The best laid plans are often thwarted by the most innocent motives.  Even if you have instituted strategies for your own candy purchasing for the house and guidelines for the workplace, you still may have to figure out how to deal with the candy that your children have brought home from a night of canvassing the neighborhood.

There is hope for you as well.  Here are some great steps to help with this situation.  These steps can also be applied to Easter, Valentine’s Day, or any other holiday when candy is brought into your house by someone other than yourself.

  1. Help your children separate their favorite candy from the unwanted pieces.  Have them make a pile of candy that they want to keep and a pile that they don’t care much about.  For the pile of unwanted candy, donate to a charity, soup kitchen, or trash can that can use it.  If it is early enough in the evening, you can put it on your front porch in a bowl for trick-or-treaters to take.  My kids’ dentist pays them $1 a pound and sends it overseas, so you may be able to find a program like that.  Throwing away candy is not wasteful.  After all, you will pay with your body if you eat it.
  2. Once you have the pile of candy you are keeping, have your children count it and put it in a big Ziploc bag with tally marks with how many pieces they have.  This is a good math exercise but will serve a greater purpose in the end.
  3. Talk with them about what an appropriate portion is and what your expectations are.  This sets them up at an early age to understand limits and moderation with food.
  4. Now here is the part that will help YOU.  Since the children have tally marks on their bags, you can’t take candy from them while they are at school without having to explain to them.  I’ve even known moms to tell their children to count the candy periodically to make sure no critters have snuck in to eat their candy.  This strategy can be like a fun game for your kids and keeps you on track at the same time.

Any fun strategy will work for these situations.  There are so many holidays that involve candy and treats that I felt it appropriate to lay out specific strategies for you.  If having treats in your home is not a problem for you, that is fantastic.  I am sure that you know at least one person struggles with this who could benefit from what you have learned.

Teaching moderation to any child is beneficial.  Even if you do not have children, you could pass these tactics on to your nieces or nephews.  When you model moderation for children (instead of simply telling them about it),  you are giving them a gift that will benefit them greatly as they become adults and possibly parents themselves.