Parenting Win of the Week: I Want Candy!

Managing Halloween candy doesn’t have to turn into a frightful situation.

Related To:


Photo by: Jupiterimages


It’s Halloween weekend and it looks as if we may have a relatively normal holiday this year. So, we can go back to worrying about candy overload! I don’t know about you, but the amount of candy my kids come home with each Halloween is obscene. I appreciate all of my neighbors for bringing it (and I can’t say I am any different), but at the end of the night, it makes life a little more difficult. However, we have done a few things over the years that have really worked — and I've gathered tips from other moms as well — to make Halloween a parenting win, and not a full meltdown.

Let Your Kids Count and Trade Candy:

This has become a fun tradition in our house. My boys divide all of their candy into piles and count how much they get of each kind of candy. Then, they make trades with each other to get some of the stuff they really want. Oh, and they give their mom all of the Kit Kats!

Take Away Half to Donate:

The amount you want to reduce their candy by is up to you, but once we have counted and traded, we bring over a bag and I ask my kids to donate half of their candy. They usually end up giving a little more than that. There are so many places that collect candy after Halloween across the country. A preschool by us usually does a drive for troops overseas and we have also donated to foster kids for their Halloween parties. It is easy to Google places to donate candy near you.

Invite the Switch Witch:

If you aren’t familiar with the Switch Witch, there's a story where a nice witch comes swooping in (a la the tooth fairy!) and takes all of your candy in exchange for a gift card, toy, etc. This works for many of my friends, especially for those who may have kids prone to cavities or are dealing with health issues. They generally end up donating the rest. If your kids are older, you can also let them choose if they would rather have a toy or their candy.

Everything In Moderation:

I find that the night of Halloween is when my kids are really super psyched to eat their candy — but after that the excitement wears off, I end up throwing away half of the bag later on in the year. I let them pick a few to eat that night and allow them to choose some pieces for dessert for weeks after. I have restricted it more in the past, and just like adults when they are restricted, it makes you just want it more. This can lead to kids sneaking candy and lying about it.

Make Cookie Dough:

A fun recipe I recently saw and want to try turns leftover Halloween candy into cookie dough you can keep in your freezer. You can bake it when friends come over or the cookies and chocolate craving strikes. Plus, it’s a fun activity to do with the kids!

I’d love to know — how do you manage Halloween Candy?


Next Up

Halloween Safety Tips for Kids and Parents

Before the fun begins, here are a few ways to keep your trick-or-treaters safe.

Creative Uses for Leftover Halloween Candy

Put those sweet treats to good use!

Trick or Treating with Toddlers

Dressing up as a favorite superhero, cartoon character, or animal will fill them with joy!

Is a ‘Candy Slide’ the Answer to Trick-Or-Treating During Covid?

Add “make candy slide” to your Halloween list.

5 Unique Ways to Decorate Perfect Fall Pumpkins

You and your family will have a blast with these fun twists on pumpkin decorating!

Ugly Halloween Sweaters are All the Rage—Here’s How to Make a Boo-tiful One

If you don't feel like dressing up, you could take this DIY route!

5 Easy Pumpkin Carving Stencils for Jack O’Lantern Fun

Carving a pumpkin into a jack o'lantern can be much easier when you have a stencil involved. Here are five of our favorite pumpkin carving jack o'lantern stencils.

Parenting Win of the Week: Audition Season

Here's how parents can support their kids through their first big audition or tryout.