That time of year is just around the corner when the avalanche of Halloween candy invades your home.
You know the candy isn’t good for the kids, but you feel guilty not letting them have the fun of Trick-or-Treating or participating in a Fall Festival.
You could throw it all away (or eat it yourself while they’re asleep), but here are some better options:
Pick and Choose
Allow the kids to choose their 3 favorite pieces for now, then put the rest of the candy away. Give out one piece a day until Valentine’s.
Give the kids trade-in options like coupons for a $5.00 toy from the store or a trip to an indoor play park. (Read more from Home Cooked Healthy.)
Exchange the candy for healthy treats like Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks or Funky Monkey Dried Fruit. You could even wrap them as gifts to make them more exciting.
Give the kids a penny (or a nickel) for every piece of candy they give you. Take them shopping for a little gift.
Get your Operation Christmas Shoeboxes ready and have the kids donate their hard candy to kids overseas. Emphasize the joy of giving to those who may only see candy once a year, if ever.
Put chocolate candy in the freezer to use in Christmas baking gifts in December or recycle it into neighbor gift bags for the holidays.
What do you do with all that candy? Leave a comment and share with us. 🙂
I pay my kids by the pound. They pick out pieces that they want (as much or as little) and then the rest goes on the scale. We take the candy to fill the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, the Thanksgiving food baskets my church makes to give away, or my husband takes it into work to share with his co-workers.
I haven’t heard of that before Maureen. How much do you pay per pound?
You can go through a lot of candy with candy experiments. The kids have a great time, they might learn something, and you’re not wasting the candy.
Some food banks will also accept candy donations, though they prefer to get healthy food too. Letting children sort through their candy to donate to others might make them more willing to give it up.
Thanks Loralee! I haven’t tried any of the candy experiments, but another reader suggested them. We’ll have to try your website. 🙂
Yikes! I still have candy from Easter! (shows how much we eat it) I like the ideas you listed. can u share how u turn the candy into christmas cookies? andy recipes? We potty trained this past year and used the little peices as rewards for going to the potty!
I haven’t actually used the candy bars in baking. (They don’t usually make it that far!) Here are a couple of links: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Colorful-Candy-Bar-Cookies and http://momscookingclub.blogspot.com/2011/10/snickers-browniesweek-4-of-12-weeks-of.html.
Someone told me about the “Candy Goblin” who comes by your house. The kids put their candy into bags and puts it outside the door before they go to bed (or really anywhere, as long as you stay consistent throughout the years) The “Candy Goblin” then comes and takes the candy and leaves either money or a gift in exchange for the candy. Now you have no mom-guilt about throwing away the candy and the kids willingly gave it up!
Thanks Kristen. I’ve never heard of that before.
Sometimes I donate it to a family member who is a teacher. She uses it for bribes in her ESE class. My kids are 5 and 2 and so far “the bag magically disappeared last night” has worked but I have a feeling that’s not gonna fly this year! I like the idea of trading it in for something else or holding onto it to disperse later. Great ideas!
Thanks Elias! I know what you mean. I used to be able to get rid of it more easily too.
We do the trade-in for a book/ toy. Anything that can be used in baked goods goes in the freezer and we use the rest for candy experiments. What are candy experiments you ask? Look at this! So fun!
Thanks so much for sharing Amber. That site looks like so much fun!
10 items are picked out the bag and saved a a treat. The rest is turned in for a $20 toy they have chosen. What do we do with the candy 🙂 I too pick out 10 pieces and to the trash it goes. I just can’t see giving it away if I am unwilling to give it to my own children.
Maybe we can change the whole system and give kids healthy treats to start with. 🙂
One of the Pediatric Dentists in my area pays kids $2 for every pound (up to $10) of candy they bring to his office on November 1st.
That’s a great deal Emily!
We always have the “Mommy Tax” at my house. I get to choose a piece of ANY kind from their bags for me to keep. It is my payment for taking them…..it is so funny to see them try to “hide” it under the yucky candy.
Yes, I always asked for the chocolate candy. Now they’re too smart. 🙂
I used to give my kids 20 min to eat all they wanted as fast as they could, Halloween night. At first they thought it was great then after a few min they were done!
I like “devious” mom tricks Kathy! LOL!