The fireman picking out his lootI meant to post about Halloween a couple days ago (thanks Angela for the suggestion) but I ended up in the hospital having a baby instead. Now that we're back and settling in I thought I'd share what our family does- but I don't really have any great ideas. If you have any, I'd love to hear!
I am not a huge fan of Halloween, just because of all the junk and all the scary evil stuff. But I do love that the kids get to dress up and be something fun for a couple of days. I don't see an easy way to have my children avoid all the candy that comes around this time of year, but we do try to limit it. One of our favorite healthy treats during the fall are pumpkin chip muffins*. If I have those around, it satisfies everyone's need for treats and lets us forego some of the less healthy stuff. We try to always take healthy treats to friends and neighbors (like if we get "booed") so that we don't have to buy or make junk.
As far as trick-or-treating goes, we go and have fun and then when we get home the kids get to pick out 10 pieces of candy to keep. We might have to increase that number in the future, but it has worked great so far. They never complain, because that's actually a pretty big pile of candy if you think about it- especially when people are handing out full size candy bars. My 5 year old kept saying this year (after picking out his 10 pieces) "I get to eat all of this?" We then let them choose when they want to eat it, so if they eat it all in one day that's their choice.
One thing we do always try to do is explain why we prefer to eat healthy, and why the "junk" doesn't make us feel good. Before my daughter's class Halloween party this year, I reminded her that she tends to get a stomach ache if she eats too many treats and she will probably be happier if she only chooses a few things. I have no idea what she ended up eating, but at least she was reminded. In the end it's their choice but I hope they are learning along the way.
*I just went through the blog and couldn't find the recipe for the pumpkin chip muffins. I thought for sure I had posted it before. I will get that on here soon, because they are good!