When I was young my mom kept a fairly close watch on what types of food we ate. At Halloween we would go out trick-or-treating with friends, and then when we came home we would dump our candy out and carefully pick out however many treats Mom said we were allowed to keep. Then she would take the rest of the candy and put it in the freezer (after snitching some for herself and my dad, I imagine). The candy would reappear during our summer vacation, particularly on long car rides. This was all good and fine, but one year my two sisters and I presented her with a request. We desperately wanted to keep all of our candy, just for one year. Mom agreed, with the stipulation that we could only go to five houses to collect treats. It was a done deal, and one that definitely ended up working out in our favor. My sisters and I carefully compiled a list of all the neighbors we were friends with, and then engaged in a lengthy debate about which five neighbors were likely to give us the most candy. Armed with our list on Halloween night, we headed out to collect our goodies. And boy did we collect! When the three blond Kageler girls arrived at their doors, the neighbors handed out handfuls of candy instead of the usual one or two pieces. This combined with parties at school and the purchase of candy by a foreign exchange student who lived with us, meant a landside of candy. And it was all ours - “Mwahahahaha.” Mom stuck to her promise, but as you can imagine, such a deal was never made again!
Here are some suggestions about how to reign in the Halloween candy:
-Let your children pick out a certain amount of candy to keep. Put the rest in the freezer and have fun trying not to eat it yourself (Maybe re-read this article I wrote on self-control. I know I need to!).
-Take all the candy and dole it out at your discretion. A little bribery, anyone?
-Make up a tradition that helps you get rid of the candy. Have you heard of the Switch Witch? She’s kind of like the Tooth Fairy but she takes Halloween candy instead of teeth and leaves a toy or money in its place.
-Donate your candy to a worthy cause. You can use this website to find a local dentist who will “buy back” your child’s candy and then send it to our troops stationed overseas.
-Do you plan on doing some special baking for Thanksgiving and Christmas? You can save your candy to use in one of these Halloween inspired recipes. I especially like the idea of saving candy to use for decorating a gingerbread house.
-Bonus nerdy suggestion – if you’re feeling educational you can have your child sort his/her candy and then make a bar graph of the results. I did this with my son last year and he had a lot of fun deciding how to sort his candy and telling Daddy about his graph (I warned you it was a nerdy suggestion).
Bad photo from last year... I'll have to take a better one this year
So, how do you tame the candy monsters at your house?