Halloween Candy & Your Kids

In Ask Us Anything, Magazine by RI Magazine

How to manage their intake without being a killjoy.

Q: I want my kids to enjoy Halloween, but the amount of candy they come home with is absolutely staggering! They fill pillow cases with the stuff. When I was a kid I would eat all of it and feel sick, so my instinct is to take it away after a few pieces. What’s the right balance? I don’t want to be a killjoy but I don’t want them getting sick, either.

Answer by Leah JantzenLIFE COACH and mother of four:

When it comes to this I have no problem being a “mean” mom because I am definitely anti-sugar. What I have done in the past is let them eat a good amount of candy on Halloween night. After that I keep the bags out of reach and out of sight. I slowly let them have like a piece a day for a few days. After a week later and I throw it all in the garbage. Recently, I spoke to their dentist who said it’s better to let the kids go crazy for one night and then throw it all out immediately. Of course, there’s more to consider than just their teeth. Sugar causes insulin spikes, can contribute to mood swings, sluggish behavior, and big-time energy crashes. Sugar also makes you fat and some studies have suggested it has strongly addictive properties. Whether it’s one night of craziness or doling it out piecemeal over the course of a week, there is no scenario where any kid should eat all of the candy they bring home. It’s not good for them and it’ll wind up driving you nuts, too. Make a plan to toss it out or give it away at work. Better yet, send it overseas to our troops! (You can do that HERE.) Don’t keep it in the house.