February 22, 2018

Candy more precious than gold

images-1By Julie Samrick

Several orthodontists in our town offer a candy buy back the day after Halloween. Our orthodontist says he does it because so many kids break their appliances with sticky, chewy candy. Most parents I know would like to see it gone for a plethora of other reasons, our own waistlines included, but how?


When I told my sons about their orthodontist’s cash incentive they were quick to request only chocolates to pass out on Halloween. They both meticulously traded their chewy, sticky caramels, taffies, and lollipops while still in their costumes so they wouldn’t have to sell any of their stash. At $1 a pound, I thought the orthodontist’s offer was a pretty good one, but on November 1 I heard crickets could be heard in his office.


My boys had a couple of hard candies slip through the cracks. When I offered my own buy back plan, at 25 cents per piece, they looked at me, and without batting their little candy-starred eyes said, “No thanks.” Instead they traded with their little sisters.


A friend on Facebook posted pictures of wads of cash (in the neighborhood of $60?!) plus gifts for each child in exchange for their Halloween loot. Minutes later, after everyone praised her parenting savvy, she wrote, “My son is saying he thought he was getting more money and my daughter is crying, ‘Where’s my candy?’”


For the past few years Jimmy Kimmel poses the video challenge to parents to capture their kids being duped into thinking their Halloween candy is all gone- that the parents ate it all. You’d think limbs had been lost. Check it out here.



For kids older than 6, how do you deal with the post-Halloween candy excess?  I could write a whole separate post on how it needs to be gone for my sake (or for my thighs) too!


In my experience, here are Halloween candy tips that work:


1)    Appeal to their sense of doing something nice for others. There are several organizations that ship candy to military men and women overseas like Operation Gratitude. Money may not talk, but it’s priceless to see kids choose to give some of their treasure to others who will see it as treasure too. Every child I’ve ever asked, my kids’ friends included, have parted with some candy for this cause.

2)   Explain that freezing candy will make it last much longer. It’s also harder to pop a piece in your mouth without thinking about it if it’s frozen solid.

3)   Remind kids that candy is a privilege. Positive behavior and healthy living are ways to be rewarded with a small piece after dinner each night, for instance. Have a set time they may enjoy the special privilege.

4)   Don’t bring other junk food into the home, or go out for treats like ice cream, while you still have Halloween candy in the house. When the kids ask, say, “Nope. We still have Halloween candy.”

5)   Have a cut off date when the candy will be tossed or given to Dad to take to the office to share. Until that day comes, be sure to stick to #4.


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