NFEC's Cash For Candy Campaign offers healthy trick-or-treat alternative

Promotes kids' physical and financial wellness

Cash as a healthy trick-or-treat alternative

October 31 is near, and in 2022 parents may be more enthusiastic about escorting their kids out on Trick-or-Treat expeditions than they were the past two Halloweens. But as long as we're extra-focused on our children's health, why not consider an alternative to those sugary treats?

For the past four years, the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) has hosted its Cash for Candy campaign, with the goal of encouraging parents to give kids cash instead of candy on Halloween – and use the moment as a teachable one to build children's money management skills.

Encourage the physical and financial health of our children. Find out more about the campaign and get free resources for parents and treat givers here.

The evidence clearly shows that children could benefit from a healthier diet, according to scientists. For example, a 2019 study published in Lancet found that 20% of premature deaths worldwide could be attributed to poor dietary habits; and obesity currently affects nearly 15 million children and youth in the US, according to the CDC. At the same time, almost none of our young people receive financial education at school, leaving kids lacking key life skills as they move into adulthood.

READ MORE: 9 ways to teach kids about money 

That's why the NFEC created its #CashForCandy Campaign. This initiative addresses gaps in youth financial literacy and inspires healthier eating among kids at the same time. The idea is for parents and others handing out treats on Halloween to give out cash instead. The NFEC has come up with three options for adults to implement this innovative campaign to help boost both children's dietary health and their financial skills:

  • For parents: Do a buy-back where you give your children a certain amount of cash for each piece of Halloween candy they collect. When you make the exchange, use the moment as an opportunity to give your kids key money lessons that can improve their chances for a bright financial future. Use the complimentary activities and worksheet the NFEC offers to get the conversation started.

  • For treat-givers: Greeting trick-or-treaters at the door is a fun activity for many adults and families. This year, the NFEC suggests handing out cash instead of candy. Kids enjoy receiving money, and you can also seize the moment to raise their financial capabilities by distributing NFEC handouts that lay out talking points for families.

  • For organizations: Organizations and companies can host candy buyback events too. Exchange money gifts for kids' Halloween candy and take advantage of the moment to share financial lessons or give kids a chance to play fun money management games.

Who is responsible for teaching children and youth about money? All of us, according to Vince Shorb, CEO of the NFEC. "Everyone can participate in this activity to contribute to our kids' health, both physical and financial," Shorb comments. "Remember – it takes a whole village to raise a child. Cash for Candy offers a chance to help children adopt healthier dietary and financial behaviors by swapping candy for cash and taking advantage of that moment to teach kids valuable money lessons." 

Contributing to children's financial well-being now can have lifetime benefits. Research shows that, on average, physically healthy people earn more money, better emotional health, have lower medical expenses, and live longer than their less healthy counterparts. #CashForCandy is one of the NFEC's initiatives to promote physical and financial wellness simultaneously.

The National Financial Educators Council is an internationally-recognized financial education resource provider, financial literacy advocate, and thought leader. Promoting financial literacy advocacy campaigns that support both physical and financial wellness helps fulfill the NFEC's mission to prepare people to make qualified, informed financial decisions.

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