What do to with all that Halloween candy?!?

What do to with all that Halloween candy?!?

As fun as trick-or-treating is, the end result is a big pile of unwanted candy! Of course our kids are stoked about all that candy, however parents are often concerned about the amount of sugar, artificial dyes, and hydrogenated oils their child will consume in a relatively short period of time. Here are some ways to approach that mountain of candy:

Invite the “Toy Fairy” to your house

Not familiar with the Toy Fairy? She is in a special class of fairies! The Toy Fairy will pay a visit to your house and exchange the candy for a highly desired toy. This can become a fun tradition in your household and you can make it as extensive as you want. For example your child could plan in advance what type of toy they want. They could write a toy request to the Toy Fairy much like a letter to Santa Claus. Before relinquishing their candy to the Toy Fairy perhaps they could select a small designated amount of pieces to keep.

Now you are probably wondering what the “Toy Fairy” should do with all that candy? Throwing it away hardly seems right? Typically my husband brings the bag of candy into work and puts it in a bowl in the break room for his co-workers to enjoy. I have one friend that freezes the chocolate candies and uses them to make homemade ice cream throughout the year. Another option might be to donate the candy to a church or some type of non-profit that could use the candy for a special event.

Check with local dentists

Some dentist have programs where they will “purchase” Halloween candy from your child and then they send the candy to troops stationed overseas. Your child might appreciate this concept of getting money for their candy. Additionally because it’s a dentist making the exchange it might impress upon them how candy can effect their teeth causing decay and cavities.

Dwindle the stash

This worked well for me when my children were young and didn’t have a basic understanding of quantity just yet. On Halloween night after they fell asleep, I took about 90% of their candy out of their Halloween buckets and bagged it up for my husband to bring to work. The next morning when the kids asked for their candy, I gave them their pumpkin buckets. They did not seem to notice at all that their stash had been drastically reduced. They were young enough that the small amount of remaining candy was exciting. Obviously with older children, you may have to be more gradual about it.

Develop boundaries

Rather than get rid of the candy, you may be able to develop healthy boundaries around candy consumption. For example every morning your child could select the three pieces of candy to eat that day. Or maybe after lunchtime they are allowed to pick out two pieces of candy. Another part of the routine could include brushing their teeth after they eat the candy.

Ask your child for suggestions

Perhaps your child is old enough to discuss the concerns of eating large amounts of candy in such a short time. You could engage them in developing a solution. Ask them what they think you could do to reduce the amount of candy? Often our children surprise us and are highly creative problem-solvers when we encourage them to be a part of the process.

What do you do at your house with Halloween candy? Would love to hear what works for your family!

-Sarah

Tomorrow is our first Tasty Tuesday blog post! Every Tuesday I will share a healthy, kid-friendly recipe that is both easy to prepare and delicious.

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