Ask Design Mom: What Do You Do With Halloween Candy?

November 1, 2010

Question:
With six kids, you must get lots of candy from trick-or-treating. I’m curious about your candy policies. Do you limit how much the kids can eat? Any tips would be appreciated. Thank you. — Candace

Answer:
Great question, Candace! That is certainly the topic on my mind this morning. I haven’t vetted this with a dentist (and you’re welcome to judge) but this is what usually happens at our house. 1) All the candy goes into one big shared pot. 2) We sort some of it by color (see above) because I can’t help myself. 3) I let the kids eat as much as they want for about 24 hours or so. At which point, they’re super sick of anything sweet and start craving salty/spicy foods, like warm soup and bread. 4) If there’s anything left (there usually isn’t) it gets tossed or frozen for another day.

Basically, I like the candy over and done with as quickly as possible.

What about you, Dear Readers? How do you handle your Halloween candy?

P.S. — Stephanie has some great tips for Halloween candy here.

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{ 86 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nancy November 1, 2010 at 10:35 am

I still have candy left over from LAST year!! No one in the household eats any candy…so I always try to dump the end of it in the last kids bag…sorry if that’s your kid…neighbors…

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2 Alie Jones November 1, 2010 at 10:36 am

My sister does what they call the “Halloween Fairy”. Each kid gets some candy (for example, four pieces for the four year old) and then mom takes it away. Overnight, the “Halloween Fairy” replaces their candy with a small, wrapped present! The kids love it and look forward to the “Halloween Fairy” coming every year.

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3 Natalie November 1, 2010 at 10:40 am

My friend does the same thing as Alie’s “Halloween Fairy”, but they call it the “Switch Witch.” Also, in our area there is a dentist that will buy back the candy for $1 per pound up to 5lbs. He then sends it overseas to the troops.

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4 bryssy November 1, 2010 at 10:41 am

We only go to 2 or 3 houses and they can have 1 piece after chores are done. Between that and Daddy imposing the candy tax after the kids go to bed, it’s gone in about a week.

Easter chocolate gets put in the freezer and used for cooking and baking throughout the year.

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5 Ann November 1, 2010 at 10:42 am

The Great Pumpkin visits our house with gifts when the candy is left for him! They get to keep five pieces after eating some while trick 0r treating!

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6 Sandi November 1, 2010 at 10:42 am

Although I suspect it might be considered slightly politically incorrect, I love your idea of candy overload! Mostly because we do the same thing at our house. ;) I’m already craving broccoli.

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7 Jessica November 1, 2010 at 10:43 am

As a kid my siblings and I were allowed to eat as much as we wanted for a day or two and I think it’s kind of an important lesson in how gross you feel when you eat too many sweets!

I love love love the color sorting. So pretty. :)

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8 Leslie November 1, 2010 at 10:44 am

our kids have fabric Advent calendars, with the pockets that need to be filled annually.

we have two kids, so each kid puts two chocolate bars in each pocket… one for them, & one for Mom or Dad. They then get put away until Dec 1, so that spreads the chocolate out, and it means we have really cute handmade advent calendars!

That takes care of most of the chocoalte, and leaves them with the filler candy. The older one pigs out till it’s gone, the younger one forgets after a few days, and then his ends up in Christmas stockings for both!

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9 Jeaneane November 3, 2010 at 4:28 pm

We do the same thing…we just use saran wrap and make a “candy chain” to hang in their rooms Dec. 1st!

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10 Melanie November 1, 2010 at 10:53 am

My older (and wiser) brother used to teach us little girls how to play poker with our candy. We always lost and he ended up with most of our candy. After a few years we got a ltitle smarter and would take out our favorites first. With my kids – we eat a little here and there for a few days, then either toss it or freeze it.

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11 Katherine Garvey November 1, 2010 at 11:00 am

I read a great tip in a parenting magazine. After the kids have had their fill of candy, they get all of the leftovers together and do “science experiments.” They melt down all the chocolate and gummy bears, or freeze it and break it with a hammer. Maybe they mix it with vinegar, or lemon juice to see how it reacts. My mad scientists are still tiny, but I’m definitely using this in the future!

