Wondering what to do with Halloween candy your kiddo has collected? Get tips from RD and mom, Allison Schaaf.
This is such a fun time of year for both kids and adults. I'm all for having some guilt-free sweets, but as we all know the sugar explosion this month can be tough to handle. There's that fun place of allowing yourself and kids to indulge a bit…and then there's Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory and you're about to fall into the chocolate river.
Here are a few ways to enjoy this holiday with your kids feeling great and the candy not taking over.
1. Pick your favorites and donate the rest.
Donate? Yep…with a quick search, you'll find several organizations that will take your candy and deliver it to our military troops overseas. Most kids don't love every piece of candy that lands in their bag so let them keep what they love and donate the rest. This is a fun way to include the gift of giving during the Halloween season. Check out Operation Gratitude for one of these services.
2. Offer your kids the Switch Witch.
Switch witch will come during the night to take a small pile of candy and leave a small toy in it's place. This is a great way to have your kids enjoy some candy but feel good about giving up the excess. Again…a great plan for the candy they don't like and this gives them the choice to give up what they want (taking away hard-earned Halloween candy can backfire if it's not a choice…topic for another conversation!)
3. Freeze it!
Chocolate candies freeze well. This way you can keep the candy year-round but doll it out sporadically instead of eating it all at once. You can also get your kids on board by telling them you'll transform their candy into different desserts. Crushed candy bars go nicely as ice cream toppings!
The idea is to have fun and allow some indulging, yet find some balance so you and your kids don't feel like you're being restricted or missing out.
4. Talk about it
This sounds so simple, but it's an important one!
The short-term goal is to avoid our kids turning into crazy sugar monsters and either getting tummy aches or running around the house on an out of control sugar buzz.
But perhaps the more important goal here is to help our kids learn how to really enjoy treats, at a young age. We've all had the experience of eating a bit too much of a treat and it does not feel good. It's okay to talk about that with your kids.
If they eat too much candy and feel sick, talk about how treats are so fun but too much of a treat can make our bodies feel bad. Talk about the importance of enjoying treats slowly and mindfully so we can notice when our bodies have had enough.
This is the kind of message that may not sink in all at once but if you talk about it periodically, your kid will start to get it.
5. Offer an Alternative Dessert
After a week or so, your child probably will have eaten the Halloween candy they actually love. At this point, they're just eating the candy because it's there.
So why not offer an alternative (much healthier) dessert?
It can feel counterintuitive to make a dessert together after a week full of sugar but if you let your child choose from a few dessert options you feel good about, they just may be willing to give up the rest of that Halloween candy.
Here are some of my favorite choices:
- Pumpkin Swirl Brownies: These are incredibly festive (and incredibly delicious), without being a total sugar bomb. Sweetened with honey and a bit of coconut sugar, they're free of refined sugars and flours. They also contain some actual nutrition with real pumpkin puree and 4 eggs going into the mix.
- Chocolate Drizzled Fruit: It doesn't get much simpler than this but if you haven't made chocolate drizzled fruit, it's a must! This is super fun to make with your child. Bonus – you can use low sugar dark chocolate or even unsweetened chocolate if your fruit is nice and ripe, it will still taste great! Get more tips in my short video here.
- Homemade Peanut Butter Cups: If peanut butter cups are one of your chlld's favorite Halloween candies, you can't go wrong with these! They're naturally sweetened with honey and call for only five ingredients, but they are SO good! If you replace the peanut butter with almond butter or cashew butter, these are also paleo friendly.
- Chocolate Bliss Energy Bites: These could really qualify as a snack or even breakfast, as well as a treat. Sweetened with dates, they have plenty of protein and healthy fats so they're actually satisfying to eat…unlike that candy!
Want more healthy desserts?
I have a great freebie for you today! Click below to get my “chocoholics” recipe guide, full of healthier recipes to satisfy your chocolate craving!