It is that time of year, you know, the time when families hunt for the perfect Halloween costume, or the best treat to distribute next week! Because many families have a desire to eat more healthy, they may be making better decisions about the “treats” they provide, as costume clad children knock on the door. Let me share a few ideas Science of Parenting contributor Rebecca Brotzman, RD, LDN made several years ago, that would certainly be helpful today too!
1. Do not make the focus entirely on candy. Distract your kids with other activities like making masks, decorating the house with cobwebs, bobbing for apples, going to corn mazes and/or haunted houses.
2. Check stores, online, and in newspapers for coupons. Most major stores will have specials in their circulars the week before Halloween as well. When you combine coupons and specials you can save even more.
3. Think creatively. You do not HAVE to give out candy, and the alternatives can be cheaper and healthier. For example: one bag of 144 spider rings costs about $5.00, or a package of 100 glow sticks costs about $9.00. Both are healthier alternatives, and who doesn’t love glow sticks or spider rings!?
4. Compare prices before you buy. Look at the unit count in the bag of candy before you buy it. Sometimes a 14 unit count bag costs the same as a 21 unit count bag. When the prices are the same, it is easy to see which bag has a better value (just check the unit count), but you can ALWAYS figure out the value of a purchase by figuring out the unit price (divide the price by the unit count).
5. Do not be afraid to run out of candy. Some people buy way too much and then end up with all that candy left over plus what their kids bring home!
6. Have some control over candy consumption. Do not be too strict (let your kids enjoy the holiday), but have some kind of plan in place to control their intake of candy.