Asked & Answered: Halloween Candy

All responses taken from our Facebook groups: Foster Parenting Toolbox and Kinship Parenting Group.

Post-Halloween, many families find themselves drowning in candy, and debating the best way to use it. Should you let your kids eat as much as they want? Should you ration it out? Should you use it to make other treats? We asked current foster, kinship and adoptive parents how they handle an overabundance of candy. Here’s what they told us:

“Take out the non-Halloween branded candies and save them for stocking stuffers.”

“Mine is only 2.5 years old, we have a local dentist that buys Halloween candy and sends it to the troops. We will donate anything that isn’t chocolate or tootsie roll pops.”

“We do a free-for-all on Halloween night. Then we ration it out over time and use it in desserts. Homemade blizzards are always a hit worth saving some candy for.”

“Halloween night is a free-for-all until we say “okay time for bed.” Then they can have one to two pieces as an after school snack or after dinner snack. After a while it loses its excitement and I end up with a ton of candy (I have 5 kids so it’s a lot lol) in a bowl on top of my fridge that I later use for goodie bags or stockings or whatever.”

“I saw a thing where someone did something called a witch switch. I would call it something else just because of the trauma with some kids and Halloween but what they did was put the candy in a Ziploc bag on their bed and then the witch or whatever you call it came and traded the candy for some sort of toy. Not necessarily an expensive toy, but a toy. Sounds kind of like a neat idea. I would probably not leave the candy on the bed though because some of mine would eat it during the night. I am considering doing this because my kiddos are younger and a lot of the candy they have they cannot eat.”

“Let them have a few pieces a day and then reuse it for stockings and if it makes it till Easter we toss it in eggs for the hunting…”

“The first 2 days are a free-for-all. After that it gets used for lunch box treats or baking/cooking. We have a few sore tummies today but it’s all part of learning self-regulation and cause/effect.”

“The first night they have a good 20-30 minutes, while we are watching a movie together so they are distracted from it a little, to eat whatever. Then it’s settle in for the night. The next few days they’ll get a few pieces a day, a couple after school or a few after dinner.”

“Whatever is left over, we use to make a gingerbread house!”

“We let them keep all their candy. They each have a bag, with their name on it, for their own candy. They got to eat a few last night, but are allowed 1-2 each night moving forward (which means it lasts a LONG time). Their candy bag is in the pantry with the rest of the food – so they know it isn’t going anywhere. My kids don’t have food hoarding/eating disorders though – so other strategies may be needed for those kids.”

“So my grandmother would take our candy bag while we were at school and put half of it in another bag, just a regular grocery bag with our name on it. Around February or  March when we didn’t have much in the area of treats she would give us those bags. We were always a little peeved but so happy to have all that candy!”

“I let mine have whatever they want on Halloween or the day it’s collected as we go to several trunk or treats throughout the season. Then it’s 3-5 pieces as dessert. And the rest is saved to use to decorate gingerbread houses.”

“I find it depends on the kiddos and their trauma history, especially around food. I have found that over indulging in a short period doesn’t happen in the same way that it does for kiddos who don’t have the same trauma. I have often just let them have it, with boundaries of course like not for breakfast. And following the school rules when it comes to bringing it to school. They also aren’t allowed the whole stash in their room (don’t want to attract critters). The stash usually gets stored where it is accessible to them. So far this has worked but I have read and noted some of the other creative ideas in case future kiddos need something different.”

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