How to Handle the Halloween Candy Haul

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, the kids lose interest and 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! You might also be interested to read what child feeding expert Dr. Dina Rose has to say on the subject. You’ll find her very sound food for thought here. 

 

Comments

10.28.2011 at 11:49 AM #

Natalie

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.)

10.28.2011 at 12:06 PM #

Urban Stomach

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.

10.28.2011 at 12:17 PM #

Renee

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.

10.28.2011 at 2:17 PM #

Hayley

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

10.28.2011 at 2:17 PM #

Katie Morford

That’s brilliant.

10.28.2011 at 5:58 PM #

Kristen

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. http://www.atthecrossroads.org

10.28.2011 at 5:58 PM #

Katie Morford

Thanks Kristin. That’s good to know.

10.28.2011 at 8:41 PM #

Aisha

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

10.28.2011 at 11:39 PM #

Bliss

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.

11.04.2011 at 2:59 PM #

Kathy

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.

11.04.2011 at 2:59 PM #

Katie Morford

Brilliant!

11.05.2011 at 5:26 AM #

Renee

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!

12.22.2011 at 11:11 PM #

Sabrina

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.

http://cheesypennies.blogspot.com/2011/11/want-to-see-something-really-scary.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CheesyPennies+%28Cheesy+Pennies%29

10.31.2013 at 8:28 AM #

Julie

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

10.31.2014 at 8:01 AM #

Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

My brother and I had a loaded pillow case full by the end of the night each year. We would probably have a piece or two each day, but never finished it! We were never restricted though, but we kept it simple and never over indulged. Maybe we were just brought up well, haha!

10.31.2014 at 8:01 AM #

Katie Morford

Sounds like a perfect approach…your parents were doing something right!

10.31.2014 at 8:38 AM #

Farrah

Back in the day, my friends and I would go trick-or-treating together and then set up a massive trading post to get rid of the ones we hated in favor of our favorites. I’m going to be scouting the after-Halloween candy sales tomorrow so I can pick up some to make popcorn treats with, and to feed the staff at the ER I’m doing rotations at right now! :]

10.31.2014 at 8:38 AM #

Katie Morford

I’m sure they will appreciate it!

10.31.2014 at 10:10 AM #

Jessica @ Nutritioulicious

My girls are still new to this whole Halloween thing – they will be 3 in a couple of months – so I’m not really sure how things will go. They haven’t been exposed to candy so much in the past (more birthday cakes, cookies, etc), so I am sure they will be eager to try everything and I’m resistant to restricting too much lest they crave it even more. This article by Dina Rose is an interesting perspective as to why parents shouldn’t dump their kids’ Halloween candy http://bit.ly/1zmtxXO

10.31.2014 at 10:10 AM #

Katie Morford

Thanks for the link. Dina Rose is always a voice of reason.

10.31.2014 at 12:08 PM #

Liz - Meal Makeover Mom

My kids are older now, but they used to collect so much candy, it was downright ridiculous! Initially, they were always pretty interested in their candy, but after a while they too lost interest. With my older son, who was very motivated by money (and still is!!), he used to sell some of his candy to a local dentist (aka “buy back program), and then the dentist and a bunch of his patients would create gingerbread houses out of it for a local senior center. My younger son doesn’t have as big of a sweet tooth, so once the novelty of Halloween passed, he definitely lost interest.

10.31.2014 at 12:08 PM #

Katie Morford

I love the idea of using the candy to make gingerbread houses. Brilliant!

10.31.2014 at 4:59 PM #

Jennifer @nourishedsimply

This year my children’s school is collecting candy to send to troops overseas.

10.31.2014 at 4:59 PM #

Katie Morford

What a kind gesture and a great way to handle the excess of leftovers.

10.31.2016 at 9:02 AM #

Jen Warner

We live in an urban area too and they get way more than they can eat. In addition to doing the switch witch, they donate any candies I might be able to use in holiday baking (M&Ms, kisses etc). But last year I had a stroke of brilliance. They set aside any unusual or colorful candies to decorate our gingerbread (IKEA) house. Lollipop trees, skittle roof, starburst steps, life saver wreaths, you name it. They loved it!

10.31.2016 at 9:02 AM #

Katie Morford

Oh my gosh, I love that idea. We always do gingerbread houses, and what a perfect use for leftover candy. Thanks for sharing!

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