Seriously considering just letting my kids have free reign over their Halloween candy for the next week- as much and whenever they want. I have always kind of doled it out but I wonder if that maybe sending them the wrong messages about candy consumption- after all, in the end THEY have to learn to regulate their intake of sweets. Plus, being the candy police is no fun. What do you think? How do you handle Halloween candy in your house?
I let my kids gorge on candy on Halloween, and after that ds can have three pieces for dessert each day after dinner. He's in school all day and he can't have candy at school, so I don't have to deal with him begging for candy.
I don't know how old you dks are or how much you trust them, but my ds is allowed to have the whole stash of candy in his room (out of sight, so it's not too tempting) and pick the candy for dessert by himself. And I ask for his permission, if I want a piece of candy. This gives him the feeling that the candy is his, and he's in control.
Other things I tried with ds when he was younger was giving him a (generous) portion for the day, and let him ration it himself. The quantity was big enough to satisfy him, but small enough for me to be comfortable with him eating it all at once. He learned to eat it slowly and keep some pieces for later.
The reason why I wouldn't give them free reign over candy is that sugar is addictive. When *I eat too much candy I crave sugar and I'm an adult. I wouldn't expect them to be able to regulate their intake of sweets at a young age.
I give free reign over the candy. Both girls lose interest when the chocolate is gone. Last night they got to go through it with us and do their trades with each other. Eat a bit and then brush their teeth for bed. Today I'm sure they'll be done with it. And yes they will have tummy aches. And yes I told them it would happen. And of course they'll say, "I shouldn't have eaten so much candy".
I engage a similar strategy here.
I let them eat as much as they want because in the end they will self moderate due to not feeling well from eating too much.
Trying to control it just does not work over here.. lol
Kids are 9 and 6 and do we don't do sugar at home, but they are allowed sugar at the grandparents/ b-days and the occasional treat of an ice cream or something. They have never had unlimited access to candy. I used to dole our the Halloween candy a piece at a time and then toss the rest. As they get older and have a pretty good idea of what candy they have it feels wrong to employ this tactic and as if the candy is not "theirs". At their ages, I'd like to see if they regulate themselves (self control) or if it is a free for all (which may as pp pointed out be a self regulating behavior as they will feel sick if they eat too much). Will update ya'll on how this turns out!
DD is 3 so don't know if that's why I'm different but I totally screen everything she gets and only put back in her stash a tiny fraction of what she received. I do want her to self regulate (and she pretty much does), but some of the stuff she got is so nasty in ingredients, I'd rather take it out before she's really examined it and have her choosing between the less awful stuff (but no one gives out natural candy it seems, so it's all kinda icky to me for my preferences).
The good thing about her being 3 is, she knows it looks like less when she looks at it the next day, but she really can't remember what was taken out, and as long as there's at least 2 lollipops, she's good. LOL!
Also, thank goodness for Yo Gabba Gabba and the Halloween episode where they eat too much candy and have the song "Too much candy will make you sick... all that candy will make you so sick" because we've been singing it for about 6 months and she brought it up herself this season. It's kinda like she doesn't have to take my word for it, she saw her "friends" on YGG get sick and she's weighing if it's really worth it to risk it... :)
Don't know what I'll do when she's older and she is much more aware of what she's getting as she gets it... cross that bridge when I get to it I guess.
Growing up, we had free reign over our candy. We kept it in our rooms for a few weeks, then we had to dump what was left over into a bowl that went on the fridge, and at christmas what ever was left went in the trash.
I pretty much let my daughter do it the same way. She just couldn't eat it before school.
I'm sure there's a lot in there my kids won't eat. Augie says the nerds are "spicy". lol He's excited about it all so he''ll eat three m&m's and then have several licks of a lollipop and the a twix, but most of it gets thrown out. He loves sweets, but doesn't have any appetite. Milo has always been a great self-regulator. I can hand him a pack of m&m's and he'll eat half and say that's enough. I think he is putting away a bit more halloween candy than that, but he won't go crazy.