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12 Chris November 1, 2010 at 11:04 am

love the candy organized by color–super cool.

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13 Lily November 1, 2010 at 11:11 am

Operation Gratitude welcomes the excess Halloween candy to use in care packages for our troops! You can send it directly to their office in Van Nuys, CA or check with your local dentists that participate in the Candy Buy-Back Program for the troops. The link for further information is below!

http://www.opgratitude.com/howtohelp.php?page=individual#candybabies

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14 Betsy November 1, 2010 at 11:15 am

My husband is a dentist, and we do the exact same thing. My kids think it is great that there are no restrictions on the candy intake, although, I don’t know if they ever get sick of sweets!

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15 sara November 1, 2010 at 11:15 am

I love hearing everyone’s ideas/policies!

Growing up, we had to immediately surrender all candy to our parents into a big shared bin which was high up in a cupboard and totally off-limits. My mom would put a piece in our sack lunches but it seems like we never saw most of it again. Rebelling from that, I let my kids keep control of their own candy. They have a few pieces on Halloween, and then I put two pieces into their sack lunch every day, and beyond that they can earn more by doing extra chores or finishing all of a particularly non-kid-friendly dinner. Even though I am fairly strict with what they consume, I like them to feel like they have some control over it. After a reasonable amount of time (a few weeks maybe) I’ll make sure they throw away the rest but it’ll most likely be gone by then. My kids are 6, 6, 8, & 10 and old enough to exercise self-control (and tattle on each other) when they keep their Halloween/Valentines/Easter candy in their own possession.

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16 Steph November 1, 2010 at 11:23 am

Save it for stocking stuffers!

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17 Leanne November 1, 2010 at 11:25 am

Yep! I’m with you. I want them to enjoy their candy haul, but only for a day. I’d rather deal with their sugar high and get it over with. My youngest one was just saying he doesn’t want anymore candy. My kids sort their candy too and they usually make animal shapes out of them. Sometimes that’s more fun than eating it.

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18 Gina November 1, 2010 at 11:31 am

We have several dentists in our area supporting Operation Gratitude through the Halloween Buy Back program. Drop off your candy, they’ll pay you $1/lb, and it’s sent to the troops:
http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/

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19 GirlSunday November 1, 2010 at 11:33 am

excellent question! i never really know what to do with ours. i want my daughter to have fun and enjoy the experience of halloween, but i also don’t want it lingering around the house. i usually let her eat what she wants for a while and then i ususally end up throwing a lot of it away. luckily she usually forgets about it after the first couple of days. off to read the other suggestions.

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20 Karen M November 1, 2010 at 11:34 am

I let my kids eat what they wanted last night and in spurts today. We are then organizing a candy collection in my girls’ preschool class and sending the candy to a friend’s uncle (troop) who is in Afganistan.

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21 Tanya November 1, 2010 at 11:36 am

I like this theory. Like pulling off a bandaid really fast.

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22 barkingkel November 1, 2010 at 11:41 am

Why are parents so worried about their children’s Halloween candy? My solution is…if they can eat if faster than me then they deserve to have it!

If you don’t feel the same and don’t live near a dentist who’ll send your candy to the troops you can always offer it to the staff at your favorite restaurant. As a restaurant owner I can attest to the fact that employees exist solely on caffeine and candy.

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23 Anna November 1, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Hahahaha. This cracked me up. :)

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24 Bri (like the cheese) November 1, 2010 at 11:44 am

When I was a kid, we’d get home from Trick-or-Treating and the great loot-swap would begin. Then we’d binge on candy for about an hour or so after school every day until it was gone. Mom and Dad had free-range in all 3 kid’s candy buckets, so that helped. We were also aloud to pack one piece for a treat in our school lunches. The candy was usually gone by Thanksgiving.

With my 3-year-old, she only gets a small amount of candy to begin with & we ration it as long as it lasts. Only a few pieces a day ’til it’s gone. Mom & Dad, of course, help ourselves too, but we’re not huge candy-eaters.

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25 Alicia November 1, 2010 at 11:47 am

My friend had the best idea ever. They eat and save a few pieces and then she freezes the rest and they pull it out a few weeks later and make gingerbread houses.

