• Thu, Oct 10 - 10:00 am ET

Here Is The Definitive Way You Can Deal With Your Kid Eating ‘Too Much’ Halloween Candy

shutterstock_115060369__1381400657_74.134.205.46I have a feeling a lot of nutritionists start getting really excited about October 31 around August because Halloween is their time to shiiiiiiiiine when they get to be quoted about ideas for parents to help their kids consume less Halloween candy. Unless there is some super scary salmonella outbreak, nutritionists don’t get a lot of attention in the press unless it is Halloween. I’m aware that obesity in children is a big issue in this country. I agree that no child should live off candy and never try broccoli. I agree that if you let your kid eat their entire bag of loot after they return home from Trick Or Treating that they will probably end up with a tummy ache. But what I don’t believe is there are thousands of worried parents wringing their hands over how they can make their kids consume less candy on Halloween.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, parents are pretty smart people.

And if you want to know the ultimate answer for how you can make your kids eat less candy on Halloween? Well, here it is.

You take the candy away from them.

Tah-dah!

You can get all fancy with this extreme parenting tactic and couple the candy-taking away with saying something like:

You can have more candy tomorrow.

Or

You can pick one more piece, but that is enough for now.

Or

If you eat more candy, you will get a stomach ache.

Or

That’s enough.

 

Some of the suggestions I read for how to DEAL WITH HALLOWEEN CANDY involve parents going into length explanations about WHY a kid shouldn’t eat an entire bag of candy or even tricky ways they can GET their kids to be uninterested in their Halloween candy. From The Huffington Post, nutrition blogger Dina Rose suggests things like:

Consider conducting some science experiments with your children. Which floats better: M&Ms or Skittles?

I’m not a nutritionist, but I’d rather parents let their kids pick half of their candy and donate the rest of it to a food bank or nursing home or something, instead of putting delicious, delicious candy into water to see what floats better, but that’s just me.

I don’t think parents who read news articles about kids consuming too much Halloween candy are the types of parents who give their kids a can of Mountain Dew and a bag of Cheetos for dinner. I’m not even sure those types of parents really exist.  I think that most parents discuss nutrition with their kids, and tell them to try new vegetables and fruit, and encourage them not to eat all their Halloween candy at once, and suggest they run around outside on occasion. I don’t think parents are so dumb where they just have NO IDEA about how to handle how much Halloween candy their kids eat. And I also think most kids eat some on Halloween night, a little less the next day, and even less the day after until us parents are left with a mostly full bag of things no one likes, stray Tootsie Rolls, bags of candy corn, and broken vampire teeth.

I think parents handle Halloween candy pretty much the same way. We sit with our kids, go through it all to make sure there are no stray razor blades, steal a few pieces of the good stuff for ourselves and let our kids pick out a few pieces for themselves. Then we put the candy away and get our kids ready for bed after they brush their teeth.

And when they are in bed, we maybe go steal another piece or two for ourselves because those mini-candy bars are so small!

(Photo:  Dan Kosmayer/shutterstock)

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  • Angela

    Lol, or you could be like me and just let my kids eat themselves sick. I figure the holiday just comes once a year and it doesn’t hurt to let them go wild once in a while as long as they get healthy foods the rest of the year. I let them eat as much of their candy as they want on Halloween. But once they go to bed I put it up (after picking through the leftovers of course) and they get 1 piece a day if they eat dinner. Yep, not really a problem.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      EXACTLY

    • BubbleyToes

      This is how I grew up!! Loved it! Not an obese adult and STILL love candy. BOOM.

    • Katherine Handcock

      I do a version of this: at Easter, Halloween, and Christmas, the kids can eat as much candy as they want — until it’s gone. So, they can eat it all at once, or spread it out to suit. Neither of them has ever eaten until they were sick, though, so I can trust them to stop before that happens.

      I always think about my own childhood: the special memories are from days the rules got bent (or broken outright!) And, like you said, it’s a day (or, in this case, several days) out of a whole year.

