Tricks to stop continual treats— how to avoid Halloween candy overload

You poured out all of your two liter soda bottles, replaced all the potato chip snacks with fruit and signed all your children up for winter sports.  Just when you thought your family’s activity and diet balance was perfect, along comes Halloween, that fabulous candy-filled holiday to thwart your efforts. Ways to keep the candy deluge down to a trickle:


-Let your children know Halloween (and most holidays) lasts only one day. Live it up on Halloween then dump the extra sweets into the trashcan the next day.


-Buy back the candy with toys or money.  Alternatively, have the sweet tooth fairy come overnight, pick up the candy and leave a present behind.


-If you decide to keep a small bag of candy around, watch out, your children will be tempted to eat some daily. Candy becomes an ongoing “must have.” Instead, designate a day to eat candy during the week such as Sweet Saturday or Candy Friday. If the kids whine for candy on any other day of the week, you can say, ”Sorry, it’s not Sweet Saturday.”


-One parent told me she discourages her kids from eating Halloween candy by making their dental appointments on November 1—the day after Halloween.


According to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000, the average American adult gains about a pound over the winter holidays. Unfortunately, the weight is not shed during the rest of the year.  

Hope your kids don’t grow into that kind of adult. Now, that’s a scary Halloween thought.

Naline Lai, MD with Julie Kardos, MD

©2010 Two Peds in a Pod



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  • Reply Brigitte Weil October 18, 2010 at 9:09 am

    My Halloween candy plan: The day after Halloween, my kids and I make a big batch of chocolate chip cookie dough or sugar cookie dough and we chop up all the candy-with the exception of hard candies- and mix it all up for some very exciting cookies. We then bake and deliver them to local nursing homes and freeze some for and quick and easy holiday cookies when guests drop in and save some for lunch box treats.

  • Reply Amanda October 19, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    My aunt used to tell her kids when they were little that candy would go bad after a day or two so she would have to throw it away.

  • Reply Munro American November 22, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    I really wish I had found this article before Halloween! We made the mistake of keeping my two year old’s candy around in a bucket and she asks for candy about every 2 hours. I make her wait until after lunch or dinner but then it’s all she can think about while she’s eating. I think it’s time for the bucket to disappear!

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