27 November 2007

Still got Halloween candy lying around? Give it to the "goblins."

In case you're still trying to clear out the odd Almond Joy leftover from Halloween, Judi's tip may help, even at this late date:

Believe it or not, I am *still* hearing parents complain about what to do with all the kids' Halloween candy.  Feel free to put this in the tickler file for next year, but what we do is really simple: we let our kids eat as much as they want on Halloween night, because, as we've explained to them, "the goblins get it the next day."  Works like a charm.

More: Halloween hacks

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Doesn't that kinda encourage your child to eat it all at once and get sick? Also isn't that taking away something that he (quote-unquote) earned for no good reason? Why not just freeze the candy? Why not store it in a larder for a while? Halloween night seems way too soon.

We give our daughter 3 days to eat her stuff (within reason)and then we have a "Sugarwitch" who comes and takes your leftover candy and leaves you a little toy. Works like a charm here. We let her pick out 5 pieces of candy that she doesn't give to the Sugarwitch and (again within reason) she gets to eat them whenever she likes. Our explanation is that the Sugarwitch takes candy to build her house with. This gives her some control (what pieces she doesn't want to give up) and she likes drawing pictures of what she thinks the Sugarwitche's house looks like!
I have to say though, that this is not our original idea but that of a friend. We just appropriated it for our use! :)

Wow. This seems wasteful. Why not just curb the amount of candy they are getting in the first place? Candy that is given out at school or church is out of my control, but when it comes to walking from house to house amassing a bag full of candy, it's easy to see when they've got enough, and it's time to go home then.
What happens when they get too old to believe in the goblins or the sugar witch, but you still need to dispose of the candy?

I'm thinking when my kid is old enough to know what happens to the candy, my wife and I will encourage him to share it with family and friends, to send it to work with Mommy and Daddy, etc.

That, and we'll probably always limit how many houses we go to.

This year we had a lot of T&T'ers with pillow cases. That's just ridiculous. The size of the bag will help curb the amount received as well. No pillow cases or giant baskets, please!

One original idea I saw this year was to save it for decorating Gingerbread houses. Also, as someone with a Peanut Allergic child, the Kandy Witch book looks good: http://www.badfrogart.com/smgbooks/TheKandyWitch.html

After the first night, ours all goes in a big bowl. (They went to the same houses, so there should be an even amount of everything.)The first week or so, a piece goes in the lunchbox each day and a piece or two after school. Mom and Dad help themselves, too. After that, I pull out things that will keep and aren't seasonal to put in the candy jar. Some of these re-appear at Christmas time. Anything nobody likes gets pitched. Usually not much left.

A lot of people in our area started giving out snack-sized bags of pretzels and other lunch snacks, so that's useful!

Eating a bunch of candy in one night and then brushing is so much better on the teeth than eating small amounts over a long period of time.

Why not keep the candy in tupperware containers out of reach and limit the access to it and simply use it for "rewards" etc instead of allowing a child to get sick eating a ton on one night or wasting it by throwing it away?

I had a friend who grew up with that rule, and the binging seemed like a bad thing to encourage.

My kids have a little candy every day for about a week, and then we all forget about it. It's all sitting in the dining room. Maybe we'll try the gingerbread house idea.

We have a variation on the SugarWitch. The "Great Pumpkin" comes to our house on Halloween night and takes the candy the kids leave out for him. The more candy, the bigger the toy. The kids were more than happy to give up most of their candy that night.

We keep the candy up on top of the fridge, and the kids get to select one or two pieces a few times a week. Then they're sent off to brush their teeth. They have no problem letting the stuff last as long as possible, since I don't often buy them candy.

I have to disagree, as I don't see the necessity of lying or think it's wise to tell little kids that there are witches and goblins coming to take their candy. Why not just set limits and enforce them?

I agree. There are enough reasons to distrust people out there that kids should not have to be wary of their parents as well. Once they get wise enough to know that you lie to them, your kids will question your veracity on other things. This kind of thing might seem innocuous enough in the context of halloween candy, but as a larger moral framework underlying your relationship with your kids, it seems like a collossal miscalcualtion.

I don't like the idea of lying to our kids, and I also really don't like the idea of having candy around indefinitely and having our kids get used to eating candy on most days. We let our 5-year-old choose a certain number of pieces the night of halloween, which he gets to eat whenever he wants or save for later, and the rest of the candy goes back in the bowl to hand out to trick-or-treaters. He still feels like he got a great haul (since we never have candy around the house other times of the year), he gets to learn responsibility around when and how much he eats, and we don't feel like he's getting too much. I don't know how much longer that will fly, but for now it works great!

Because we don't already have enough mythical beings to lie to our kids about in order to manipulate their behavior. Thumbs down.

I'm curious if all the folks who think the goblins/Candy Witch/Great Pumpkin are a bad idea also eschew Santa and the Easter Bunny? Anyway, my church is collecting extra/unwanted Halloween candy on behalf of a local dentist, who ships it to American troops overseas. We're encouraging our two-year-old to choose a few pieces of candy tonight to keep and eat over the next week or so, and telling him that we're giving the rest to people who don't get to trick-or-treat with their families. It's win-win, in my mind.

For us, candy free-for-all can't happen. Visits to Grandma's house have proven that a.) candy makes kids my crazy b.) despite excellent oral hygiene, starbursts give my daughter cavities and c.) candy makes kids my crazy! They get really fast, hyper, and greedy for more candy and then come the tears. It's not good for their little bodies and my emotional well being.

Oh and on a side, I totally agree with Kelly on concept of one mythical being being okay and the other fairly ridiculous. It's inconsistent. Consistency builds trust.

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