How do you make sure your little ghouls and goblins (and you!) get to enjoy the treats of the season without going overboard and threatening sugar meltdowns? Follow these handy tips: Wait it out. Buy your candy the day before (or even the day of) Halloween so you and your little monsters will be less tempted to treat yourselves prior to the big day. Think about how many trick or treaters you really get every year, and stick with that quantity. Keep it creepy. Purchase candy you and your kids don’t really love (black licorice — yuck!), or at least try to avoid buying everyone’s favorites. Keep it fun-sized. A small plastic bucket is more appropriate for trick or treating than a giant trash bag. Let the kids know the party’s over when their buckets are full.
Inspect and reject. Look over your kid’s haul. Ask them to arrange the bounty according to their favorites and set aside items they aren’t as thrilled with to donate or repurpose later. Shelf it. Put leftover candy somewhere inaccessible to the kids and not easily reachable by you, like the garage. Plan it. Have an organized strategy for how to parcel out the treats. Designating a certain quantity per day or approving one treat after lunch and dinner will stretch out the process. Pay it forward. After a week or so of candy consumption, consider donating leftovers to a local food bank, or take part in a dentists’ buyback program in your area. What better way to model behavior for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday than to show the value of giving back?