The aftermath of Halloween

Last week, I shared about our Halloween tradition with the Switch Witch and while I got mostly positive feedback, it invoked some questions and commentary that got me thinking a little deeper about moderation, self regulation and finding good uses for the ‘great candy haul.’

Towards the end of last week’s post I admitted that Adam and I would most likely throw away any and all of the Halloween candy that the boys collected.  I was hesitant to write it knowing that it wouldn’t be the popular opinion but I strive to present an honest reflection of our life on this blog and the honest truth was that we would do as we have done in past years and ‘can the candy.’  Within hours of publishing, I had people reaching out with suggestions of things we could do with our candy and it got me thinking about the options to donate it constructively – constructively meaning not putting it out at work for kids that have a haul of candy at home and colleagues that aspire to eat better and exercise more.  I did a Google search and came across some pretty neat opportunities across the country!

If you live on the West coast, you can drop off your candy with this Calgary dentist for it to be turned into biofuel feedstock!  Those of you in Halifax can bring your candy here and have it sent out to our troops!

Those of us in Ottawa with candy to spare can bring it to Citigate Dental this Saturday and they will be donating it to a shelter with children that didn’t get to go trick-or-treating.

Thank you to everyone that reached out to me with your suggestions.  We stuck with the ‘Switch Witch’ concept this year but when Clyde asked me where the Switch Witch takes all of his candy, I was left at a loss for words… Next year we will encourage the boys to choose a place they would like to donate their candy!

…and speaking of candy.  Can I just say that this was by far my favourite year of trick-or-treating?  Clyde, at nearly 3.5 years old, truly understood the concept for the first time and it was as if he had found his purpose in life.

We live in the country where kids trick-or-treat by driving from house to house so we asked the grandparents that live in town if we could meet at their house after work/daycare for a crockpot dinner and head out together to the densely populated neighborhood near them.  The streets seemed really quiet when we started so we walked down the street from their house, rounded the corner and found a trick-or-treaters haven.  The kids were literally running back and forth across the street and from house to house.   Without a moments hesitation, Clyde left my side in a full sprint to join the gaggle of kids in costume and made his way to the first door he could get to.  ‘Trick or treat!’  he said proudly.  Followed immediately by ‘Thank you!  Happy trick or treat…I mean, Happy Halloween!’ and he was off again to the next house.

Super Dad and Grandpa pushed Jude in the stroller while Grandma and I maintained a light jog to keep up with Clyde for the evening.  The small, foam bags from the dollar store were being filled up in record time and brought to the stroller to be dumped.  Note to self: next year, he will be ready for the pillow case.

My heart was bursting with pride to see him holding his own amongst the big kids and speaking confidently with the adults that answered the door when he knocked.

We were back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house by 7:30pm to dump and sort the candy then it was time for pajamas and home to bed.

I was grinning from ear to ear on the drive home thinking about how this year marks the first of the next 10+ years of trick-or-treating with that boys that will be so. much. fun.

On the topic of self regulation and treats in moderation, I want to clarify that we are not striving to raise ‘sugar free kids.’  Anyone that knows me or read my post about motivation knows that I have a bowl of ice cream every night and that I love treats.  The major difference being that I can choose to eat well throughout the day knowing that I will have a dessert in the evening.  Our kids are bombarded with opportunities to consume excessive amounts of sugar everyday via juice, cereal, flavoured yogurt, packaged snacks – the list goes on and on.  Our priority is to help them choose whole foods and opt for treats that are homemade or a recipe that we did together so we can use ingredients like whole wheat flours, oats and maple syrup instead of refined sugars, dye’s or ingredients we can’t pronounce.

Our desire to implement the ‘Switch Witch’ is not an attempt to eliminate the opportunity for our kids to eat candy but it is a way to emphasize the fun and joy of trick-or-treating instead of Halloween being all about the candy.  Trick-or-treating itself is a great concept, in my opinion.  It promotes creativity, stimulates conversations between neighbours and is a night spent with our kids walking outside with friends and family!  We all enjoyed sorting the candy at the end of the night and sharing a few treats together and then we reinforced our standard message that candies are yummy and fun for a treat but that they don’t help us to grow big and strong.  Clyde was happy to help package up all of the treats for the Switch Witch and the next day we all enjoyed sitting down to play with their new dump trucks and Hot Wheel cars!

I hope that you and your family had a fun and safe year of trick-or-treating!  We will be excited to run the streets of Kanata again next year!