It’s that time of the year again. Halloween, is just around the corner.
Children dress up and visit the neighbourhood in pursuit of treats, usually confectionary of one sort or another. They can end up with quite a large stash. So what to do with all these treats?
A learning opportunity
Halloween treats can be an opportunity to teach your child how to manage sweets. After all, children need to learn how to manage sweets and occasions such as Halloween give us a chance to teach them and for them to practice year after year. Your child will learn to manage sweets and to keep them in proportion to the other food he eats if you matter-of-factly include them in family meals and snacks. Children who have regular access to sweets and other ‘junk food’ eat them moderately. Children who don’t have regular access overeat on them when they aren’t even hungry. If you have a treat-deprived child, you know they also beg, whine, and sneak to get high-sugar, high-fat foods.
Let them lay out their booty, sort it, enjoy the experience of having collected it and then let them eat as much as they want. Then have them put it away and keep it to meal or snack time: a couple of pieces for dessert some days or as much as they want at morning or afternoon tea on other days. If they can manage these rules then they get to keep the stash. If not, you need to give it out at meal times according to the rules you set. You can include milk with the sweets to increase the nutrition at that meal.
Structure is the key.
The main point is that the sweets are eaten as part of a meal or planned snack, and you maintain your responsibility in deciding what else to offer as part of that meal.
If you have several children and they end up with a large stash, you could suggest donating some to a local charity that helps children who are less fortunate and may not have had the opportunity to go trick and treating.