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26 Mary November 1, 2010 at 11:50 am

I love that you just let them go at it. I feel the same way, although I do restrict it a bit to avoid the pukes (it has happened). Get it over with, learn the lesson, and move on. And share. (My 4-year-old has learned the hard way and has not forgotten…”if you eat too much candy, your tummy will feel yucky!”) That said, you never saw a happier kid than mine having a tootsie pop after breakfast this morning. :-)

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27 Amanda November 1, 2010 at 11:51 am

My 3 year old can’t have artificial coloring/flavor/etc, so we took him to a Halloween event and traded his bag of treats with things he CAN have (he gets all the good chocolate: Ghirardelli and Green & Black :P) plus some small toys. We’re letting him have a bit of the candy every day until it’s gone.

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28 Serena November 1, 2010 at 11:52 am

Our school collects “extras” to provide sweets for a women’s shelter we support. The older children pack lunches for them once a week and the candy is dessert/treats for the year. The service group sends home sandwiches baggies the day before and they get loads back the day after Halloween.

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29 hailey babcock November 1, 2010 at 11:57 am

HI,
This year in Boulder, probably Denver too, there are places where you can donate your candy and get $1 for each pound. They then send it over to the troops in Afghanistan. Kids get money, mom gets rid of candy, troops are happy. Can’t go wrong. Of course, the dentists are sponsoring this event.

Also, I keep some of it and hide for stocking stuffers at christmas.

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30 Damaris @Kitchen Corners November 1, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I asked some mommy-food bloggers the same question and here was their reply http://www.kitchencorners.com/2010/10/do-you-control-halloween-candy.html

I still haven’t totally decided what I’m going to do.

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31 Betsy November 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm

The candy is starting to drive me nuts! LOL. It will be leaving our house after tomorrow night. I will keep a little bit for treats and such but the majority take a trip to Daddy’s office.
fun2bkids.blogspot.com

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32 Bree Harris November 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I am loving all these tips! This is the first year where it is really an issue in our house. With a 3 and 4 year old they are offically aware that their buckets are getting lower on candy when they have only eaten a piece or two. Last year we were having some potty training/regression issues with my youngest so all of the left over candy went into the “potty presents bucket.” She didn’t get a present every time she went because she would go peepee in the potty no problem. But we needed some motivation for other times.
This year everyone is potty trained and I am at a loss for what to do with it. Thanks for all the tips!

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33 Belky November 1, 2010 at 12:12 pm

we live in an area that has a lot of “workers” outside, so my girls hand them candy with the water bottles that we carry along for them.

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34 Mobmom Chris November 1, 2010 at 12:17 pm

My older son (5) is a candy-a-holic so for a long time he has had a 3 “treat token” limit. When Halloween comes, he gets 2 pieces that night and then we just use the Halloween candy for his treat token exchanges until it is gone. Of course, I have been known to “help out” :)

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35 emily kate November 1, 2010 at 12:18 pm

We just wrote a whole post full of ideas for using your halloween candy!

http://sstorywindow.blogspot.com/2010/10/halloween-week-candy-candy-candy.html

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36 kim November 1, 2010 at 12:31 pm

We let the kids have a few pieces on Halloween night, a few pieces the next day and the rest is set aside for them to decorate holiday GINGERBREAD HOUSES! :)

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37 Anne November 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm

we do the same thing – eat it and get it over with. My dentist says it’s better to just have a major sugar day and not drag it out.

It does make for kids saying funning things…”I’m not really that hungry (for dinner). Candy was my appetizer!”

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38 Sonja November 1, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Hello,

I really am pretty lax on the candy rules (& so was my mom), but I love how creative everyone is..”switch witch” is my fave and probably something I will try next year.
It does make me really sad to hear about how much candy goes in the garbage not to mention $$$$$$. I kinda feel like “what’s the point?” The gingerbread house idea would be a better option.

Thanks for this post.

