Your children might accumulate veritable piles of candies, taffies, and sweet junk from their friends this Purim. Brightly colored. Happily collected. You might have to be the one to rain on their parade. How to do it?
Here’s how some parents escape Purim with their children’s teeth unscathed:
- Here’s my scientific method: I put aside all chips, pretzels, and snack baggies. Of those: I let the kids choose one per day to bring for snack to school. I put away Juice/Sodas/Punch drinks and let them choose one as a treat if they ask at a reasonable time. I allow them to have their chocolate whenever they want. (No more than three). All candies get put away in a bag. We use them for a Shabbos treat from now until eternity. (If there are treats that I really can’t handle, I surreptitiously chuck them when the kids aren’t around.)
“My kids learn all the time that their body is borrowed and not a trash can.”
- I close my eyes until Shabbos, when candy goes to Shabbos party stash and the other nosh is used for snacks. The end. No drama. No business transactions.
- We divided everything into categories. Yesterday they ate as much as they wanted. (!!) But today I let them pick three things to keep. The rest we are giving away to the less fortunate. My kids agreed to that and are very excited about the idea. BH.
“Teens are harder than little kids because they feel entitled to their stuff… I collected all the candy-type things, and BH there wasn’t so much. The chocolate is all MINE!!!!”
- I’ve paid around $5 to each kid for them to throw the pure junk in the garbage: 50 cents for each sugary snack and drink. I explained to kids that that is not bal tashchis (wasteful), because these foods are like poison for our bodies. They aren’t deprived, as they still have lots left.
“I don’t think limiting candy amounts to deprivation. If you don’t have the mindset that fun = candy, you don’t think twice about it. On the other hand, I agree with not completely restricting candy because it backfires.”
- My rule is that on Purim they can eat as much junk as they want (after a really good breakfast), but then on Shushan Purim we have a detox day—no nosh at all, just tons of fruits and veggies and healthy food.
- My kids get to keep most of their stash; I allow them one candy a day and they throw out whatever they don’t like (yes, no regrets).
What is your health-conscious method to the madness?