How To Candy-Negotiate With Your Kids on Halloween

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I grew up in the USA and while I don’t adhere to everything that’s “made in America, ” Americans do win hands down when it comes to celebrating holidays. Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween! You name it and they know how to celebrate it! I get quite nostalgic thinking about my daughter growing up in Hong Kong and not being able to dress up, go trick or treating and eat lots of candy the American way. Then I snap back into mother mode and realize that over the years, I’ve actually grown more afraid of Halloween candy then of the scary costumes.

Let’s be realistic, if I don’t want my child to grow up despising  me- and since I myself must confess that I have quite the sweet tooth- I have to find ways to make Halloween happen without too much sugar. Don’t get me wrong, we do need sugar from things like fruits and vegetables, but not from all the foods in which sugar is added nowadays, ie. almost EVERYTHING. How much is too much? In a perfect world we would eat VERY LITTLE added sugar. Our bodies don’t need the kind  and amount of sugar that is added to food. But since life is far from perfect, the best I can do for my family is…

Limit, Substitute & Plan Ahead

  • Limit: Our home is almost free of items with added sugar.  It is a safe zone. My child is free to eat what she wants because I have carefully and lovingly stocked it with “grow foods.” Simply preparing food yourself, eating mostly at home and pre-packing snacks or lunches for school is the best way to cut down on excess sugar.
  • Substitute: To satisfy my daughter’s sweet tooth, I use natural sweeteners like Xylitol, stevia, coconut nectar, and raw honey. We use these in our baking, cooking and to add to things like oatmeal and smoothies. You can also buy a variety of candies, chocolate and condiments made with these alternative sweeteners. It may take awhile to get used to, but slowly introducing these alternatives can make a big health difference. Fruit can also sweeten baked goods, like using banana to in blueberry muffins.
  • Plan Ahead: I try to keep some healthy treat alternatives handy (in my bag and in the kitchen cupboards) so that I have something to offer my daughter if an alternative is needed.  I don’t want her to feel deprived.  I want her to feel cared for. But I also don’t sweat an occasional indulgence.

A few more ways to avoid the Halloween candy overload:

  • Buy your child’s candy back from them… at say 20HKD per pound? That way, they still have the fun of collecting loot.
  • Swap the candy with ‘The Great Pumpkin’. Have your child pick out 5 pre-approved pieces of candy out of their loot. Get them to leave the rest outside their bedroom door before they go to bed. Then once they are in bed, The Great Pumpkin comes and swaps it  the candy for something awesome, fun and/or delicious; that way, the kids don’t miss the candy.

Happy HalloGreen Everyone!

This post was written by Sarah Sanesi, founder of Baby Bloom and Made For You.

Image Credit: Pahz via photopin cc.


  • Sonalie Figueiras

    2021 Women of Power, 2019 GEN T Honoree, V Label Global Hero, 2 x TEDx Speaker: Serial social entrepreneur & trends forecaster Sonalie Figueiras is a sustainability expert, food futurist and eco-powerhouse who has been inspiring global audiences for over a decade with practical steps on how to fight climate change. Known as the Green Queen of Asia, she is the founder and Editor in Chief of the award-winning Green Queen - the region’s first impact media platform that educates millions of readers on the connection between health, sustainability and the environment and showcases future solutions. She is also the co-founder and CEO of organic sourcing platform Ekowarehouse and climate tech SaaS Source Green, which helps consumer brands quit plastic packaging thanks to proprietary plastic reduction software. In addition, Sonalie is a global keynote speaker and an advisor to multiple mission-driven startups and NGOs, and a venture partner to several VC funds.

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