The pillowcases full of Halloween candy have been carefully sorted through by mom and catalogued, compared among siblings and inventoried like the treasure it is. But now comes the hard part. What do you do with it all?
We have compiled ten of the most popular ideas for dealing with the Halloween candy overload, we’d love to hear what you do in your house!
Free for all advocated by my friend’s husband, and he swears it worked for them, is to have the kids gorge themselves one night, and everything they don’t eat goes in the trash. It makes for one evening of insanity, but then it’s done.
Kids are in charge a milder version of the free for all is to let the kids decide for themselves. This only works for a particular kind of kid. My elder son is a bit of a miser and doles candy out to himself very slowly….he still has candy from last Halloween kicking around, if I’m not mistaken.
One a day For kids who need help in the self control department, a little regulation is in order. This is the most traditional way of dealing with the candy influx, as far as I know, where kids beg for more and parents are the hard a** gate-keepers of the candy bowl.
All in This is the one where all the candy goes in one pot and everyone shares. It seems like a Utopian way to deal, children contribute their haul and it gets divided equally between them, but I have yet to see it work. There is no way this ends well unless your kids are young enough not to remember each piece of candy they “earned” trick or treating.
Keep em separated With one kid who would eat candy till he burst and the other who hordes it for ages, the candy must be kept separate so each may eat at his own pace, or the howls of injustice would be heard throughout the neighbourhood.
Switch Witch This is a newish idea, another character to add to the pantheon that includes Santa and the Tooth Fairy. Children leave their candy in a bag at the foot of their bed and while they sleep, the Switch Witch visits, exchanging the candy for a toy, money, book, gift card, or some other coveted treat that isn’t as bad for your teeth. Parents.com has some hints if you’d like to learn more.
Candy buy back Dentists know that exposing those pearly whites to the sticky sugar in candy is bad news, and even though it is good for their business, they would rather your kids keep their teeth healthy and not face the pain of cavities. In town a few dental offices are hosting a candy buyback in the spirit of the Switch Witch but without the secrecy, trading candy for something less detrimental to your oral health.
Donate it This one is a bit problematic, admittedly. If the candy is too unhealthy to keep in your house, is it kind to donate it somewhere else? On the other hand, everyone appreciates a treat sometimes! I’ll leave you to debate the ethics, but if you know some starving students or artists, they are probably very eager for some treats. You might also find eager recipients at a shelter or drop-in centre. Call ahead to make sure they can use it though!
Christmas baking Okay, so adding ingredients doesn’t actually get rid of the candy, but transforming the Halloween excess into holiday baking can make the extra sugar a bit more useful. Pop your baking into the deep freeze and you’ll be ahead of the game! Our friend Sheri at This Bird’s Day has a great recipe for Leftover Halloween Candy Fudge.
Eat it Yourself Nothing gets past my eagle eyed children when it comes to candy (shoes in the foyer is a different story, however) so outright taking it while they sleep is no longer going to work. There are still ways to get your grubby paws on your kids candy though. My dad had us convinced we were allergic to Halloween mini chocolate bars until I was about 12 years old. I sometimes impose a candy tax, where my kids have to give me a candy if they want one, and in some houses timeouts are replaced by candy forfeitures as a form of discipline. Desperate times call for desperate measures!
What do you do to deal with the Halloween candy avalanche? I’d love to know what works (or doesn’t work!) in your house!