Welcome Great Pumpkin

“What do you do with all that candy that comes into your home?”

This is a question that I was asked when my kids were little, they’re too big for trick-or-treating now.  This is the solution that we have found worked best for our family.

Trick-or-Treating is a tradition that is loved by children everywhere! What could be better than dressing up as your favorite super hero, cartoon character, or princess and having your neighbors give you candy? We chose not to deprive our children of this night of over indulgence but to give them some restrictions. These restrictions come with a reward and they didn’t feel restricted. Let me explain:

After our trek around the neighborhood we would sit down at the kitchen table and dump out the loot. At this point I would set a timer for 20 minutes. Our children had 20 minutes to eat as much of the candy as possible. (Much of this time they would use to sort and make decisions about what they wanted to eat). When the timer rang everyone would stop eating and all the candy was placed in the center of the table. (This was never as smooth as that sentence sounded but they did remember the deal we made at the beginning of the night.)

Our children would then get ready for bed knowing that the GREAT PUMPKIN, you know the illusive character that Charlie Brown hopes to meet on Halloween night, will come and collect the candy and leave something in its place. This special gift from the GREAT PUMPKIN is for everyone to share, something to do together as a family, because after-all the candy was from everyone.

These are things that the GREAT PUMPKIN has left at our house before:

A giant pack of play-dough
A new DVD
A set of Legos
Some new books
Puzzles
A board game

Tickets to a fun event: a play, a movie, a museum, etc.

The “GREAT PUMPKIN” then would throw the candy in the garbage. What?  Some of you might be thinking, that is such a waste, and that my neighbors spent good money on that candy.  As I throw the candy away I “say” thanks to my neighbors for helping my children have a fun Halloween night, and that’s the end!

Do you do anything to put a healthy twist on Halloween?

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