There’s a debate going on among moms – whether or not to use the Switch Witch this Halloween.
The Switch Witch sounds pretty perfect. On Halloween, your children put their candy outside their bedroom and the witch swoops down, scoops it up and leaves a book or toy in its place. In the morning, your children get the toy and you don’t have to deal with children begging for candy. Sounds pretty great right? But is it that simple?
Every year I struggle with Halloween candy. Do I let my kids go wild and eat everything they collect- and suffer the bad moods and tantrums that inevitably come from too much sugar? Am I supposed to let my kiddos eat as much as they want on one day and then ration the candy, or am I supposed to set a serving size and then deal with the begging for candy until it’s gone?
Or do I force them to give it all up for the Switch Witch and replace it with a toy? What if by forcing them to give it up, they then binge on sugar when they are out on their own?
The American Heart Association states that children should only have about 25 grams of sugar a day. Many children are already getting sugar from sweetened yogurt, granola bars, and cereal. Even if you don’t give your children sweetened yogurt, if you add Halloween candy daily it’s likely they will quickly go over their 25 grams.
Heart health aside, what about their teeth? I struggle with the dental implications of all the sugar from Halloween candy. I think my kids are pretty typical when it comes to brushing their teeth. They don’t like to do it and probably aren’t that great at it! Eeeeeek cavities! I’d like to get rid of all the candy for this reason alone!
The Switch Witch seems like the answer to all my problems. This year, with high hopes, we sat down to talk to the kids about the Switch Witch and asked if they want to participate in this ritual. Our conversation didn’t go as well as I hoped. My son isn’t so sure that any toy will be better than candy. The only way he’s going for it is if the Switch Witch brings an actual Nintendo Switch. (Sorry kid, that isn’t happening!) And my daughter is too young to care. So now what?
I quickly get frustrated with the whole holiday. I wish we could skip Halloween altogether. It doesn’t feel right to let my son eat all the candy, and it also doesn’t feel right to make him give it all up! I am completely torn over which kind of mom to be – the “fun mom” is at odds with what I know about the health impact of sugar.
I have read a few blog posts on both sides of the argument and I think we’ve decided what to do this year. We’re going to help the kids sort their candy on Halloween. This is fun, and maybe we can make some sort of math game out of it. Then my kids will pick the candy that they most enjoy to keep, and the rest goes to the Switch Witch.
I hope this teaches them to enjoy the candy they love and not just eat any candy because it’s there. I’ve struggled with sugar cravings since I was a child. I don’t want to restrict sugar from my kids, but I also can’t believe it’s healthy for them to eat it all.
In our house, we generally allow treats with lunch. This year, we are going to use Halloween candy as an opportunity to discuss adding sugar to our diets, while trying to keep our daily sugar intake between 20-30 grams of sugar. Wish me luck, I’m honestly still on the fence about it.