So it's four days after Halloween and some of us are wondering what we should do with the seemingly endless heap of candy in our midsts. We've heard all kinds of strategies -- giving leftover candy to charity, buying the candy from our children or trading it up for a toy. Some of us let the kids go hog wild until it's gone. Others carefully dole it out throughout the year. Sociologist, Dr. Dina Rose offers up a handful of strategies on how we can, over time, learn how to reduce our role in the candy-control struggle that presents itself each halloween, and throughout the year. She also breaks down the unintended messages we are giving our children when we play the role of Candy Controller.
Dr. Rose, of It's Not About Nutrition runs a blog on The Art & Science of Teaching Kids to Eat Right. She proposes that by giving halloween candy away, parents are missing some valuable teaching moments. By overly controlling our kids' consumption of sweets we are effectively robbing them of opportunities to learn self control.
She outlines 3 strategies for making good use of the halloween candy pile:
1. Think of Halloween as a Big Buffet where you teach your kids to be "browsers" not "loaders"
2. Encourage Your Kids to Taste Test so that the halloween bag becomes an avenue for risk taking and trying new things.
3. Teach Your Kids to Think BIG whereby they can start to practice and understand how to keep inferior foods in their proper proportion.
She also reminds us of 5 unintended messages we are giving our children when we try to restrict candy eating:
1. "I'm going to dump it so you better eat as much as you can now."
2. "Candy has power."
3. "Feel guilty when you eat candy."
4. "It's best to eat candy when you're full."
5. "You're not to be trusted around candy."
To read much more about her strategies for dealing with your kids candy haul check out her article, But What Are You Going to Do With All That Halloween Candy?. To hear more about why we should think twice before giving all that candy away check out her article The How-to Control-Your-Kids'-Candy-Consumption Con.
(Image: Jackie Boucher. Via Parent Hacks )