Last year's Halloween was simple. She was 16 months. She put the candy in her pumpkin and then we just snatched it away from her later when she wasn't looking.
We're not cruel. I just don't think a 16-month old needs to be munching on 14 Tootsie Rolls and a pack of Smarties.
But this year she knows about candy. I don't think she realizes the amount that she will be getting on that fateful night, but I know it will be a lot tougher to hide it all away.
And so I've asked Moxie to comment on appropriate and reasonable ways to deal with ALL THE CANDY that is about to enter our homes in a couple of weeks. I tend to just want to dump it back into the giveaway bucket and save a few small pieces for her to have now and then. And with older kids, they get to keep a certain # of pieces and then I'll buy the rest off them. Or trade them in for some type of non-candy prize.
But let's see what Moxie has to say:
There are a bunch of different ways you can go with Halloween candy. If you're truly candy-averse, then you're going to have to put the kibosh on trick-or-treating by taking your kids to a party instead. This might mean that you end up throwing the party yourself. You can do all kinds of Halloweeny things (costume parade and prizes, snacks, bobbing for apples, pin the hat on the witch, etc.) so the kids are happy and don't notice the conspicuous absense of candy.
If you do go trick-or-treating and want to allow some candy, you can establish a firm rule from the time your kids are tiny that the house takes a cut of the total take. If they ask why you need your 10% of the candy off the top, it's because you got them their costumes. My dad was always very generous in taking his candy by letting us choose which pieces to give him (he also reinforced our math skills by having us count out how many pieces we got and then figure out how many pieces he should get as 10%), but he did end up with more Charleston Chews than Kit-Kats. If you're not willing to risk getting the substandard candy, you can assert your right to choose which pieces you get as your tariff.
Once your kids are down to 90% of their original haul, assess the situation. If your kids did gorge themselves and eat everything they got, would it give them a stomachache that could serve as a useful lesson? Or do they have so much candy that they could eat until they burst for a few days in a row? That's going to wreak havoc with their immune and digestive systems, so the object lesson wouldn't be worth all the extra work it'll cause you. You'll have to decree a limit on consumption.
In my house, you have to eat a decent meal (determined by an adult) before eating any candy. And then you can eat as many pieces as you are years old. So my preschooler will be able to eat 4 pieces after every meal. You could also allow candy only once a day, with a limit per day (of the kids' age or some other number you make up). As usual, the trick is to make it sound as if it's just the rule and not something you'll bend on, and then just stick to it.
(If your child is younger than two, you can probably eat most of the candy while s/he's asleep, and it'll never be missed.)
So, tell me what you do with all the candy, particularly you experienced moms. And also, how do you check for safety? Do people try to do crazy stuff to Halloween candy still?
And if you're up in arms about the whole Project Runway mess, then read my post below and comment. I just want to know I'm not the only one who thinks it's A HOAX!