Trick or Treating with Toddlers

October 28, 2016

Trick or Treating with Toddlers

There are two things I dread every year around the holidays with my toddlers. The first is the inundation of candy during Halloween (candy bowls everywhere!!). The second are all the questions about Santa Claus during Christmas (HOW MANY presents does he bring?!).

Since it’s Halloween time, I’ll share some suggestions on trick or treating with toddlers. First, we really don’t talk too much about the candy part. My kids learned all about that from their classmates and friends! :) Instead, we talk about how sometimes it’s fun to be scared, like when we yell when we jump out of a hiding spot or when we play “monsters” in our camping tent.

Second, kids who have eaten a hearty meal are (mildly) less interested in candy. We do a “special” early dinner with their favorite foods--think spaghetti and meatballs or chicken nuggets and mac ‘n cheese--to make sure they’re nice and full before we head out.

Third, pre-negotiate the candy limit! This is best done wayyy before you head out, and reiterated multiple times for short attention spans. :) We discuss how too much candy is not good for you (yes, I’ll gladly admit, I’ve shown my kids pics of cavities on the internet to scare them). We remind them how at their last dental visit, the dentist said their teeth looked so great because they were brushing regularly and not eating too many sweets. Then we set a limit to 1 piece of candy when we get home and 2 more pieces to be spread out over the next week. The rest we share with family or discard.

Be sure to have some healthier snack options ready at hand for when you return, like fresh fruit, popcorn, hot chocolate, or cheese.

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There’s another great alternative to neighborhood trick or treating. Many of the shopping centers in the Bay Area host Halloween events, with trick or treating at stores, and often music or craft activities as well. The best part is that some are in the afternoon--great for younger kids with early bedtimes! Below is a list of some of your options on the Peninsula. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29

Westlake Shopping Center, Daly City

Monday, October 31st

Serramonte Shopping Center, Daly City

The Shops at Tanforan, San Bruno

Hillsdale Mall, San Mateo

Carlmont Village Shopping Center, Belmont

Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto

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