How to Ration Your Child’s Halloween Candy

Posted on November 5, 2006. Filed under: Uncategorized |

eHow Expert

Bob Strauss is the author of “The Big Book of What, How and Why” (Main Street Press, 2005)

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Difficulty: Easy

So Halloween’s finally over, and your kid’s plastic pumpkin is bursting to overflowing with Snickers, Twizzlers, Mike & Ikes and several dozen other kinds of candy, both popular and obscure. Kids being kids, his first impulse is to eat everything immediately, or as much as he can choke down each and every day short of getting sick to his stomach. How do you ration the bounty to healthier doses?


  • STEP 1: Since it’s unlikely that your child will enjoy all the types of candy in his pumpkin, have him spill out its contents and weed out the candies that he’s unlikely to eat. There may be some fussing and crying, but a streamlined pumpkin is better than the sticky, moldy mess an overloaded container will become in a few months.
  • STEP 2: Don’t let your child keep her Halloween pumpkin in her room. Stash it away in a difficult-to-reach place, in a high kitchen cabinet, say, or the top shelf of a closet. Sure, she’ll still be able to get to it, but it’ll take so much effort that she’ll likely be caught red-handed in the process.
  • STEP 3: Establish a set time every day when your child is allowed to retrieve his pumpkin and take out a piece of candy—when he comes home from school, say, or as part of dessert after dinner—and have him show you what he’s selected. Be prepared to be a little flexible: two small pieces of hard candy, for example, are equivalent to one big Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
  • STEP 4: Kids will always ask for more—that’s why they’re kids—so be firm. As much as your daughter begs and pleads for an additional piece of candy, let her know that rules are rules, and the candy in her pumpkin will last longer the less she eats every day. She may resist at first, but you’ll be surprised how quickly she falls in line.

Overall Things You’ll Need

Overall Tips & Warnings

  • Kids’ stomachs are small, and they need lots of room to fit in all the healthy nutrients their bodies require every day. Explain to them that candy tastes good, but they need good growing food to grow up strong and healthy. Most kids understand this and will be better at self-limiting once they know the rationale.

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