It was Halloween 1985. I was a ballerina because as most little girls are at some point in their little lives, I was on a hardcore ballerina kick. As I walked from house to house collecting Halloween candy, I'd sneak my hand into my pillow case and pluck out a piece or two and pop it into my mouth. By the time I got home, I had the worst stomach ache of my life.

Halloween will be here faster than you know and it's never too early to start thinking about how you can control your kid's candy consumption so that you're not up all night nursing a  sad kid with a hurting belly. It's almost impossible for you to stop your kids from shoving fistfuls of candy into their mouths, but there are a couple things you can do.

  • 1

    Early Decisions

    This will be a sanity saver for you if you and the kids hash this out before Halloween. Before you go trick-or-treating, sit down with your kids and decide together what a reasonable amount of candy is to eat on Halloween night and then each night after Halloween, until their stash is gone. To make it easier and so there's no arguing, you can divide the candy into small baggies and ration it out.

  • 2

    Eat Dinner

    You know how if you go to the grocery store on an empty belly how you suddenly have the urge to rip everything open and pour it down your throat as you're walking the aisle? The same thing can happen to your kids on Halloween. So, before you go out trick-or-treating, feed your littles a big meal so that they'll be full and won't want to stuff their faces with candy as they go house to house.

  • 3

    Emphasize the Fun

    Psych your kids out about all of the fun things, not candy related to Halloween. Point out costumes and decorated houses. Make a game out of it. Eating candy will take a backseat.

  • 4

    Stay Away From Bribery

    The number one rule to remember is not to use your kid's Halloween candy as a reward or punishment. If you do this, it can lead to unhealthy habits in the future. Plus, it makes Halloween out to be a bummer.