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39 Joanna November 1, 2010 at 12:46 pm

You know, I’m not big on the candy thing. We get plenty, because who can deny how fun trick-or-treating is? We do the big, shared pot of candy, like you. Instead of sorting by color, I sort by type of candy and put each type in its own baggy so that flavors don’t mix. I put each bag into the big pot and the kids get to have a piece or two every day for the first few days and then they usually forget we have candy and I’ll surprise them with a treat when they are especially good. I’ll go through and throw out old nasty candy every so often, but the harder stuff ends up lasting us throughout the year. I hate to admit this, but sometimes I’ll even recycle some of it in future holidays (Christmas, etc.) where I don’t want to buy a lot more.

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40 bridget November 1, 2010 at 12:48 pm

we take a similar approach… but this year my husband said they could each keep 31 pieces. where’d he come up with 31? i have noooo idea. i was sleeping when this rule was decided on.

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41 Anna November 1, 2010 at 2:10 pm

31 flavors, maybe? Like ice cream?

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42 Morgan November 1, 2010 at 7:20 pm

31 days in October? Halloween is the 31st maybe?

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43 judith crotts November 1, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Childhood is short. Let them have some candy. It doesn’t kill them (in moderation) and if you don’t let them have some they’ll grow up and hate you for being too strict. Just my opinion. My six kids get a free pass on Halloween, Christmas, Valentines and Easter. Every other day the candy is much more limited!

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44 bdaiss November 1, 2010 at 1:33 pm

This is the first year I’m going to have to worry about it and I haven’t formulated a plan yet. Although the “if he can eat it faster than me…good luck!” idea sounds like a winner. : )

In all likely-hood it will stick around for a week, then go into our “stash”. When I rediscover it around Easter I’ll pitch it…

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45 Lamchops November 1, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Our kids choose 15 peices of candy for keeping. Then they happily place the remainder on the back porch in the candy bucket as an offering to the “Great pumpkin” (thanks to charlie brown cartoons). When they wake up the day after halloween they excitedly open the back door to find what fun thing he left them in return. This has been a hit in my 8 1/2 yr. olds life since he could go trick-or-treating. I have to admit that he had a real hard time this year giving up his loot. We told him this would be his last year giving it to the pumkin & he would keep his candy next time. Our other youngers didn’t mind it at all. They each got one toy/fun thing: Lego Racer(s), DVD “Spookly the pumpkin” & Potato head halloween ghost.

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46 just November 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm

i remember marvelling over the assortment as a kid. sculpted (wrapped) candy, arranged and sorted and prob swam around in it on the floor.
BUT
i dont remember eating any! im going to have to ask my mom what she did (altho i have such a sweet tooth today).
AND
i like the no limits idea too. theres always so many convos about healthy eating in our house its nice to break the rules sometimes for balance. love the coupons trade in too!

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47 Sandi November 1, 2010 at 8:04 pm

I love the comment, “prob swam around in it on the floor”! That’s what I remember the most about trick-or-treating as a kid…dumping our haul out on the living room floor when my brother and I got home, and diving in head-first. Or, in our cases, mouth-first. hehe

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48 Married with Puppies November 1, 2010 at 1:56 pm

I think letting them gorge themselves for one day is a great idea — when I was a kid, my mother would let us have maybe 2 pieces of candy on Halloween, and then one small piece a day after that. I thought it was ridiculously strict, since for the entire rest of the year, the only sugar we were allowed to have was one candy bar on Sundays! We didn’t even get Apple Jacks or Cinnamon Toast Crunch or any of the sugary cereals that kids love. So, one day would CLEARLY not have done us any harm, and we would have LOVED it!!!! That’s what I’m planning to do with my kids.

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49 Val November 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Well, having many toddlers in my house I sort through the candy as it comes in and pick out the things that they can’t have like gum or blowpops and put them back into the outgoing bowl. Then I let them have 5 that night and 5 the next day and we then sort out the chocolates like snickers and stuff – freeze them – and make different things with them.

My family is famous for snickers pie, milky way shakes and crunch cookies. We give them out at Thanksgiving Treats to the neighbors.

The other stuff like smarties and things that are non chocolate we use as cleaning bribes throughout the year. I never have to buy candy and it lasts through Easter. Hahaha, just in time for more candy!

