I’m a huge fan of Halloween, but not a huge fan of giving my kids gobs of candy. Call me crazy, but I’d like to avoid my children getting cavities if possible. When my daughter was 2 years old, we traded her a few small toys for her Halloween candy stash. She happily agreed to the trade. Some people react to my views on candy as if I’m depriving my kids of a well-deserved Halloween tradition, but I see it differently. The real fun for kids, especially very small children, is the actual trick-or-treating itself and getting dressed up in costumes. I do let the kids try a couple of pieces of candy and they are more than satisfied. Honestly, last year, my son was more interested in lining the candy up in rows rather than eating it.
I learned about the Magic Pumpkin a couple of years ago through a post on the Highland’s Mommies website (a website for parents in my neighborhood). Brilliant! I thought. Basically, on Halloween night, your children pile their candy on the floor (we use the living room floor). They cover it with a blanket and then go to sleep. In the night, the Magic Pumpkin arrives and eats all of the candy. He then leaves a non-candy gift under the blanket as a “thank-you”. The kids are filled with anticipation for what will be underneath the blanket in the morning. Last year, when my daughter told me that her friends from school didn’t know about the Magic Pumpkin, I said, “he doesn’t know to visit their houses if they don’t leave the candy out for him. They wanted to keep their candy and that’s fine.”
I am well aware that the tale of the Magic Pumpkin won’t work forever on my kids, but for now it has become a fun Halloween tradition in our home. I’d say it brings my children much more enjoyment than a bag of candy could. If the thought of your kids devouring a ton of sugar this Halloween makes you squirm, then get creative. You can make the holiday both fun and healthy even if others think you’re nuts! Your children will have wonderful memories to cherish.