Strategies to Minimize Sugar Intake After Halloween

Jessica Carmean, MS, LMHC

You know what job is really the stinks? The Candy Police. You know what’s worse? The emotional roller coaster of a kid high on a sugar rush.

Parents, I don’t want to take the fun out of Halloween altogether but I am saying that moderation is the key. We all know that our children do not need an extra bucket or pillow case full of sugar in their diet. Research has told us clearly that extra sugar can have detrimental health effects both on physical and emotional well-being.

In theory, none of these strategies I’m about to offer involve arguing. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.


  1. Avoid setting strict limits- Yes, let your child indulge in some candy. If you decide to take it away from them completely you have entered world war III territory. I know I just got done telling you how bad it was for them but let’s reiterate everything in moderation. Open the door for communication and negotiation. Ask them how much candy would they deem appropriate each day? Sometimes they will surprise you and come up with a reasonable number. If not, then compromise until you have an amount that you are both comfortable. I emphasize communication and compromise over strict limits because strict limits will only make the desire for the “forbidden” sugar rise. Not only that but it sets up a negative relationship with food. Our goal is for them to learn self-control, but sometimes you have to assist.
  2. Offer candy buy backs- What’s better than candy? Cold. Hard. Cash. You can purchase your child’s candy back from them. You get to set the price on how much 3 snicker bars are worth but I say the 1$ a pound would be a fair price.
  3. Offer candy trades- If your child’s currency is not yet money, fear not, because you can trade the candy in for ANYTHING- trips to park, choose favorite movie, extra video game time, Legos, pick game to play on game night. The best part about this option is that you can pick out some healthy choices and add them to the reward options!
  4. Donate the extra candy- With your help, Operation Gratitude is really excited about another great year of collecting and donating sweet treats to the troops! Operation Gratitude annually sends 150,000+ care packages to New Recruits, Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas.
  5. Model desired behavior- Do NOT limit your child’s candy and then eat it yourself. They will be watching you so model the behaviors that you want to see.

I hope everyone had a great Halloween! Please reach out to us if you have a hard time setting boundaries and limits with your children. We are here to help with the process. Call 407-355-7378 Life Skills today for your free Consultation.