Halloween candy buy-back promotes giving and wellness
Dr. Lisa Fox (second from right) and her staff sit atop piles and piles of candy collected in Zip Lock bags during Halloween Candy Buy Back to support Fort Carson troops.
by Elean Gersack
Halloween and candy have always gone hand in hand. But, just how much candy do kids really need? In this day and age when treats have become more of an expectation rather than a special occasion, one local dentist is putting her money where the candy is.
Dr. Lisa Fox, of Colorado Kids Pediatric Dentistry, started a Halloween Candy Buy-Back in 2007. The idea was conceived as a way to help reduce the amount of candy consumed by little witches and wizards, while giving kids an opportunity to enjoy the holiday with a new purpose. Rather than eating all of the candy collected, Fox encourages children to keep a handful or two and sell the rest to her for $1 per pound. In turn, Fox delivers the candy to Fort Carson where the chocolate stays on base and the remainder is shipped to soldiers overseas where the pounds of goodies are spread out to thousands of deployed men and women.
In 2008, Fox collected 500 pounds of candy. This year, kids brought in an overwhelming 1,000 pounds — much of it including personal notes from kids along with in-costume photos. “I want to make it a positive thing for them [kids] to get as much as they can with the focus being on collecting candy for soldiers – creating a giving instead of getting mindset,” said Fox.
At Halloween time and throughout the year, Fox suggests giving fewer treats and avoiding hard and sticky candy altogether. It can easily reek havoc on teeth by encouraging cavities or pulling out fillings or crowns. Rather, Fox encourages parents to opt for non-candy items like pencils, rings, bouncy balls, mini puzzles, and yo-yo’s when offering goodies or filling party favor bags. If something to nibble on is a must, consider candy alternatives such as popcorn, pretzels or goldfish. For a must-have sweet treat, simple chocolate is best.
Healthy kids and healthy teeth matter to Fox. Get regular check-ups, limit candy and focus on healthy snacks. Lisa Fox, DDS, and her partners at Colorado Kids Pediatric Dentistry – James Norwood, DDS, and Patrick Wilson, DMD, see patients at both Castle Pines North and Highlands Ranch offices. Visit www.ckpd.com for more information.