant protection. We love these.
- Supporting optimal gut health with a probiotic that enables healthy functioning of the digestive and immune systems. PB Assist Jr. is one kids love because it comes in a yummy, easy to take powder!
- Using essential oils to help maintain a healthy blood sugar and help kids calm down if they’ve had too much. Some great doTERRA oils include, Cinnamon, Balance, Cassia, and Coriander.
5. KEEP CALM, DO YOUR BEST AND CARRY ON
No mom is perfect. Most of the time our best is even far from perfect. I try to stick to these tips for myself, but let’s face it, my kids have had candy with their breakfast a time or two. This isn’t an all or nothing gig. It’s a present over perfect, doing the best that we can, giving ourselves a lot of grace mom life we are living here. And, when you are just trying to get the flipping bathroom cleaned and you decide to dump the bucket of Halloween candy on the table and let your kids have a free for all one afternoon, well, that just happens. Keep calm and carry on.
These are tips are just here to be helpful reminders for us as we encourage our kids to have fun and stay healthy this Halloween. Have a fun and safe time with your little ones and enjoy every moment.