Since I wrote about Halloween candy last week, I’ve located two websites with tips on natural sweets. “Queen of Green” Debra Lynn Dadd, promoted these natural candy mixes in a recent newsletter. And the Feingold Association (which helps kids whose food sensitivies influence their behavior, growth, and learning) has sound tips on avoiding a “Halloween Hangover.”

Many thanks to all the Chattering Mind readers who posted! Some samples:

– When reader Nicole’s kids were young, she let them eat one candy for each year of their life. At age five, they ate five, etc. “Then we left the remaining candy out for the ‘Pumpkin Witch’ who would take the candy while the children slept, and leave a gift–usually a book or video. That way we didn’t have the candy battles for weeks afterward!”

I think that’s a great system. I wish I’d instituted it years ago.

– CM reader Raven buys bulk prizes, pencils, stickers, and so on, at, and allows the kids to trade Halloween candy for prizes. “Alternatively, [you can] have a Halloween party. Decorate the house in Halloween theme, have some nice treats handy that they can eat during the party like deviled eggs with an olive in the center to look like an eyeball, etc. Have fun games like wrapping a parent up in TP like a mummy, pin the bolts on Frankenstein, etc. Decorate some party bags with fun Halloween stickers and drawings, then finish the party with a big pinata like a spider or a pumpkin. (I found a fabulous skull piñata here!) If your piñata is filled with raisins, fruit leather, small toys, you can’t lose! Invite a bunch of children over, and make sure to have some festivities for the parents as well!”

Reader Steph writes: “On Halloween, we do a combination of keeping, imbibing, and trading. I let them eat anything the first night, keep all those candies with no food dye (i.e. snickers, reeses, etc.) for later consumption, and ‘trade up’ the remaining dyed sweets for an acceptable small treat (ice cream, hot wheel).”

Thanks again to everyone. You’re a crafty, creative, healthy bunch!

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