If I’m being completely honest, Halloween was one of my favorite days of the year when I was a kid. And actually, it still is; I just have different reasons now.

Back in the day, the excitement of that bag of loot had me dreaming of Sugar Daddies and Starburst for weeks. The smell of the combined candies was such a welcoming aroma! Lucky for me, my fondness for the day now includes a neighborhood get-together at our house and dressing up with our kids. One thing is still the same, though: there will be candy. And generally lots of it. So here are my 6 tips on how to deal with the Halloween candy.

  1. Eat a nutritious dinner before heading out. While my kids don’t generally nosh along the way, ensuring that they are properly fueled before heading out helps avoid that desire to enjoy that Baby Ruth while on the candy quest. When the craving arrives post trick-or-treating, I feel better knowing that they did get some solid nutrition earlier in the day. And PS – don’t forget to hydrate with water!
  2. Walk (or run!). Seems obvious, I know, but I’m always amazed when I see families driving their kids from house to house. What ever happened to getting some good ol’ exercise during the hunt?
  3. Consider treats instead of candy. Sure I remember (literally) hating the house that gave out pennies when I was a kid, but now I see the rationale. Unlike me as a child, my kids actually get excited about getting other items than candy. It needn’t be raisins; this post has a whole host of great ideas to help you bag the sweets.
  4. Have a game plan in place. To avoid the tears when you announce the plan that you are most comfortable with as they are staring at their loot, have a conversation before the big day. Let them know how you’ll deal with it. If they are allowed to select a certain number of pieces to enjoy during a set time, be proactive in communicating this.
  5. Use clear communication about candy. While I am no psychologist, I do think that there is value with how we refer to food, even if it is *junk* in our minds. This is an opportune time to reiterate the fact that food is fuel, it’s meant to give us energy to perform the tasks that we want to do, such as play outside, to think clearly and quickly, etc. While we needn’t call candy “junk” or “worthless”, we can explain that it doesn’t provide optimal nutritional value. Or in their terms, it might not let us feel the best as other foods will. Let them know that there is a reason why we don’t want to eat all of the “goodies” and it’s not just because we are feeling like being the mean mom today.
  6. Find a “place” for the extra candy. The Halloween Candy Buyback is a great solution for extra candy. Yes, I think it’s a bit odd that we send all this extra candy to soldiers (wish we could send them more nutritious foods), but it’s an option. The switch witch is another great solution that some of my friends have had success with, and some local dentists and orthodontists will also buy back the candy.


How we personally handle the candy

In case  you are wondering, we have the same plan each year: the kids are allowed to eat whatever they want the night of Halloween. Sometimes I have to pull the plug after piece 10 or 11, but generally they tucker out due to being full or feeling sick from the sugar overload. As an aside, I do believe it’s important for them to get in touch with their bodies and how they feel after eating certain foods, and this is no exception.

Our orthodontist buys back candy for $2/pound with a cap of 5 pounds per child. Since 2 of our 4 kids are patients, the kids all gather together and donate 10(+) pounds of candy which is sent to the troops. They each keep a select 10-20’ish pieces to enjoy over the next week or two, and in all honesty, my husband takes the rest to work to put in the office. It’s generally gone within an hour;).

Now it’s your turn. How do you deal with the Halloween candy? I’d love for you to chime in in the comments below.


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