Our dentist says it's better to let your kid sit down and have at it and then brush teeth, and not to give it out slowly, that's just more separate assaults to the teeth. I kind of think the same approach makes sense for the sugar issue. Imo, they may as well get it all over with quickly and move on, rather than make it a habit by have dribs and drabs of candy over many days.
Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.
They can eat as much as they like except breakfast and before bed. Two treats for school. I'd rather they have it over with. My youngest has some very serious allergies, so he can't eat a lot of it, but the other two eat lots plus the parts the youngest can't have.
Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!
My kids sell their stash to a local dental office after Halloween. DD picks out a couple pieces beforehand, but not much, since they pay by the pound. This year, some of it was handed back out as well, and she really enjoyed that. Trick-or-treaters were still going in full force when we were done and back at the house. We ran out of purchased candy with a crowd still at the door, so rather than say "Sorry, all out" and switch off the porch light, she got her stash and started handing that back out, then sold what was left over.
We let them have at it within reason. It's kept right on the kitchen counter so I can make sure they're not eating in (only) for breakfast or filling up while I'm making dinner. I will give them a few days of that and they I will put it away and hand it out a little more.
It depends on the kid, imo. In the past, I've always let my kids have free reign over the candy. It worked great with ds1. It worked okay, but not great, with dd1. It's been a disaster with ds2. This year, we've put a "one candy after each meal" rule into place, and it's going pretty well. DS2 has serious impulse control issues, in general, and a very hard time with any kind of self-regulation. Excessive candy intake also turns him into a cranky, tired person who is impossible to deal with. So...we're done. This year, we control the candy.
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
This year I talked with dd and I suggested that she eat just one or two pieces a day but it was up to her. All of her candy was gone within three days! She shared one piece with me and gave dh two pieces. She didn't make a mess with wrappers and didn't act too crabby. It was good to just get it over with quickly and move on with our lives.
I think my biggest rules about candy have always been 1. brush your teeth, 2. dispose of wrappers properly, 3. candy doesn't replace real food. If these are not followed or there are behavior problems then I would step in and the candy would go away.
Dd is 11 so I think it makes sense for her to make the decision on how much candy she will eat more so than when she was 3 years old.
Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)
My older one gets free reign on days where she has nothing happening after school or on weekends where there are no events. She hasn't had much yet but she's looking forward to school getting out today. She doesn't have a ton of candy but she doesn't do that well after eating garbage like that and I'd rather it happen at home than when she's out and about.
My toddler is too little to get much candy at all. She gets a piece occasionally.
I let my kids cash in most of their candy for money or something they really want. My 9-year-old had a book he really wanted me to get him, so I did that in trade. My 5-year-old gave me hers in exchange for a trip to the store to pick out a small toy. They do get to keep a small portion of it, which I then do not regulate. This year it was all gone in about a day. This is the second year we've done things this way, and it's worked great! I've been amazed how cooperative the kids have been about it... my son is a huge sugar-holic, yet he was excited to get rid of 2/3 of his candy. I call that progress! DD had a bit of "seller's remorse" the day after, but it only lasted a bit and she hasn't mentioned candy since.
I let dd regulate herself. She is the type of kid who would choose the strawberries over the chocolate cake so I don't stress(not bragging about my parenting here...this is just the way she is, I would pick the cake myself lol). She only likes certain things like Hershey's bars and Kit Kat so I get to eat the things she doesnt like such as milky way and snickers. Obviously every mom knows her kid best....if my dd was the type who would gorge on tons of candy and get nuts I would limit it.
My daughter comes home with well over 100 pieces of candy. I simply do not want all of that junk flooding her little system. We had a great conversation about candy, sugar, and health, and we decided that one piece of candy a day for one month was reasonable. She sorted through, picked out her favorites, and sent the rest with her papa to work for his co-workers. She then gets to pick out a small toy in trade from the local toy store. She is happy, I don't have to worry about her teeth or immune system with all of that sugar... it's a mutual win.
it was easy for us.
till dd was 5 she did not like chocolate. so her intake was way limited.
now she is choosy about what she eats.
so free reign in our house. always been that way.
her bag of candy is sitting at the house without her touching much. we still have to sort out what she and i will eat and then i'll bring the rest to my school.
