What to do with candy? Don’t eat it! Play with it!

We left a birthday party last week with an abundance of candy. Look, I’m not a mom that tells my kid you can’t have any candy ever. I don’t want her at parties or events unable to partake the way the other kids are. She’s too young to understand and there’s no reason to isolate her. Food is very social and even I as an adult feel the impact of that sometimes.

Miss L knows what’s healthy and what isn’t. She knows we eat a little differently in our house. And she knows that the stuff she might get elsewhere we will not buy at the grocery store under any circumstances. But again, she can have it at parties or special events or even on play dates (but as those increase, I will probably need to revaluate this).

So she had tons of candy in the house and for a couple days, when she asked, I said yes to one piece per day. Then I noticed she started begging for more than one. I mean begging. Asking for candy the minute she woke up. What? Trust me, this kid usually would never ask me that. So I hid the bucket on a top shelf. And somehow she kept showing up with more candy. Seriously. I still don’t know how she did it. So I could see the sugar addiction setting in. I’m talking straight fiend status. That’s when I had to draw the line. No more candy!

So what did we do?
Make butterflies!

I melted starburst, laffy taffy and the like. Gave miss L a rolling pin, some powdered sugar and a surface to work on and let her go to town. When you heat it lightly (about 3-5 seconds in the microwave. Be careful- if overheated it can be scalding hot!) it becomes moldable like play doh. This is a way to enjoy the fun colors, smells and textures without the effects of eating junk.