October 28, 2013 | Home >Healthy Kids > In the News >Trick-or-Treat!
October 28, 2013 | Home >Healthy Kids > In the News >Trick-or-Treat!


Trick-or-Treat! 10 tips to help you deal with the influx of candy in your home this Halloween


My Halloween childhood memories consist of lasagna for dinner, handing candy to a few trick-or-treaters (before my parents let my brothers and I loose!), and going all over town to see who could get the most candy.  There were times when we would come home with a pillow case full! Naturally, the night ended with my parents rummaging through it (Well, that would have actually been my father, who would essentially take quite a few pieces for himself!) saying it needed to be looked over to be sure there was nothing unsafe for us. And, that was it! According to my mother, we ate it for maybe a few days and we would just get tired of it.  She would eventually toss it in the garbage.

Now that I have children of my own, my personal thoughts on Halloween and all it’s “candiness,”is…well…I have yet to even make concrete decisions.  I have tried mixing things up a bit on the treat-giving categories. Before kids, I never thought about it, and just threw some candy by the door to give out. Since having children of my own, I have given away little jewels for the girls, cars for the boys, pencils and stickers, pretzels and raisins, and a mix of everything, and yes, even candy.  Naturally, when it comes to treats being given out, its up to the parents themselves to decide what their children are to keep, so I have become more relaxed in that aspect.

My two, kindergarten and 2nd grade, are really looking forward to this years night of Halloween.  It’s actually rather adorable! I am not going to take their excitement away and get all fussy about whats being given out here at our home, nor am I going to get all fussy about whats in their trick-or-treat bags as the night progresses.  I feel that because of the way I have raised them, they will naturally make the best choices in anything they are confronted with; candy being one! I will let them choose a few pieces here and there for a few days, and knowing them, they will just get bored with it and they will eventually be looking for mommy’s baked goods for their sweet tooth!

What will I do with the leftover candy? Throw it away. But since I know that does not seem logical for some people, I have gathered some thoughts from other sources (friends, websites, colleagues) as to what could be done with the candy.

  • hide it and it will be forgotten (Hmmm…personally not so sure I would do this…unless you know where you put it so as to not completely forget it!).
  • freeze certain pieces and use them during the Christmas holiday for gingerbread houses, (I love this idea! I heard it on Doctor Radio where they also mentioned a frozen piece of candy is harder to eat, essentially making one typically eat less!).
  • save for use with a Christmas (or other) advent calendar (Funny because the one I have is just moving a mouse on the calendar…where did the additional candy idea come from?).
  • Switch Witch, or pumpkin or even a fairy (Tell your kiddos the “character” wants the candy and leave a little gift for them).
  • a few links I found: Operation Gratitude-Halloween Candy Program or Halloween Candy Buy-Back (this is a type of program that you could look for locally) and 25 Ideas
  • allow kids to choose some they like, and allow a piece or two everyday (make up your personal rules)
  • use it as math counters
  • use this time as another learning adventure about moderation while still enjoying “fun-foods”
  • hold certain candy for those who are potty-training
  • If all else fails, counter it all with lots and lots of fresh fruits and veggies!

Trick-or-Treat! 10 tips to help you deal with the influx of candy in your home this Halloween

Let’s think about this: Do your kids really want to get out there and “drown” in the candy? Or is it just the mere excitement of it all that entices them? Share your Halloween tricks-or-treats stories with us!


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Right on point! Our Healthier Halloween Blog supports letting kids be kids and enjoy the candy. Most kids become less interested over time, affording parents the opportunity to “prune” the pillowcase (or whatever the kids collect it in)!

Jennifer A. Gardner, MD, Founder, Healthy Kids Co

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