(Full-size candy bars--notice Dad going for the Kit-Kat?!)
Even if you don’t allow your children to go trick-or-treating, many alternative Halloween events—including those at church—still involve passing out candy. Kids’ buckets fill up fast! So let’s talk about how much candy we as parents should allow our kids to consume.
Our pocketbook took a big hit from dental expenses this year (we don’t have dental insurance). Both my two- and three-year-olds (at the time) were diagnosed with 8 cavities, each. I know, I know. My oldest even needed baby root canals and silver crowns. They both had to go under anesthesia at an outpatient surgical center. (Yes, we brushed their teeth regularly, and no, I did not feed them junk all day. My husband had horrible baby teeth; apparently, it can be genetic.)
So this year, thousands of dollars later, my husband and I are on super-duper-cavity-patrol. No cavity is getting into our sons’ mouths, if we have anything to do about it! And there is a lot we can do about it, starting with what kinds of foods we do—and do not—allow them to eat. Collecting a basket full of candy? I’m not so sure.
On the other hand, restricting the kids to pretzels and apples is not much fun-- our dentist himself said not to do that. He said giving them candy is ok. (Maybe he wants our kids to get cavities??! Just kidding). The key, though, is to brush teeth well after consuming candy.
(last year...the binkie didn't help the cavity situation!)
That said, I want to avoid the never-ending-candy bag that I remember so well from my youth—where Halloween candy carried over until the next Halloween until I finally dumped it to make room for a new stash. So my somewhat arbitrary guideline is: two-to-three pieces a day for maybe about a week. We’ll stop collecting when their buckets reach that point. Period. (Plus a little extra for Mom and Dad) :)
What candy collection guidelines do you adhere to? (That sounds so official and technical, doesn’t it?!) When do you say “That’s enough?!”