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Sweet Dilemmas: Halloween Candy - Now What?!

Written by Diana O'Daniels. Posted in Family + Parenting

We spend so much time trying to teach our children to make healthy food choices.  Then comes Halloween!  Read on for LamorindaWeb's awesome alternatives to all those "sugar bugs" in your child's trick-or-treat bag.
Sweet Dilemmas: Halloween Candy - Now What?!

All year long we talk to our children about the bad "sugar bugs" on our teeth, and why it’s important to make good, healthy food choices.  Then comes Halloween!  I enjoyed researching various alternatives to eating all the Halloween candy our precious trick-or-treaters collect on the 31st.  

This is the first year I am actually concerned about how to deal with all the treats that will be brought home.  In the past, my son played with the candy without realizing it could be eaten!  A day or two after Halloween, the candy just disappeared and it wasn't a problem.  This year may be a different story.  He now knows that there are very delicious treats underneath the brightly colored, crinkly wrappers.

Here are some fun and creative ideas I found.  I hope you will find them useful with your family.

* Immediately throw away all choking hazards.  Hard candy is the worst!*

The Great Pumpkin or Sugar Fairy or The Switch Witch: the kids pick a few pieces of candy (your discretion) and place the remaining candy on their doorstep before they go to bed and when they wake up the candy has been replaced with a present for the child and a thank you note, too.  Keep the gift small, Christmas is right around the corner!  This can be done a day or two after Halloween.

Pick out and save candy to decorate a gingerbread house at Christmas time. (Use glue when attaching the candy so it won't be edible.)

Moraga Rotary Club is again making and filling dozens of Christmas stockings for disadvantaged children in Contra Costa County. If you have "leftover" Halloween candy, it would be greatly appreciated for stocking stuffers.  Candy donations are being accepted at 762 August Dr., Moraga.  

This can be a good opportunity to read the ingredients together and look for the really bad stuff: high-fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial coloring, etc.  Go to a natural food store with your child and have them pick "healthier" alternatives instead.

Use it as a learning tool: counting, matching, sorting, graphing, weighing, estimating, patterning.

Candy Science Experiments

Operation Shoe Box will send it to over to our troops.

Local dentists will buy back candy, enter zip code to find one near you.

Movie Stash: save some money at the movie theater by bringing your own candy!

I want to set a good example for my son, so the sooner the candy is out of the house, the sooner we can get back to living a healthy lifestyle.  


Diana recently moved to Moraga and is enjoying exploring the Bay Area with her family.  She is mother to a preschooler, and taught kindergarten for more than a decade.

For more information about Diana O’Daniels, check out her blog and be sure to catch up with her regular posts on LamorindaWeb, too.

Do you and your family have any special traditions or ways to limit candy intake?  Tell us in the comments section below!


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Diana recently moved to Moraga from Orange County and is enjoying exploring the Bay Area with her family.  She is mother to a preschooler, and taught kindergarten for more than a decade.


Do you have a topic you’d like Diana to blog about?  Let us know in the comments section below!