According to Forbes, Americans spent just over $2 billion on Halloween candy last year. That’s over 600 million pounds! The candy we buy is not typically meant for own households, but for other people’s children. However, if your kids are among the over 41 million trick-or-treaters who’ll pound the neighborhood streets come October 31, they’ll still come home with more than enough candy to last a month.
Prolonged exposure to sugar is a big no-no when it comes to the little ones’ dental hygiene—in fact, it’s preferable to eat a large amount of candy at once rather than distributing small amounts repeatedly over a long period. How can you prevent the Halloween candy overload? Here are some ideas:
- Hold on to the bag. If the kids keep the loot in their bedrooms, they’ll have a difficult time resisting the temptation to gorge on sweets, even if you’ve made an agreement ahead of time about how much candy they are allowed to eat. The solution? You keep the candy bag and hand out their treats when you feel it’s right.
- Agree on how much. Many parents talk candy with the kids before the big day, so they can expect how much candy they will be allowed to keep, and how much mom and dad can give away or share with the co-workers.
- Avoid the biggest culprits. Some candy is worse than others. Examples include “extreme” candies that challenge kids with intense sourness, oversized candies like giant lollipops, candy corns with their especially high sugar content, and gooey, stretchy candies that stick to the teeth.
- Sell it. In addition to giving their candy away, the kids can earn cash for their piggy banks at a Halloween candy buyback. Find a local organization that sponsors a buyback in your town. Alameda Pediatric Dentistry, for example, will host a buyback on Monday, November 3, from 4-6 p.m., paying $1 per pound of candy that we’ll ship in care packages to our troops overseas.
- Choose alternate treats. Candy’s not the only thing that brings smiles to young faces. Kids love everything from shiny stickers to creative toys to school supplies. Read our blog on Alternatives to Sticky Sweets for more ideas, and share them with other parents.
Parents with a plan for avoiding the sugar highs can enjoy the revelry that much more. Have a happy and safe Halloween!