The build up to Halloween, the costumes, decorations, and anticipation by little kids, is half the fun of the holiday. However, Halloween trick-or-treating is the real activity that peaks the celebration. Looking at all our kids' candy, we cringe at all our efforts to be healthy being tossed away in a single neighborhood sweep.
That being said, we also give out candy, it's what you do. Sure I could hand out bouncy balls or boxes of raisins, but that would cost so much more money that I'd rather spend on my own family.
So we compromise.
We left the bowl of candy on our doorstep and went together for family trick-or-treating. The kids had a blast (thank you to those neighbors who decorated the outside of their houses!). As we are trick-or-treating, the kids might eat one or two pieces of candy.
When we get home, they already know the drill.
Pick any 5 pieces of candy, whatever size you want, and the rest we buy from you.
Last year we gave a price per piece of candy. To make it even, and to cut out the work for us (but would work really well once the kids are a little older), we gave an overhead price for the lot. We told the kids we could go pick out a toy, book, or craft that they wanted at the store for $10-15.
Maybe this is trading one problem for another, but I still like it. The kids do have candy and really enjoy it. They totally feel like they are a part of the holiday and don't feel like they are getting ripped off by us buying their candy. But then they aren't begging for candy, there's no tummy aches, and there's a bonus of some entertainment with something new to do or play with. Then we can move back into the routine of apples and peanut butter for a snack, rather than sweet tarts.
I've heard of someone doing a point system for candy as well, with different prizes worth different point amounts. Sounds like a great idea.
Does anyone else do something creative with curbing the candy? (Hiding the chocolate in your own stash is not the correct answer.) :)