Halloween candy isn’t so scary: Candy Buyback and more tips for managing all that sugar
Update 5/3/2017: Halloween Safety and Humor!
Ok, admit it – when the kids bring home those plastic pumpkins overflowing with treats, you’re just as excited as they are to dig in. But even the most eager little tummy only has so much room, and then after the initial burst of excitement, you’ve got HEAPS of the stuff left. Snickers and Smarties, Kit-Kats and Starbursts, boxes of Sugar Babies and little individually-wrapped packages of candy corn – what do you do with it all when you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet for your family?
While we definitely want you to utilize our yearly Candy Buyback (bring a pound or more of candy, get 20% off one toy – but more on that in a bit!), we agree with this Psychology Today blogger that the yearly candy bonanza is a great opportunity to teach kids how to enjoy tasty treats in moderation. Here are a few of our favorite tips from the Boston Mamas blog on “How to Handle the Halloween Candy Craze” – go to the article and read the rest!
- Real food first. Make it a rule: eat a nutritious dinner (ideally including fruits and veggies) before candy happens.
- Teach moderation. Remind kids to monitor how their tummy feels while they’re eating; if they’ve had a past experience of overindulgence making them sick, it’s a good idea to remind them of how yucky that felt, so they’ll practice noticing how they feel when they eat.
- Set firm limits, and be consistent. Decide how much the kids are allowed to have and when – say, 1-2 pieces after a meal – and never bend to whining! Kids are smart, and if they realize that whining works, they’ll do it every time.
- Insist on tooth-brushing immediately following candy. Not only is this the best practice to prevent cavities, but it’s also a good way to make eating candy a little annoying, so they’ll think twice about whether they REALLY need that mini-Twix.
There are tons of other great resources on the internet loaded with tips on how to control and limit candy consumption. One of my personal faves is this roundup on Babble of cool science experiments you can try with Halloween candy. Is it more fun to eat Pop Rocks, or to use them to blow up a balloon? Your mileage may vary, but I’m going with the balloon!
There are also great lists of items you can hand out instead of candy (and not pencils or toothbrushes instead – that’s how you get your house egged!). The Boston Mamas community is full of great ideas, including glow-necklaces, stickers, temporary tattoos, and plastic fangs, all irresistible to small children. I also endorse the approach of one clever mama who offered both candy AND toys, so trick-or-treaters could choose; she found that loads of kids went with the toys instead! (The list also includes tips for stores where you can stock up on tiny toys for cheap.)
Speaking of substituting toys for candy: that’s where we come in! As I mentioned above, every year all Magic Beans stores have our annual Candy Buyback – all Massachusetts stores will be buying back your candy from November 1 through November 5, and our Fairfield, Connecticut store will be buying back candy through November 9. Only a pound of candy is necessary, so you can hold back a bit or bring it all if you like, and you get 20% off any one full-priced toy. Kids might protest initially, but when you bring home a Star Wars LEGO set or a Frozen princess doll, they’ll be quickly won over to the idea! Because the pleasure of candy lasts a minute or two, but the joys of playtime are not soon forgotten.
Got any tips of your own to share with us on how you keep your kids from pigging out every day? Also, we here at Magic Beans headquarters could use some tips on how grownups avoid overindulging… because guess where the bales and boxes of candy you give us get shipped before we donate them to food pantries and military organizations? (Uh oh…)
CANDY BUYBACK LOCATIONS
Magic Beans Boston – 11/1 through 11/5
776 Boylston Street, in the Prudential Mall
Magic Beans Brookline – 11/1 through 11/5
312 Harvard Street, in Coolidge Corner
Magic Beans Norwell – 11/1 through 11/5
45 Pond Street, near Mamas Move and the Explorazone
Magic Beans Wellesley – 11/1 through 11/5
200 Linden Street, in the Linden Street Shopping Center
Magic Beans Cambridge – 11/1 through 11/5
361 Huron Avenue, in Huron Village
Magic Beans Fairfield, Connecticut – 11/1 through 11/9
1530 Post Road, on Southern Connecticut’s main shopping artery