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50 Ashley November 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm

My brother and his wife celebrate with a visit from the Great Pumpkin. Their son can choose whether he wants to eat his candy or leave it out for the Great Pumpkin to have. If he chooses the later the Pumpkin leaves him a toy instead. He ALWAYS chooses toy. Pretty cute idea :)

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51 Heidi November 1, 2010 at 2:52 pm

My little guy is only 14 mo so we didn’t make it out trick-or-treating this year but I think I’ll be adopting your idea when the time comes. Eat it and get it over with!

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52 Erin November 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

On Halloween and November 1, my kids get all they want. Then they count the number of days until Thanksgiving, and pick out that many pieces. They get one a day until Thanksgiving. It’s kind of a mini-November Advent calendar!

Daddy brings the extra into work, where he gets a lot of extra visitors to his office!
-e

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53 Angie November 1, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Our candy policy is a little complicated–but its for a good cause!! A local dentist does a “buy back” program, where he gives kids $1 for every pound of candy they bring in. Our school has an “adopt a family” program where we help provide food and gifts for families in need over the holidays. SO–at school, we have a big box. Kids bring in candy (our family takes all the candy you don’t like plus 10 pieces each) and the school takes it to the dentist. The dentist gives up $1 per pound PLUS he matches it (he is awesome) and we use that money to buy gifts for adopt a family. It makes the kids feel good about getting rid of candy!
(We freeze most of what we keep to take when we go to movie theaters!)

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54 mandi November 1, 2010 at 4:08 pm

the kids are allowed to have 5 pieces after trick or treating (which i think is pretty generous given our all natural diet over here!). the next day they can have 3 pieces. the next day one. then it’s gone.

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55 Annette @ One Perfect Room November 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm

There is a dentist here in town that buys back Halloween candy for $1 per pound of candy. The candy is then collected and donated to Operation Gratitude, an organization providing care packages to troops. Not only do you get rid of any excess candy but you also contribute to a great cause!

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56 Janet November 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm

I’ve never sorted by color, but I love that picture! Anything in a rainbow spectrum makes me happy!

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57 Jen November 1, 2010 at 6:32 pm

we do candy day once a week (all thru the year). they can pack their halloween candy up in small snack size baggies or eco-friendly containers (about 4 pieces or so) then on Saturdays they have candy day & get to have their small amount however they want- all at once or savoring throughout the day. it helps teach delayed gratification & helps in learning how to enjoy it & plan for it instead of just sticking it in one after another.

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58 Morgan November 1, 2010 at 7:25 pm

I think it’s United Way that collect candy to hand out to kids in hospitals and such who couldn’t get out to trick-or-treat.

My mom always put a limit on it. One piece for dessert after lunch and dinner, and once in a while a little mid-day treat.

Another nice idea is to put some of the chocolate in a cute little box and label it “Stress Reliever” and give it to your child’s teacher. I always keep a box (label and all) in my closet. :)

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59 Wendy November 1, 2010 at 7:29 pm

“The Great Pumpkin” visits our house the night after trick or treating. My kids pick out the candy they really want and then leave the rest on the kitchen table for the Great Pumpkin to take to children that don’t have a home or the means to trick or treat. My kids get a small trinket in return for their thoughtfulness (usually under $4.) My kids love it and they are remarkably generous with the candy they’ll give up. My son even tries to sneak in a can or two of soup for the needy children. It’s beautiful AND fewer possible cavities!

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60 Corrin November 1, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I love that you let them chow down on all their hard earned goodies. My parents did the same thing and I remember all the fun my sister and I used to have sorting and color coding all night.

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61 Amy November 1, 2010 at 8:06 pm

We do the same thing at our house. Great minds think alike. :)

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62 kyliejayne November 1, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I let the kids pick out the candy they like the best and then the rest we sell to the tooth fairy.
The kids put the candy in a bag at the end of the bed and in the morning the tooth fairy has replaced the candy with a generous cash reward.

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63 grace November 1, 2010 at 8:46 pm

We usually let everyone hang onto their stash, eating some every day.

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64 Daisy November 1, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Just finished our Candy Auction. Most popular items: Get to wear mascara to school, Lunch with mom & dad, Ride home from school, and Free say “no” to parents card. Lowest bid went to the Kiss from daddy card. Fun. And all the candy? Going in the back of the freezer for movie nights and snacks for long trips.

