For a few years there I got away with buying little bags of whole grain pretzels, boxes of raisins, and packets of sugarless gum to give away on Halloween. No more. Apparently, it’s embarrassing to have the mom who doles out anything less than pure, unapologetically junkie candy. I get it. Halloween is just once a year. And let’s be honest, I like my Milk Duds just as much as the next gal.

More challenging for health-minded moms is what comes after Halloween. We live in a city with dense housing, which enables the kids to amass a mountain of sweets in a few short blocks. It makes for pretty efficient trick-or-treating.

In our house, we deal with the giant haul by letting the kids have at it for a week or so, during which time I follow them around with toothbrushes. Then the remaining loot gets squirreled away in a cupboard and dipped into on occasion. Ultimately we donate the sweets to the communal candy bowl at either my husband’s office or the charity where I volunteer.

How do you manage the post-Halloween candy in your house? Is it a “fun size” free for all? Do you take control of the goods? Feel free to chime in by leaving a comment below!

Happy Halloween.

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  1. Natalie
    10.28.2011 at 11:49 AM #

    We freeze all the mini chocolate bars and sneak a treat once in awhile. It usually lasts a couple months. (And it’s perfect for the occasional lunch box treat.)

  2. Urban Stomach
    10.28.2011 at 12:06 PM #

    The real surprise for us every year is how quickly our daughters lose interest in their candy stashes, eventually forgetting about them. Sure for the first 10 days or so, it’s a challenge to control the intake, both for our girls and ourselves. However, by mid-November, the candy is left untouched (maybe because it’s down to the 2nd and 3rd tier stuff…i.e. no Reeses) and by Christmas, we can throw it away without notice or complaint.

  3. Renee
    10.28.2011 at 12:17 PM #

    Our drill is: trick or treat after eating dinner; eat several pieces and engage in ruthless trading with friends on Halloween night; enjoy a piece after breakfast on the morning after Halloween (I know this will make some folks shudder, but I like the kookiness of it!) then we keep a small bag of the favorites to work on for dessert over the next month or two and I take the rest to my office where it magically disappears in a day.

  4. Hayley
    10.28.2011 at 2:17 PM #

    Love our orthodontist – he pays our daughter $1 a pound to turn it over to him! We do keep the M&Ms for cookies though

    • katiemorford
      10.28.2011 at 2:30 PM #

      That’s brilliant.

  5. Kristen
    10.28.2011 at 5:58 PM #

    If you live in SF, there is an organization that services homeless teens called At the Crossroads, and you can donate your Halloween candy by bringing it to their office any day after Halloween. They do outreach with bags of candy which may seem odd, but many of these kids are dealing with addiction issues and the candy helps them manage cravings.
    I was moved by their website, and that’s where our candy is going…check it out.

    • katiemorford
      10.28.2011 at 8:26 PM #

      Thanks Kristin. That’s good to know.

  6. Aisha
    10.28.2011 at 8:41 PM #

    I allow my daugter to play with the candy and she
    can pick few pieces and then keep the rest
    Of them where she is unable to reach abs then
    She is allowed 2 pieces per day school treat and
    evening treat once in a while and then within a week
    she looses her interest

  7. Bliss
    10.28.2011 at 11:39 PM #

    Taking the idea from one of my first-grade students, I will give my daughter a choice between keeping the candy (to be doled out as weekend treats) or to give up the candy for a choice of books or a toy, pre-determined by me. And yes, even with the latter, we’ll keep a few M&M’s and Reeses for the week. She’s 3 1/2 so we’ll see…..
    I’m really interested and inspired by the At the Crossroads organization mentioned above. Thank you for that information.

  8. Kathy
    11.04.2011 at 2:59 PM #

    My kids are grown now, but when they were younger, they went out early, brought back the loot, selected only their favorites – whatever fit in a zip lock bag…. And the rest was given out to the older kids who came trick-or-treating at the end of the night.

    • katiemorford
      11.04.2011 at 3:32 PM #


  9. Renee
    11.05.2011 at 5:26 AM #

    I let the kids have at it for the first day or two and then they can choose a few of their favorites. The rest goes to the local dentist who buys the candy back, at $1 a pound, and then ships it to the troops. It’s a win/win situation! My kids are okay with the idea of letting it go because they know they’re helping others!

  10. 12.22.2011 at 11:11 PM #

    This recipe won’t make you feel like a mom done good — but it’s a creative way to use a bunch of the candy. “Halloween Candy Bowl Cookies” from the Cheesy Pennies blog, a mom friend of Mary Hossfeld that has a very funny food adventure blog.

  11. Julie
    10.31.2013 at 8:28 AM #

    LOVE these alternatives, katie. thanks for the post and the non-profit is a great idea.

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