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Halloween Candy Isn’t So Scary: Our Candy Buy Back Program and More

Ok, admit it – when the kids bring home those plastic pumpkins overflowing with treats, you’re just as excited as they are to dig in. But then, after the initial burst of excitement, you’ve got PILES of the stuff left. What do you do with it all when you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet (not to mention healthy teeth) for your family?

We've got an idea - DONATE IT to our Military Troops. 

This year J

eff M. Morrison & Associates DDS

is participating in the 

Operation Gratitude Candy Buy Back Program. 

Between

November 2 and 7, 

b

ring your children, along with their candy, to our office at 615 St. Mary's Street. Their candy will be weighed and 

kids will receive $1.00 for every pound they donate

.

Tips For Managing All That Sugar

While we definitely want you to participate our Operation Gratitude Candy Buy Back, we agree with 

this Psychology Today blogger

 that the yearly candy bonanza is a great opportunity to teach kids how to enjoy tasty treats in moderation. Here are a few of our favorite tips from the Boston Mamas blog on “

How to Handle the Halloween Candy Craze

.

  1. Real food first. Make it a rule: eat a nutritious dinner (ideally including fruits and veggies) before candy happens.
  2. Teach moderation. Remind kids to monitor how their tummy feels while they’re eating; if they’ve had a past experience of overindulgence making them sick, it’s a good idea to remind them of how yucky that felt, so they’ll practice noticing how they feel when they eat.
  3. Set firm limits, and be consistent. Decide how much the kids are allowed to have and when – say, 1-2 pieces after a meal – and never bend to whining! Kids are smart, and if they realize that whining works, they’ll do it every time.
  4. Make candy-eating contingent on immediate tooth-brushing. Not only is this the best practice to prevent cavities, but it’s also a good way to make eating candy a little annoying.  It’s amazing how the nuisance of teeth brushing (not at the typical teeth brushing times) will kill the desire for eating that mini Snickers. But even if it doesn’t, it’s always a good thing to follow candy consumption with teeth brushing.  
  5. Limit the drama.Kids feed off our emotions. The bigger a deal you make of it, the more they will want it. Just be matter of fact about your decisions and limit the drama.
  6. Teach about consequences.If candy consumption really becomes a difficult issue, teach your kids about consequences.  Toss it!  Or, give it awayvia a local buy back or donation to the troops. Trust me, they will remember next year.
  7. Change the giving rules in your home.If you want to model less candy, try passing outHalloween candy alternatives. It will show them that there can be other ways to celebrate.

There are tons of other great resources on the internet loaded with tips on how to control and limit candy consumption. One of my personal favorites is 

this roundup on Babble

 of cool science experiments you can try with Halloween candy.

Is it more fun to eat Pop Rocks, or to use them to blow up a balloon?

My kids went with the balloon (who really

likes

the taste of Pop Rocks, anyway?)

Another great idea - re-purposing the Halloween candy by using for a holiday advent calendar.

There are also great treats to hand out instead of candy - such as glow-necklaces (helps cars see little trick or treaters!), stickers, temporary tattoos, and plastic fangs - all irresistible to small children. I also endorse the approach of one clever mama who offered both candy AND toys, so trick-or-treaters could choose; she found that loads of kids went with the toys instead!  Check out your local Dollar Store for little items that may be good substitutes for candy.

Let us know your ideas for handling the Halloween candy craze.  Is it time for your next cleaning and exam?  Give our office a call at (919) 755-3450.   We look forward to seeing you!  

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