5 Strategies for Prying Away the Halloween Candy

For children, Halloween is almost too good to be true. They simply show up at a stranger’s door, dressed as their favorite character, and handfuls of candy are tossed into a bag that’s already bursting with sugary treats. For parents, it means days of fighting to keep their children from eating their body weight in sugary junk.

julia-Toddler dumping candy from Halloween on table

Veteran parents will tell you your best bet for dealing with Halloween candy is to let your little ones choose a few favorite pieces and hand over the rest of their bounty. To make the transaction go a little smoother (and to limit disappointment) try one of these proven strategies for getting kids to let loose of their Halloween candy without a fight:

1. Buy It!
Get your child to “sell” you his Halloween candy in exchange for something he really wants. If you prefer, call it a trade. You might offer a new toy or a special activity in exchange for the bag of candy.

2. Donate it.
Sell it to your child as helping others while also having fun in a reverse trick-or-treating kind of way. You can package the candy and make a few stops around town, donating it to those who could really use a treat. Good donation spots include shelters, a local Ronald McDonald house, nursing homes, and food pantries. There are also organizations who will ship the candy in care packages to US military troops away from home. Try Operation Gratitude and Operation Shoebox.

3. Become Mad Scientists.
If you haven’t yet stumbled on the very cool web site, Candy Experiments, pre-Halloween is the perfect time to check it out. It’s loaded with simple science experiments to do with candy in your own kitchen. Bookmark the link and do a little advance planning to make sure your kitchen and pantry are locked and loaded to turn into a fun science lab. You’ll quickly turn the sugary loot into a distant memory and have a great time doing it.

4. Get crafty.
What’s almost as good as eating candy? Playing with it! Here’s the perfect craft for turning candy into toys.

5. Create a Halloween dessert
It sounds counterintuitive – offering yet another sweet extravagance, but it’s the perfect solution to doing away the candy without losing the treat. Young children won’t realize that it doesn’t take all their candy to create a fun Halloween dessert, and older kids will enjoy creating and consuming it to give much thought to the price they’ve paid. Start a fun tradition of making a Halloween dessert the day after trick-or-treating. Here’s a simple, satisfying salty sweet bark made with candy, pretzels and a bit of dried fruit.

Whatever your strategy, stick with it year after year and it’ll quickly become part of your family’s Halloween fun!