Do you have a child with juvenile diabetes, or a child on a special diet? Or do you just hate the idea of your son or daughter eating a lot of candy? With Halloween approaching, you might be wondering how to deal with the whole trick-or-treating routine. How do you allow your child to participate, and still limit the sugary indulgences?
Note: Children with juvenile diabetes can eat candy! It’s not forbidden for a child in good control. You simply must count the carbohydrates into their meal plan, or give enough insulin to cover the amount. Still, a whole lot of candy is not a good idea.
Here’s a fun activity called “THE GREAT TRICK-or-TREAT DIVIDE.” It promotes counting, organization, and math, and it’s fun. Take your little ghost or ballerina out trick-or-treating, and bring the loot home. Then do the following:
Step 1: Get three pieces of paper. At the top of the first paper, write “5 POINTS,” the second “10 POINTS” and the third “25 POINTS.”
Step 2: Lay the papers on a countertop or floor. Leave room for big piles!
Step 3: Sort the goods. (What’s interesting is that most children will “sort” their candy after trick-or-treating anyway.) Put the five-point candies in the five-point pile, ten-point candies in the ten-point pile, etc. Here’s a suggested “guide:”
FIVE POINTS (or cents)
- Tootsie Rolls
- Sweet Tarts
- Bottle caps
- Mini suckers
- Candy Corn
- Lemon Drops
TEN POINTS (or cents)
- Candy bars
- Hostess snacks
TWENTY-FIVE POINTS (or cents)
- Large Candy Bars
- Large “Halloween” Decorated treats (Like candy ghosts, etc.)
- Homemade Goodies (From Family or neighbors you trust)
Weird, odd-ball candy: Mom has final say-so in point value.
Step 4: Add up the total for each pile. Write the total for each pile on the corresponding paper. Then add the total of all three piles for a grand total.
Step 5: Let your child trade in the candy for cold hard cash, a penny per point. (Of course, you can raise the point values if you want to…use 10, 25, and 50, or 25, 50 and 100. It all depends on how much dough you’re willing to part with and how much candy your child has.)
OR… have a point and reward system, like this (use your imagination):
- 300 points = One day off chores
- 500 points = Rent a movie of your choice.
- 600 points = Pick your favorite book from the bookstore.
- 700 points = Lunch with Daddy
- 1000 points = “King” or “Queen” for a Day
If you’re really creative, you can make coupons in advance for each “purchase,” allowing your son or daughter to buy them with the traded-in candy. (But I’d leave off the numerical values until you see your child’s loot level.)
Okay, but what should I do with all that traded-in candy?
Some options: 1.) Eat it yourself. 2.) Donate it to a school or charity. 3) Bring it (or have your spouse bring it) to work. Your co-workers will eat it. 4.) Use it for motivators at home.
Kristyn Crow is the author of this blog. Visit her website by clicking here. Some links on this blog may have been generated by outside sources are not necessarily endorsed by Kristyn Crow.