I let my boys have free reign over the candy for a few days, then it goes in the trash. I threw ours away today. One of my fondest memories of childhood is gorging on candy the night of Halloween and watching Halloween movies with my cousins, and I wouldn't want to steal the chance for an awesome memory like that from my boys. :)
SAHM to Ninja Boy (6) and Monkey Man (4) .
My kids are older than most (if not all) who have posted. They have always been able to have as much as they want for an hour after they get back. Then one piece at lunch each day and then some after dinner each night. Mostly they stop after just a couple pieces but every once in a while when I can see that reaching in the bag is mindless I'll ask them if they want to play a game or something and they'll be done.
I have no intention of allowing free reign for DD. That might change when she is older, though. My plans for Halloween are:
Have fun making our own costumes sometime before Halloween... Have a fun night out, collect the candy knowing full well no one is eating it, then enjoy a favorite healthier somewhat sugary treat / treats at home...maybe we'll even make the favorite treats together.
Then watch a kid's halloween movie or play a game and leave the candy out for... the "Switch Witch" ? and wake up to a toy or book or whatever. Maybe when DD is a lot older she can choose to keep some of it, but I want to start the other traditions earlier so the candy she collects is not the whole central point of it all.
and I'll make sure to tell my kid(s) the Switch Witch prefers chocolate.... bwhaha just kidding...
I let them go to town on the candy. It was gone in 2 days and now we don't have to worry about it because aside from special occasions (such as Halloween), we don't keep sweets in the house anyway. We just made sure we did an extra good job with the teeth brushing.
...mommy of course helped the situation by taking 10% off the top after they went to bed...
Dd is 5 and this is the first year that we've let her have free reign over her candy. (Well, all the candy she's not allergic to--we buy the allergenic stuff from her at ten cents a piece). I've been very impressed with how she's handled it, actually. She's definitely eating a little more than we'd normally allow her, but she's not going overboard--she'll have a few pieces after school, after a healthy snack, and maybe one more piece after dinner. She has to give up about half her candy due to allergies, but even counting only the safe stuff, there's still plenty left in her bag.
An article on Slate about this issue:
I like the idea of free regulation, but haven't been able to bring myself to allow it just yet. We are not a "dessert every day" family (NOT because of a philosophical objection, more because it involves having leftovers from a party or a special purchase as I don't keep sweets in the house because of my binging problem), but after Halloween the kids can have 2 pieces of candy in their lunch, two after school, and two after dinner for as long as they request it or until it's gone (they've never run out before just forgetting about it). I try not to make a big deal of it or turn it into a big forbidden fruit OR let my own baggage burden them overmuch (I guess it still does though, since I can't allow free reign, inside of me there's always going to be the worry that one or more of them will have the same problem as me! Which is stupid, but I can't really help it right now.).
I like that they get to enjoy it for a time (we always end up throwing out most of it after they've forgotten about it for a few months). It's not like they won't eat fruit and "good" stuff during that time, and we're fortunate that sugar/fake stuff doesn't affect them very much, so we're pretty lucky.
I have always just let my dd do what she wants with the candy. Usually that means she eats several pieces while trick or treating then a few a day after that until she forgets about it, she also shares it with the family very nicely but there is often a lot that just doesn't get eaten so I bring it to work or the student center for the chocolate stash. I was worried that I would have to regulate it this year though because last year she gorged herself and got sick a few times on sweets (only once at Halloween). She has been very good about regulating herself though this year so I am leaving it up to her still.
We just let our kids do what they will. It's a week + since Halloween and they both have their buckets 90% full. They eat the stuff they like and are pretty good at controlling the rest of it.