Vancouver Mom > For Kids > 5 ways to avoid the Halloween sugar crash

5 ways to avoid the Halloween sugar crash

Boo-ti-ful bounty of Halloween excess

When I think of Halloween, I am grateful for a childhood filled with memories of crisp autumn air and fallen leaves, glowing jack-o-lanterns, and running from house to house in my costume. As I squealed and giggled at the decorated houses, my hands tightly clutched a pillowcase jam-packed with candy.

At the end of the night, I’d dump my loot on my bedroom floor and carefully sort it into piles ranging from my most favourite to least (with plans to trade the latter with my unsuspecting little brother). We were allowed a few candies that evening, and then my mom put away the rest so we could enjoy a treat for dessert throughout the week.

While indulging our sweet-tooth is perfectly fine once in a while, there are a variety of tactics that parents can use to help children moderate their sugar intake this Halloween (and prevent nasty stomach aches, emergency dental appointments, and sugar-high meltdowns). Dentists recommend avoiding hard, caramel, or gummy candies that can damage enamel and stick to teeth. Lollipops and other candies that prolong the frequency of exposure, and highly acidic candies, should also be avoided.

Studies also show that the more strictly parents attempt to control certain foods, such as sweets, the more desirable they become. Rather, a realistic, consistent, and positive approach is the most effective and fun.


Here are five great strategies to ward off the sugar overload

Switch Witch

When the kids go to bed, the ‘Switch Witch’ exchanges their candy for a new toy. This is a fun opportunity for your kids to willingly trade their candy for something else they’d enjoy.

Candy buy-back programs

Contact your local dental office to ask if they offer a candy buy-back program (e.g. Dr. Pocock in North Vancouver, the Coquitlam Family Orthodontics, or Guildford Orthodontic Centre).

Donate it

Individually wrapped candy can be donated to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank or Covenant House Vancouver (helping Vancouver’s at-risk and street youth).

Save it

You can freeze most candy and use it later for baking, goodie bags, to fill a piñata at your child’s next birthday party, or decorate a gingerbread house at Christmas.

Make a difference

Trick or Eat is a Canadian youth-led event that invites students to participate in the largest door-to-door Halloween food drive and raise much needed funds to find solutions to food insecurity in Canada. This year, instead of collecting candy, you and your child could help the hundreds of thousands of families and children who depend on food banks.

How do you make sure your kids don’t overindulge on Halloween?

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  • Lorrie
    November 2, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Cute ideas! Just a note that the “sugar rush” is an old myth that’s been long been proven unfounded!

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