Here are some Halloween candy safety tips that ensure Halloween candy is safe for your kids, and keeping the candy gorging to a minimum.
Know where the candy is coming from. Don’t let your kids trick or treat or collect candy from strangers. Stay in your home neighborhood, and go with them. Or accompany them wherever they are going. Some parents actually drive their kids to other neighborhoods and wait in the car while the kids ring a number of doorbells and trick or treat. It’s best for parents to go with the kids to the door. Although clearly parents do this because the trick or treating in their own neighborhood is not safe or not happening, it is still an important thing for parents to see and meet the people handing out candy to their kids. Don’t let your kids munch on candy or treats during trick or treating. That way you can regulate how much candy your children are eating in one night.
Look through the candy before the kids eat it. When the kids get home, have them dump the candy all over the table, and look it over. Anything with ripped or missing wrappers gets thrown out immediately. Anything homemade, unless you know exactly who made it, gets thrown away. Anything that looks old gets thrown away. Take what’s left and look at ingredients of anything that is unfamiliar, if your kid has allergies or food issues. Once you’ve approved everything that’s left, you can deal with the next step.
Designate limitsOn Halloween night, tell your child how many pieces of candy (usually three is a good number) will be allowed that night. Let him choose his favorites and put the rest away. What you decide to do with the leftover candy is your choice. Here are a few quick suggestions:
The treat box: Have a place for candy that is out of reach. This candy is for rewarding extra effort, such as doing an extra chore or accomplishing a goal for grades or behavior. It’s also great for bribes. (If you clean the basement, you can have a pick from the treat box.) You’d be surprised how much work kids will be willing to do for a piece of candy.
Donating it: Some shelters need supplies for throwing birthday parties for kids who have to stay there and appreciate donations of candy and other birthday party supplies for things like this.
Taking it to work: Let the people you work with get rid of it for you.
Appropriate portions: Decide how many pieces a kid can have per day or better yet, per week. Kids don’t need candy every day – it’s not healthy.
Regift: Some families do this on Halloween night. It involves taking a large part of the candy that is left and putting it into the bowl of candy that is being handed out on Halloween, and handing it out to trick or treaters who come over after your kids are home. It’s easy to do this if you’re running out of candy before trick or treating time is over, and cuts down on the leftovers easily.