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65 Brandi November 1, 2010 at 9:05 pm

We also to the “Halloween Fairy”. We have the kids give away half their candy to her and get a toy or DVD in its place. Sometimes we even try to coordinate what the kids dressed up as with what they’ll receive, for example, this year my son was Slinky Dog from Toy Story so he got a Slinky Dog toy :)

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66 Kristi Stainback November 1, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Wow, I mean I know we shouldn’t let kids over-indulge but I had no idea there was so much thought put into this and so many strategies to part children and sweets. I’m far more concerned about fast food and no veggies than I am about an occasional holiday sweet binge. That being said, our son never had candy until he was around 3 or 4 but now that he’s old enough to trick or treat he gets to pick one item each night after dinner. After a while he forgets about it and of course mom and dad sneak some, too. It’s interesting to see what he picks. On Halloween night his pick was gummy snacks! He’s not a huge chocolate lover. He got a lot of pretzels this year so those will go in his lunch.

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67 nikki November 1, 2010 at 9:57 pm

As a designer myself, I chuckled at the “colour sorting”. Makes for a pretty picture too!

As for the actual question, I let mine (5 years and 3 years) eat as much as their tummies can handle for the first few days (except for eating them before lunch). They earned their loot, let them eat it! They tire of the sweets after a couple of days and besides, I am pretty firm about healthy eating any other regular day so I think it’s okay to let go a little and let them enjoy Halloween.

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68 Cori November 1, 2010 at 9:59 pm

I combine the kids’ buckets into one big bag. We’re allowed to eat a few pieces here and there for the next couple of days, and then I take the bag to our local library where the librarians can eat what they would like or take it to the children’s department where it can be handed out to the children for reading incentives.

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69 Wendysue November 1, 2010 at 10:07 pm

As a dental hygienist, I’d back that plan! I always tell my patients/friends, that it’s not the AMOUNT of sugar, it’s the EXPOSURE time. So, getting it all over with and done in 24 hours is better than having 5 pieces a day for 2 months. (Let the tummy aches begin!!)

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70 Viv @ The Eclectic Life November 2, 2010 at 6:56 am

Great post! I love, love, love (am unhealthily obsessed) with your gradient of candy display. I don’t have kids yet, but when I do I will surely come back to this post as a good guide for Halloween goodies.

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71 Kaely November 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm

The Great Pumpkin visits our house. The kids pick out a few pieces to keep or eat whenever they want (age=# of pieces) and the rest is left for the pumpkin. A toy arrives in it’s place. I sort through the candy that night and keep some hidden away for random treats and the rest of it gets donated.

I understand the need to let kid binge on whatever they want occasionally, but we save that for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those two days out of the year I let my kids eat anything in any amount they want. I find it easier to deal with a bad stomach ache/sugar crazy kid when we don’t have to go to school the next day.

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72 Kyndra November 2, 2010 at 2:01 pm

I let my kids eat whatever they want the night of Halloween, then the next day I give them the option to keep their candy or sell it all to me for $2. They always want the money. I then toss the bag into the garbage (because what is left over anyway isn’t the good stuff).

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73 Alberta November 2, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I let them eat as much as they can stomach that night (minus the parental tax) and what’s left either goes to work with Dad or gets set aside to decorate gingerbread houses in Dec. I figure one good sugar high and crash is better than several days of getting used to elevated blood sugar. Plus it saves me having to buy more candy in Dec!

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74 jackie November 2, 2010 at 2:44 pm

I find that if my little guy eats a little bit of candy everyday for a period of time (tested while on road trips or holidays) he stops eating his broccoli. He just loses his appetite for healthy food altogether. So in our house we are definitely in the go-big-then-go-home camp. Half hour after dinner, the kid sits at the table for some quality time with his candy, eating as much as he wants. So far he generally gets bored after day 3. If that changes with age (which I suspect it will) then I like the idea of him trading in the loot for a toy or some $$.

