How do you handle the inevitable Halloween sugar coma that ensues after October 31st? Well, we try to restrict sugar at our house. When we’re doing well, we don’t eat sugar at all. When we are being a little more relaxed, we eat some here and there. If I bake, I try to sweeten our treats with alternative sweeteners (rapadura, honey, sucanat, coconut sugar, maple syrup, molasses, xylitol and erythritol to name a few). My kids never know when they are eating cookies or pie sweetened with an alternative sweetener rather than with sugar, so that is what I usually do. When we are at someone else’s house or traveling, we are pretty laid back about it and if there are candy or desserts to be had, we try to just monitor what everyone is eating and allow them to have some, just in moderation.
Once the kids were old enough to trick or treat, we were in shock over the amount of candy they brought home. While we allow them to enjoy some of their (huge) haul each year, I hated that they thought the massive amounts of candy were going to be consumed at multiple different times per day, every day, for weeks after Halloween. I wanted to just throw it away, but they would have been sad about that, so I did the next best thing: I threw it away and lied about it.
I do have a justification for my lie, however. We go along with the whole Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy charades at our house. I know that that won’t last forever, and there is part of me that wants to just tell them that these lovely figments of their imaginations don’t exist, but I just can’t. I remember my excitement over my stocking on Christmas morning, complete with an amazement that Santa could fit down our tiny chimney. There is a certain magic that exists for children when these characters are a part of their childhood. I loved the thought of a tiny fairy that took my teeth from me while I slept (which I will admit, this one is particularly creepy to consider now that I’m an adult, but whatever). Soa few years ago, a thought occurred to me: why not have a Candy Fairy? If there is a jolly, elderly man who descends chimneys in snow and ice, and a tiny fairy who sneaks through houses while everyone slumbers, why can’t there be a fairy that does something good with leftover Halloween candy that is unnecessary after the first few days of enjoyment?
So the Candy Fairy was born at our house. After a day or two (or three), the Candy Fairy appears at our house while everyone is
in a sugar coma fast asleep, after having spent a few days enjoying their fill of the sugary treats that fill their Halloween baskets. She empties the baskets of their abundance, using it to fill her own large basket, and then redistributes the treats amongst children around the world who are less fortunate. This way, kids who didn’t get to go trick or treating are allowed to enjoy Halloween candy just like the rest of us. And strangely enough, my kids think the Candy Fairy is just as awesome as all the other characters they will someday learn only exist in their imaginations.
Now, I realize that this is sort of pathetic. I could theoretically just take their candy away when I am ready for them to be done with it. I could also just ration it out over a long period of time until it was all gone. I could also eat it myself, little by little, until I have gained 10 pounds seemingly out of nowhere. But instead, we chose to make it fun. The kids literally thing the Candy Fairy is just as rad as Santa Claus, and they enjoy their candy while it lasts. Once it’s gone, we are done with an overabundance of sugar and life returns to normal. I can bake pumpkin cookies minus the sugar, everyone loves them, and I don’t have to deal with crazy awful behavioral issues afterwards.
So that’s how we handle Halloween sugar overload at our house. This is what works for us (for now). I suppose we’ll have to revisit the Candy Fairy method in a few years when they start figuring all of this out, but for now? For now we’ll just be thankful she still exists.
*I can’t find all of my Halloween photos from last year, so although I have four kids, you only get to see three. Oops. #momfail