■ Once the kids get home from trick-or-treating, let them eat some of their candy (you set the amount). Then have them go through what remains, choose their favorites and place in a small resealable bag. The rest you can donate, bring to a different event or throw out. One of my favorite ways to get kids to happily hand over their loot is to include the “Switch Witch.” The Switch Witch is a good witch who visits your house while your kids sleep. She takes the excess candy and switches it for an awesome prize. The book, "The Switch Witch," by Charity A. O’Neill-O’Kane, helps to explain and talk about this lovely witch and is a great story for all ages. Get creative with your prizes. You can look for a coveted toy or book that your child has been eyeing, or choose an activity for the whole family. A trip to an aquarium, zoo or indoor ice skating rink are all great, family-focused ideas.
■ Don’t be afraid this Halloween season to let the kids “be kids” and enjoy the sweet holiday. Teach them a few things about moderation and a balanced diet and get them involved in the process.
April Graff, MS, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian at both Mankato Hy-Vee stores and can be reached at AGraff@hy-vee.com or call 625-1107 or 625-9070. Send her questions about food and nutrition, recipes, meal planning and healthy shopping.