I've mentioned the switch witch and how she sometimes leaves toys or money for candy, but my girls (5.5 and 3) don't think much of the idea. Nor does DH. I can actually live with just one day of gorging; it's the big bag of candy that's left that gives me the most problems. Lots of whining for candy and continued whining/arguing/begging when I say no.
I want them to have fun and enjoy the holiday. I don't want to make candy more appealing by forbidding it. Yet we need to find some new halloween/candy guidelines. A neighbor brought treat bags at lunchtime and they had finished half of them when I was standing at the door talking to her. So it was candy for lunch...
Do I just announce that the switch witch is coming? They're not going to willingly trade.
I have to say, I just don't "get" halloween. Adults pay good money to contribute to poor nutrition and obesity. There are starving children all over the world.
Children don't become obese because of Halloween. Past generations also celebrated Halloween and they didn't have the obesity problems that we have nowadays.
In our house, after one or two days of unlimited candy, I put the bag away and the kids can have 3 pieces after dinner for dessert. They know the rule, no exceptions.
Ds 9 and dd 5
Well, here I do have non-candy items I give out along with candy - plus I swap with the kids a bit for both candy/non candy items that they don't like or can't eat (d/t allergies) but not like the switch witch, just in a "oh look, mom got a big bag of your favorite candy thats tiny and less sugary and doesn't make you act so crazy, wouldn't you like to have that instead of those things you don't like? Let's trade. Oooh, look a new toy too, wanna trade for that?".
But we have general times of day that are 'candy ok' or 'no candy'. And they've been enforced for awhile so everyone is used to them, and it's worked out pretty well.
Candy is only for downstairs, and is okay after lunch, in the afternoon, or right after dinner. No candy in the morning or right before bed. It's also kept up high and the kids do like it to last as long as possible because we don't otherwise have candy in the house at all, so I think that helps them stay moderate about it (if it's all gone quickly, it's really all gone).
We've also had times when they pick out their candy max for the day and keep it on the dining table, so they don't have to ask all day - just can grab a piece at an appropriate time. And no more once those have been eaten. That might help if part of the annoyance is constant asking.
Yes, I get that one day doesn't cause obesity. It's the overall attitude about food. IDK, it just seems to me that if we collectively really valued their health, giving them pounds of candy might not be the best idea.
I actually do most of that. Last year, I did unlimited on Halloween, then 2 pieces a day. After a couple of days (they really like to play with it), I kept it high. No candy until after lunch. No candy before bed.
Being a year ago, I guess I don't remember exactly how bad it was. But I do know that it's been a problem lately. DD1 got the idea that 2 pieces wasn't the maximum, but the allowed amount for every day of the year. So when I say no lately, she gets very upset. In fact the past couple of times we've eaten out, we've had big problems about ice cream. I said before we went that we wouldn't be getting dessert, but she still complained, whined, continued to ask, and generally made life miserable for over an hour. I keep very little in the house -- some chocolate I got for Christmas, a bit of hard candy left over from parades and such, the odd years-old bag of M&Ms I got on sale for decorating a cake... but I suppose she knows we can find something yummy. It was also getting legalistic. "The candy they gave me at school is for free."
I try really hard to give us healthy food, so it's discouraging to get so much junk in the house.
When previous generations celebrated Halloween, there were also lots of apples, brownies, and popcorn balls. Things that went bad after a week. They werent giving out handfuls of half sized candy bars and having so much that they kept it for months and months.
While I love Halloween, and I think it's super fun and candy is awesome, I really detest the fact that it's celebrated for so long. I mean people around here put up decorations in mid-september and there has been a bowl of candy in every business we go in. On Monday at my bank, they gave DD THREE bank suckers instead of just one "because it's Halloween!" and everywhere we've gone for the past week has been offering candy. It's gone. I hadnt heard of the "switch witch" I think that's a good idea. But, my rule was that she could eat as much as she wanted on Halloween, and the next day it was all gone.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
Trick or Treating is not the only fun way to celebrate Halloween. You don't have to take your kids door to door getting so much candy in the first place if it a problem for your family.
You could go to fewer places or plan a party or something. Our town has a Halloween parade- maybe somewhere around you does as well.
In the past we had years where we did not live in town so we hid items for dd to find around the house and yard- like an Easter Egg hunt but with Halloween stuff. Dd dressed up, got stuff but none of that had to be candy or food.
I do let dd have free reign with candy on Halloween because we limit so much the rest of the time. She gets it out of the way and we move on with our lives. If she won't eat regular meals or is behaving badly because she is eating candy then the candy will have to go away- trash, sent to work with dh, donated somewhere, etc- and she doesn't get anything in exchange. I see no reason to be cute about it or pay her off.
Good luck figuring out something that works for your family!
Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)
It took some convincing, but my son totally went for the switch witch this year (he's 3). I actually let him keep half of his candy, so it didn't seem like a total loss to him (it ends up not being that much candy since we just trick-or-treated on our block). And he was ecstatic to see that she left him some paints in his pumpkin this morning.
But I agree, I just don't enjoy Halloween all that much. DS seemed like a total monster (pun intended) last night after having some candy & even this morning he snuck into the pantry to grab a piece of candy before breakfast!
On the other hand, I enjoy candy when I have it very rarely & it was kind of fun to enjoy that little treat together. Hopefully in a day or two the excitement will wear off.
I'm hoping we'll be able to continue with the switch witch in the future since he had fun with it this year.
I'm also tempted next year to let him eat as much as he wants & get a belly ache & then figure it out.
OP, good luck figuring out your own family's tradition. And maybe if you can convince your DDs to give up part of the candy to the switch witch, they'll go for it.
Mama to my little busy bee.
Exactly! Previous generations used to eat lard and tons of bread and a lot of what is considered "bad" food today. They would go through the winter without the recommended portions of fruit and vegetables.
Personally, I believe that obesity is on the rise because of this cycle of restriction and disinhibition. We are taught that food can be bad, we like "bad" food and we feel ashamed because of it. Or we eat "good" food as medicine, not because we enjoy it.
OP, a suggestion: we do dessert every day, because we like sweets. My dk get one portion a day, they can choose to have it after lunch or after dinner.
In my experience, if you have one rule, it's easier to follow.
Ds 9 and dd 5
Well, turns out that my DD who wasn't interested in trading was very excited to donate most of it. How sweet... I'm very proud of her. Since DD2 decided at the last minute she didn't want to get dressed or go, that left us with just enough candy for one more day of binging. I've been secretly hoping they'd get sick enough to lose a taste for it too! It hasn't happened yet. Halloween is important to DH. Since he goes along with so many of my crunchy ideas, I'm willing to let him have his trick-or-treat fun with DDs. Hopefully, next year can be this good too.
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