Bingeing on Halloween Candy

Photo by curveymama

As much as we enjoy dressing up our little ones as firemen, pirates, and princesses, we can't help but dread the end of the night and the resulting cache of carbohydrates. Please, Mommy, can I have just one more Twix? This is the last roll of Smarties, I promise!

I know you're with me on this--sugar is not a friend to a 3- and 5-year-old an hour before bedtime.

And it's not just a one-nighter. If you live in a big neighborhood, those sugar highs, bellyaches, and sticky teeth can go on for weeks or even months. Some parents I know dread the prospect so much that they let their tykes eat the whole bag as soon as trick-or-treating is over, just to be rid of it once and for all.


Dr. Young-Jin Sue, an emergency room pediatrician at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, would discourage you from considering that. She feels Halloween is a great opportunity to teach discipline and moderation.

There are other alternatives, she says, like suggesting the child donate their least favorite candies to the local senior center or soup kitchens, or offering to exchange some or all of their haul for other rewards, like money or small toys.

For older kids, Dr. Sue suggests taking their candy and allowing them to earn it back with household chores or homework well done.

Take our poll and tell us whether Halloween candy in your house lasts one night or many weeks. And let us know if you have some other creative ideas to lessen the impact.


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