5 Halloween Traditions: Let Them Eat Candy!
When cute little children become all obsessed with sugar-loaded candied everything.
It’s enough to drive a mom crazy.
Right around the end of the school year, I finally toss out the candy. We live all summer without candy. We eat plenty of ice cream and s’mores but not candy.
Then Halloween hits. Bam!
Then, it’s a slippery, slimy slope down the candy land lane from that point forward. Christmas. Valentine’s Day. Easter.
What is the harm with candy? Why do we fret over it so much? Is it really all that bad?
As an intentional Mama, part of me knows that raising balanced, healthy children means allowing little to no candy, which is how we roll most of the year.
But the fun, you-only-live-once part of me says, “Let them eat candy!”
So, if candy is the main event for Halloween, candy it shall be.
This is not to mean that there aren’t some creative ways to help the candy disappear faster — and hopefully with a tad less consumption by mom or dad.
My first big bag of tricks on this is to leave the bag in plain site in a corner of a room that is played in often. I know, I know this is contrary to what many might think. Hide it. Put it way up on that top shelf.
Nope. Leave it on the floor like another toy and they will eventually step right around it and not even think about it. Worked last year so it has to work this year, right? RIGHT??
When that doesn’t work, these fun little candy traditions have worked for us in the past:
1) The taste test. This is when we sit on the floor in a heap with all the candy goods piled between us and a trash can within reach. Take one bite of a piece of candy. Toss the rest of it in the trash. Decide what you like and what you don’t. Record it if you’re fancy. We’ve not been too fancy so we just eat and toss.
2) Science experiments. There are really cool things to do with candy. For instance, we put cotton candy on our refrigerator in September and after a month it turned into a solid rock of rainbow sugar. OK, this wasn’t an experiment. It was an accident. But it was awesome anyway. You can take any hard candies and put them together and melt them. Turn them into a cake stand. Or a flying disk. Or, just watch them melt and toss them like we do.
3) Baking with candy. This is my favorite. This is when I steal all the good ones and pretend that I’m going to use them for that next great Pinterest recipe but really I end up sneaking them out one at a time until there’s not enough for the recipe. If you really must bake with them, you can just add whatever your choice to cookies, put them on top of brownies or, the best, way is to sprinkle them over a homemade ice cream cake.
4) Donating. Find a good place to send your candy. To some child that just didn’t get any this year for whatever reason. Perhaps because their mom WAS SMART. Or, there are great causes that accept candy like hospitals and homeless shelters. Just make sure you call and ask around first.
5) Candy bombing. This is on my list this year for the week after Halloween. We are going to help the children leave some of their candy with little notes for special people in their everyday community. New and old teachers. Janitors. School staff. Church friends.
Halloween is a great time for children to get to get exercise while getting to know their neighbors, which makes for great community building. But, best of all, it’s the one night of the whole year where they can dress up and take their imaginary world outside into the general public — where it’s acceptable.
Of course we should celebrate and let them eat candy.
In fact, we should eat some, too.
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ABOUT SHAWN: Shawn Ledington Fink is the author of The Playful Family. She has been using mantras as she navigates being an intentional mother of twins, who are now 6 years old. A writer and journalist for nearly 20 years, she has a love of words and being a peaceful, playful and creative Mama. She loves inspiring other families to slow down and inject meaningful moments into their everyday life on her blog Awesomely Awake.