Halloween is less than a week away. In every store I shop, I see I piles of brightly coloured wrappers and packages waiting to be scooped up. All this in an attempt to appease the flood of princesses, fire fighters and puppy dogs that will be swarming neighbourhoods this year.

Now, being a mom and a nutritionist can land me in a sticky situation from time to time. How do I stick to healthy eating and limiting sugar in my house without squashing the fun and comradery of the festivities?

First of all, I let my kids eat candy. Just regular, straight up candy with artificial flavours, colours and refined sugar. It does pain me ever so slightly but I know that the more I resist, the more tempting the colourful world of confectionary becomes. If I allow my children the opportunity to eat candy, then I also have the opportunity to help them learn how to self-regulate and set them up for long term success. Besides, there is usually a chocolate bar or two in it for me!

For the first few weeks after Halloween, I let the kids keep their pillow cases full of loot. They run their fingers through it, they sort it and they have a couple at a time. After the novelty wears off, I give each of them a plastic freezer bag each. Now it is up to them to prioritize and keep only what they really want. If it doesn’t fit in the bag, it doesn’t get to stay. What’s in it for them? Cash, cold hard cash. Give me your candy and I’ll give you a few bucks to get it out of the house.

What do we give out at our house? Play dough, glow sticks, 100% fruit juice boxes or freezies and Fruit to Go are my go to options. What about you?

Now that my boys are getting older, Halloween is beginning to look a little different. They are trading in their costumes and pillow cases for parties and pizza at friends houses. I’m sure there will still be some candy, but the sheer volume is less each year. While I am grateful for less sugar in the house, I have to admit that I am missing the wonder and fun their costumes brought into our house.

Can Halloween and healthy co-exist? I think so. Take a peek at these great options from my friends at That Clean Life!