    • guest

      Yes a sensible mom! You warn them and then you let the learn their lessons. Great life lesson hurt otherwise they don’t tend to stick real well.

  • Paul White

    You can have my stray tootsie rolls when hell freezes over.

    • Emmali Lucia

      Can I donate all the Tootsie rolls to you if I go out this year? Tootsie rolls are just freakishly disgusting…

    • Paul White

      They’re like those orange circus peanuts; they don’t’ taste good but my mind goes “oh what, was that REAL? Try it again!”
      And then I have eaten a whole bag and am filled with shame, self loathing and flatulence.

    • BubbleyToes

      SO funny! You are one of my favorites.

    • Felix

      That’s the exact reaction I have to bananas. Every few months I have to remind myself they’re gross. But now I have a mini garbage disposal that I can feed so I don’t feel bad when I don’t want more than a bite. And by “can feed” I mean the child loves them and will not get out of my lap and face until she has every last bite, including the one in my mouth. 1 year old boundaries lol :)

    • Rachel Sea

      Flavored Tootsie Rolls are what I give the jerk trick-or-treaters: drunk dads, teenagers who aren’t in costume AND who tell me my decorations are lame, proselytizers…I keep a pocketful of banana Tootsie Rolls just for them.

    • Paul White

      Flavored tootsie rolls are my crack. The regular chocolate ones I described below but I seriously LOVE LOVE LOVE those things, almost as much as cheesecake.
      I’m not refined.

    • Rachel Sea

      It stands to reason there must be people who like them, otherwise why would they be made? But until now I didn’t quite believe it.

    • C.J.

      I love tootsie rolls, especially the flavoured kind. I don’t buy them because I will eat them all!

    • YarghMatey

      OM NOM NOM vanilla, orange, lemon, lime, cherry tootsie rolls! I couldn’t care less about the supposedly “chocolate” normal ones, but the flavored ones are addictive!

    • Erin Murphy

      The white ones are my favorite. They taste like frosting!

  • LadyClodia

    My older son ends up losing about half of his haul after we sort through it because he’s allergic to peanuts and almonds. Our toddler isn’t allergic to peanuts, so he’ll get to keep his this year, but he’s not crazy about candy anyway. Last year I let our older son pick a few pieces of candy after trick or treat, and then I put the rest on top of the fridge. It lasted a long time, mostly because he forgot about it.

    • Katherine Handcock

      I always feel badly for kids who have allergies on Halloween — I try to make sure I’ve got a nut-free selection every year. I wish I could be sure that I’d always have an option for kids who have other allergies — I’ve thought about getting a few toys/stickers/etc. in case a kid comes to the door who can’t have what we’re giving out.

  • Emmali Lucia

    Here’s a good way to get rid of extra candy:
    Find your nearest “Halloween is Satan worship” family
    Sneak half your earnings to the deprived children of the household

    The best part is usually there’s so many of them that half your stash equals out to a handful of candy a kid (and every now and then there’s a spouse who’s in on it.)

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Here’s another good way to get rid of the Halloween candy:
      MAIL IT TO MEEEEE!

    • Marcules

      Hehehe

  • NicknamesAreDull

    I usually let my daughter have whatever she wants on Halloween. She never eats much, and I feel super cool for telling my kid she can go to town. Then, I portion out the candy is sandwich bags. The food pantries don’t accept candy here, and some candy (no chocolate) gets sent to Blue Star Moms for care packages.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Our dentist said a while back he’d prefer that you just let them go to town a day or two, then be done with it. It’s the constant exposure…so…dentist approved method, I guess. :)

  • Emily

    Seriously, people. Saying “no” can also be coupled with the super sneaky strategy of “going to fewer houses, and therefore bringing home less candy.”

  • C.J.