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75 Heather Y Vincent November 2, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Halloween is a really hard holiday in my home, mainly because I don’t let my kids have a lot of sugar. We don’t have sugar in our home. Reason? My son is ADHD and doesn’t need the extra energy from sugar, he has enough energy of his own. And, I try to have the same rule for my daughter, so they don’t grow up thinking one is more special than the other…or that’s my hopes anyway. So, I narrow down each year, where we will be going, so they don’t get a whole lot of sugar. We hit maybe 30 homes total. We usually go around our block, go to all the grandparents and great-grand parents, maybe an aunt and uncle or two, and then a few friends homes. However, before we go to the grandparents, great-grand parents and friends homes, I ALWAYS ask if they could give my kids something without sugar. I throw out a few ideas…a Halloween pencil, spider ring, sugar-free candy, fruits like apples or oranges, crayons…to name a few. My oldest is 4, and for the last 4 years, this has NEVER been an issue, especially with the grandparents. They all know how hard it is, not only on me, but my son as well, when their is extra sugar in his system.
The candy they do get in their buckets/bags, I let them choose 5 items. I give them the option…they can either eat it all now, or stretch it out over a few days…it usually is gone within a week of Halloween. The rest of the candy is tucked deep into my baking goods cupboard in the kitchen, where it will sit for about a month, then we will pull it out and use it to decorate our Gingerbread houses.

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76 sharon(crimsonlane) November 3, 2010 at 6:56 am

Since my kids birthdays fall in November & December, I use a lot of Halloween candy in the gift bags for their friends.

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77 Jennifer November 3, 2010 at 7:44 am

We sold our candy to our dentist. He pays $1 per pound and sends it to the troops in Iraq. The kids write notes for the soldiers saying thank you for their service. It’s a great way for kids to learn to give back.

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78 Anne November 3, 2010 at 9:26 pm

I just learned about this great article:
http://mothering.com/parenting/candy-experiments

and it’s original website full of ideas:
http://www.candyexperiments.com/

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79 Bethany B. November 4, 2010 at 11:44 am

We do a “candy fairy” too. We call her the “candy witch”. This year our 3 year old got toy story.. we are all very excited about it.

I love the idea of keeping it for stockings too!

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80 180|360 November 4, 2010 at 12:45 pm

The Great Pumpkin visited our house this year and the children had asked for science kits as their presents. I couldn’t have been more happy to oblige. Our neighborhood gave out 75% full size candy bars. It was insane! Thankfully, I now have some ideas of what to do with the candy.

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81 Ann November 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm

This is awesome! We’ve been using it as a dessert option after dinner and it’s amazing to see what great restraint the boys are showing. A real lesson is self-control! The other thing we are going to do is do science experiments with the candy they don’t like which i read an article a long time ago and saved. Now I must find it! With this you can examples of different melting points, solids turning into liquid, etc… Now to pick a baking sheet I don’t care about any more.

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82 becca November 4, 2010 at 9:27 pm

we throw it away but manage to keep everyone happy:
http://emmyloulou.blogspot.com/2010/11/adios-halloween-candy.html

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83 Autumn November 10, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Love the candy color design!

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84 Megan Dunford November 12, 2010 at 4:21 pm

My friend does candy experiments with her kid’s candy (they love it!). I thought it was a fabulous idea – here’s a link with some experiment ideas.
http://www.candyexperiments.com/

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85 Tia November 30, 2010 at 9:10 pm

No I totally disagree with you because by your child eating so much candy will not help you at all, this will only cause cavities and with cavities you have to take numerous trips to the dentist which will cost you alot of money out of your pocket. Thats just my opinion.

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86 Colleen October 31, 2013 at 11:58 pm

I think part of the fun of Halloween is getting more candy at once than at any other time in your life. I figure if you go out and get it, then it is yours. When I was a kid, my parents let us have our candy, and they didn’t control it in any way. I do the same for my children. Their candy is theirs to eat or save or trade or whatever. Sometimes a child eats too much candy at once, and learns about gluttony. Sometimes a child saves their candy and just eats a little at a time, and learns about self control. All good. I don’t worry about them being in control of their own candy for even one minute.

The only way I control, to some degree, the amount of candy, is to say when we are out trick or treating, “I think it is time to go home and see what you all got!”. I keep an eye on their bags, and when they start to look like “enough” we go on home.

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