Do you control the Halloween candy?

posted on: Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Last year Enzo was 3 and we let him have 3 pieces of Halloween candy. He was stoked. This year he's 4 and I told him he could have 4 pieces of Halloween candy but he just laughed and said "no way, I'm eating a million pieces of candy." We'll see how that goes. I've asked two mommy food bloggers, Michelle from What's Cooking? and Gudrun from Kitchen Gadget Girl the same question and here was their reply.

With the chaos of Halloween nearly upon us, it's time for us to take a look at how we plan to handle the candy craze.  In the past, our kids would sift through their haul, picking out 20 of their favorites to keep.  We would take away the rest and give the kids a book of their choice as a replacement.  It was a win-win - they could still eat some of their favorite treats, but would not over indulge.  But this year, I think I'll need to modify our approach a little bit.  I am becoming increasingly concerned with how our son's behavior is affected by high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors.  So, he may still get to keep a few pieces, but they will most likely have to be parent approved. OR I'll simply replace his loot with some candy that is made from real ingredients instead.  But we are still excited about the book alternative. You've never heard of a child getting a rotten brain from reading too much!

For Halloween, we love trick-o-treating with the kids throughout the neighborhood. Generally, we get a large group of friends together and start out by meeting at our house for a glass of wine to fortify us on the journey. We have our route planned through the neighborhood, stopping at the house with the buzzing doormat, as well as the friends having a Halloween party out front, complete with appropriate cocktails. Our kids have a ton of stamina and will trick-o-treat long past the time others are in bed. Once we get home, candy is sorted and compared, then we allow them to keep about 15 pieces of candy. The rest of the candy is purchased from them for $.10 a piece. They make out like bandits!

So now my question to you
If you are a parent what is the Halloween candy policy in your home?
If you're not a parent what was the candy policy in your home growing up?

I love hearing your good ideas.


  1. Honestly,
    I put so much thought into Everything, this is an area that I don't put too much thought into!

    The kids come home, with their cousins, eat some candy, eat a big dinner, some more candy (candy that I deem is appropriate- not partially opened, etc)... one night of candy indulgence.

    Then the next day, I sort through, take out the hard candy, gum, a lots of others that I don't want them to have, and put it all into a candy bin- for TREATS (works perfectly for "sneak-into-movie-theater trips!).

  2. We never really celebrated Halloween in my house but I remember something similar happening at Easter time. We do massive chocolate easter egg hunts and I remember asking the Easter Bunny for 100 eggs.. Come Easter morning I started my hunt and my mum encouraged me to count as I was finding them... Little did I know that as I was finding the eggs and putting them in my basket, once the basket was filled my mum would switch out the full basket with the empty one and have my older sister re-hide all of the eggs again... Eventually I got to 100 and I was thrilled, but there were never more than about 30 eggs. With our strict family share policy, I probably never ended up having any more than 10 eggs over that week! My mum is a genius! ahaha
    Good luck to all the mum's out there! I can't wait to be a parent
    xo tash

  3. This probably won't work past this year, but Jake eats most of it. She doesn't really notice that her candy pile is getting smaller and smaller.
    We let her eat a few pieces on Halloween and the rest go in her basket, which she gets for especially good actions (usually 1 a day, or less).
    I immediately throw away pixie sticks, tootsie rolls, and most of the hard candy because I think it's nasty. I also hate gum and lollipops. Too bad those are all her favorite treats.

  4. We don't control it too much which has worked pretty well for us. We don't let them eat it all day, every day, but we don't throw anything away (unless its sketchy). The first night they have pretty free rein and then after that they can pick a piece or two for after-dinner treats. I think this was how it was done in my house...can't remember too well! Making food a huge issue and struggle does not really sound like fun to me, and ultimately I don't think it encourages kids to self-manage "treats" later in life.

  5. Honestly I probably eat more of my son's Halloween candy than he does!

    I do much the same thing that Torie does. The first night I pretty much let my son have that one night of indulgence and the rest gets rationed. I'll let him have about three small pieces of candy daily. After about a week I start throwing a little away daily.

  6. good thing my kids are still little enough (3,2,1) to trick em' into thinking they collected nothing...

    i guess it's about time to start thinking up a policy of our own.

  7. Although I dont have kids myself I remember what my parents used to do when we came back from the candy runs. We would sort through everything and pick about 10 of our favourites, these we could have and eat in our own pace. Then my mum and dad had to pick 10 pieces they deemed okay and these would be for special occasions., The rest we traded in for special things. Like a book we especially liked, or a weekend night where me and my sister were allowed to have two friends each over for a slumber party etc. You get the picture. :)
    My parents would negotiate with us how much each of the things was worth in candy. I loved this so so much as a kid, and didnt feel like anything was taken away from me.

  8. I always allowed my son to eat whatever candy he wanted on halloween. Then he was allowed a couple of pieces a day. I never really put a limit on it. The funny thing is, he discovered he doesn't really like candy. Sure, there are a few kinds he liked, but after a couple he didn't want any more for a long time. We always gave his bag of candy to my sister when she came home for thanksgiving from college.

  9. thanks for all the input. I always enjoy hearing how you do things in your home and with your kids.


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