    I let my kids eat their Halloween candy whenever they want. They keep it in their rooms. The only rule I have is for every wrapper I find not in the garbage I get to choose one of their candies to eat myself. We still end up throwing some candy away by Christmas because they didn’t eat it all. We don’t even go that far trick or treating so it’s not like they have that much. I got lucky that they seem to do a pretty good job regulating it themselves.

    • Katherine Handcock

      Oh, I totally love that wrapper rule…adding that to our family’s rulebook for sure!

    • C.J.

      It’s kinda funny. They don’t leave their wrappers around so they won’t lose any candy but if I ask for a candy they are more than willing to share. I still get a candy and I don’t have to clean up wrappers all over the house. Win win!

  • Alicia Kiner

    We don’t let our kids go to town on Halloween because our son has ADHD, and we HAve to limit his sugar intake or the kid. WILL. NOT. SLEEP. So, we let them pick out a few pieces each, usually while we’re trick or treating, and of course check them out. Then we put it up when we get home. We pick at it over the next couple of weeks, and then my husband ends up taking it to work and sharing it with his coworkers. Shrugs. It works for us, and I want it gone well before the Thanksgiving/Christmas baking bonanza starts,

  • GPMeg

    Worst thing to do with Halloween candy? Send it to your child’s after school program as a “treat” for them. Because their Camp director will take it and eat it without remorse.

    But seriously, my parents took our candy away pretty immediately. We got two pieces in our lunch and then whatever we were able to steal from their super secret hiding space.

  • Shelly Lloyd

    There is a Halloween candy buy back where dentist will buy back your candy and donate it to troops over seas: http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/

    Also on of my FB friends told me this story: “There was this woman who would send her 3 young boys out for Halloween and when they came back, she would set a kitchen timer for 1 hour – they could eat all the candy they wanted, no holds barred (relax, it’s not as much as you’d think.) At the end of the hour, the kids choose 3 pieces of candy for the next day. They take ALL the rest of the candy, tie it up in a sack and put it on the front porch where, in the middle of the night, the Halloween Witch comes by and turns the candy into BOOKS!”

    • BubbleyToes

      I like all of this.

    • Jessie

      THAT IS THE MOST EPIC IDEA EVER. I am totally sharing that with my friends who have young’uns and don’t want them eating 10 pounds of candy.

      On a more sentimental note, that story reminds me of the story my mother told all three of us kids each time around when it came time for us to give up our bottles for sippy cups and such: She would have us go through the whole house collecting every single bottle we owned and have us stack them in a basket on the dining room table, all the while telling us the story of the Bottle Fairy. The Bottle Fairy was a wonderful being who, when it came time for big girls and boys to graduate to big girl and boy cups, would fly from house to house collecting all their old bottles to give to little babies who didn’t have bottles of their own, and in return would leave a basket of sippy cups and such for the nice big girl or boy who thought of those poor little babies and decided to let their unneeded bottles go to them.

      It’s a story I will always remember and cherish about my childhood, and even if I never have a child of my own I will always share this story with my friends to use with their kids. <3

  • BubbleyToes

    My parents always just let us eat ourselves sick on Halloween! My cousins and sister and I would all go trick or treating together and we would eat SO much candy when we got home. After that night, I was usually not interested in candy for a few days and then grazed on the rest for months until all that was left were candy dots and jujubes which belong only in the trash. It’s once a year, peeps! Live and let live.

  • Marcules

    Or, instead of the trick or treat thing, just stay home and watch Halloween videos for kids, Here are two of my favorite children’s Halloween videos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu_Tpf_yGuo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPRaY5QWKIk

  • Cat

    We were allowed a certain number to keep as children, I think 12 pieces? The rest was sent to work with my dad who would set it out with one of those UNICEF collection boxes. We’d end up donating about $20 a year. Which doesn’t seem like much now, but as a 6 year old it seemed like a ton of money.

  • Parent

    Dear Eve,
    Your a douche bag. Your a jerk for taking your kids candy away and your a douche for talking to us like we’re stupid. Your article was pointless can I get that 30 seconds back?