Handling the Halloween Candy Bag


We told you how to tame the trick-or-treat sugar high by feeding the kids a solid pre-game meal, but what about strategies for the candy bag itself? Many parents want their kids to be able to partake fully in the trick-or-treat festivities of Halloween, but they may be mortified at the amount of candy this encourages their kids to consume. So, what to do?

Our readers shared some of their tried and true ways of reducing the amount of candy eaten without taking away from trick-or-treating. Here are a few of the things they said:

  • Offer a cash for candy program. Allow your kids some cash to purchase a toy or an outfit they’d prefer to have instead of candy. This could also be a candy trade program if you’d rather not dish out cash.
  • Let the kids have a few pieces of candy each day for about a week. Then put the candy away until Christmas time and use it to decorate Gingerbread houses.
  • With younger kids, start a trunk-or-treat, in which you fill a trunk with healthier treats or non-food items that they can dig for.

Another idea is to let kids pick out five or so pieces of candy and designate them to lunch box treats or after dinner treats. This allows for enjoyment of the candy but significantly reduces the volume consumed. Limiting Halloween candy consumption doesn’t have to be a daunting experience for you or your child. Get creative and your kids may surprise you with the their eagerness to release the grip on sugar.

For more thoughts from our readers and to see our original post on trick-or-treating strategies, click here.

12 thoughts on “Handling the Halloween Candy Bag

  1. My parents would let us pick a piece to put in our lunchboxes for a week and then put it in the freezer to keep it `fresh”. Once it went in the freezer we completely forgot about it. Out of sight out of mind.

  2. I used to let my kids Trick or Treat ( 30 years ago or so) but they had to give up their candy for personal a pie of their choice. They could eat the whole thing themselves without sharing. Not at one sitting of course, but in the fridge to eat when they wanted it. I used to make a lot of pies back then. It could be a fruit pie or whatever they wanted. A pie would have less sugar and fat than what candy had for the most part. Now that I am even more health conscious, I could make pies that were downright healthy and still tasty. Back then, they got to enjoy less sugar and have a whole pie to themselves. They had power in selecting their very own favorite pie that no one else could eat.

  3. Invite the “candy witch” to your house. He or she takes the candy away in the night and leaves a little gift in its place. The candy witch is a cousin of the tooth fairy.

  4. My kids like to use candies to decorate pumpkins. Use ball stick pins to attach candies and create masterpiece “jack-o-lanterns” or other fun, crazy, or decorative pumpkins.

  5. We lived one year in a community that closed school for Halloween…the kids started trick or treating at noon. There was way too much candy in those bags! We told our kids that they could choose one piece and that we would buy the rest back at a nickel per piece. With that money they could buy whatever they wanted (except candy). They both chose the deal and had a great time picking out something to spend their money on! The rest of the candy went into the trash. The real fun was just being out with the whole neighborhood sporting a costume and have a generally great time!

  6. Some moms let their kids do candy experiments (and then throw the concoctions out). What happens if you let Skittles and M & M’s sit in water? Do the letters float to the top? Which candies melt in the oven? What happens if you empty pixie stixs into water? Etc. There are ideas on the Internet of course or you could come up with your own.

  7. Toothless gnome. Child picks 5 or so pieces, and toothless gnome comes to get remaining candy. He leaves something in its place, kind of like tooth fairy.

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