Halloween is so fun. The costumes, the sheer joy of kids as they race around the neighborhood getting candy, and the pleasure of eating some delightful treats on the way home –
We love all of it! But, real talk, sometimes the sheer amount of candy that comes home is a little overwhelming. Kids can get hundreds of pieces, and many parents struggle to figure out the best way to handle all that sugary goodness.
There are only so many pieces we can steal and claim with the “mom tax”!
The Diabetes Question
“Oh god, can I tell you how much this question is stressing me out right now? We’ve always been pretty chill about Halloween candy but last year my youngest son was diagnosed with diabetes, so we’ve got to figure out what our new strategy is going to be and how to keep it fun for both of my kids. I don’t know what we are going to do.” – Victoria A., California
“We have a rule that they can only eat sweets on weekends. The rule remains the same after Halloween (they do eat some candy on Halloween). The candy lasts forever, sometimes until the next Halloween.” – Mary G., California
“My number one priority is that my kids don’t have the same food issues I had, so I’m working hard to make sure we don’t make some food a source of obsession. So I don’t restrict candy, they are allowed to go nuts with their Halloween candy. They know that they can have as much as they want, so they don’t usually end up eating a crazy amount anyways.” – Jenna H., Texas
“We put the candy up and dole it out slowly. My son has impulse control problems, so if he had free rein over his candy, he would make himself sick binging it. He’s done it before. So, it’s hidden and he can ask for a piece any time he wants, but a parent has to give it to him.” – Arlette K., New Jersey
“My biggest thing is that I never take my kids’ candy without asking. I really resented my parents helping themselves to my candy and food growing up, though maybe they had been more overboard with that than the average parent does. I also REALLY REALLY REALLY hate those awful Jimmy Kimmel videos where parents “prank” their kids by pretending to have eaten all their candy. It is just mean! Stop making kids sad for lols.
“I figure I’m grown and can buy any candy I want, at any time, while this is a special opportunity for my kid. So I leave her special holiday stuff alone and hope she models the respected boundaries back later.” – Ellie F., North Dakota
“My kids have insisted on hitting every house in our neighborhood, so they literally get hundreds and hundreds of pieces. Also my one kid has a dairy allergy, so all their chocolate is up for grabs. I eat some, throw some in the trash, bring bags to the teacher’s lounge, my parents, etc. it can last until Xmas most years.” – Kim R., Colorado
“My daughter is only 4, but we do the Switch Witch thing. That way she can get a fun toy instead of a gigantic pile of candy. We leave her some that is age appropriate for her to eat (she’ll get to pick out her faves when she is older) and the rest goes to the witch.” – Erin C., Iowa
“In our house you get one day to eat as much as you want. Go nuts! After that we sort out any candy that can be used for decorating our gingerbread houses in December and set that aside. Gingerbread houses are a big tradition with us and everyone is cool with contributing candy toward that.
“Everything else gets put in one communal bin that they can get snacks and desserts from. So everyone is sharing at the end of the day.” – Blair N., Washington
“My son’s birthday is shortly after Halloween. So we let our kids select some favorite candies to save (I ‘mom tax’ a few Butterfingers) and the rest we shove into a piñata as part of a birthday party activity. The boys don’t care because they still get what they want, and so do their friends.” – Nicki G., Texas
“We do not really limit the amount unless it is right before a meal or first thing in the morning. We just pour it into our treat basket and stick it in the pantry. We also do not typically limit sweets so it isn’t anything new so they lose interest quickly. Except for the full-sized bars. Those are always a big deal!” – Tabitha B., Michigan
“We do a candy trade-in. They can each trade increments of 10 pieces for new books of their choice. They get really excited about it and try to trick or treat enough candy to get the books they want. My kids are both big readers and we always have plenty of sweets in the house so the thrill of candy doesn’t last as long as the excitement of new books does.” – Danielle S., Minnesota
“With our older kids, we give them their bag after dinner and set the timer for 10 minutes. They can eat whatever/however much they want in that span of time and then it is time to put it away again. I also put a piece or two into their packed lunches for school.” – Faith S., Mississippi
“We have a jar system. Everyone gets a jar for themselves that they can put in all the candy they don’t want to share, as long as it fits in the jar. All the other candy gets put into jars anyone can eat candy out of: chocolate jar, fruity jar, sour jar. Every year it is always interesting to see which jars get eaten first.” – Christie M., Utah
“There is just way too much! I hide about half of it when the kids go to bed on Halloween and then I use it to put in Christmas stockings or even Easter baskets. I’m frugal and the kids seriously don’t notice that they’ve seen that Snickers bar before.” – Jamie J., Indiana
Screen Time Swap
“My son has a bunch of food allergies, so a lot of candy isn’t safe for him. But I don’t want him to have to skip the fun of trick-or-treating, so I trade him candy that he can’t eat for extra video game and screen time. One piece = 5 minutes. Sometimes his younger brother even wants to trade candy he can eat just to get more time too!” – Sara Z., Arizona