Ten Things to Do with Your (Kids’) Halloween Candy


I. Love. Halloween.

I love Halloween

It may even beat out Christmas as my favorite. I mean it! Think about it… when’s the last time you stressed out about Halloween? When’s the last time you stressed out about Christmas? Point made.

Two main things make Halloween so great. Candy and costumes.

I’ve always been all about the costumes. I am a bit of a costume-aholic, you see. I love anything and everything about dressing up. Give me an occasion to dress up and I’m all over it. I’m talking any kind of dress up: a wedding, a theme party, a 5K, anything, but especially Halloween.

I believe I get this love from my father. He is a costume-aholic as well. It must be genetic. He has a collection of superhero costumes to pull from and use for Halloween, or just to be an awesome grandpa.

I think I am doing a good job of passing this gene on to my kids as they have a very nice collection of costumes and dress-up pieces already. And they use them quite often. I love watching their imaginations come out as they play with the wide variety of costumes. I see them transform into ninjas, animals, superheroes, chefs, pirates, you name it. It is awesome. I think they love Halloween just as much as their momma because just as soon as Halloween is over (most of the time even before) they are thinking of their next costume.

Now that you know how much Halloween means to me, maybe you can understand how torn I am about all that candy loot we get on Beggar’s Night. You see, up until recently when went to a more whole foods/organic lifestyle, I was all about the candy. But now, I’d like to eliminate candy from our house altogether. However, I don’t want to make it so taboo that my kids develop an unhealthy fixation on it, either. I want it to be an “every now and then” treat.

Then BAM! Here comes Halloween in all of its overabundance-of-candy glory.

And I have to do something with it.

It used to go into one big bowl and the adults would pick out the good stuff (the kids would get some, too), and when all the good stuff was gone, I’d usually just put it up on a shelf and forget about it until I remembered it and pitched it.

This year, I want to be proactive about doing something good with the candy. So I turned to my Facebook friends to see what they do with their kids’ candy each year. I got some pretty great ideas, so I give them to you as a few alternatives in hopes that maybe you won’t be as overwhelmed with the buckets and buckets, literally, of candy this year.

1. Eat it.

This was, by far, the most popular response. I just may be in the minority here. Maybe you don’t need to do anything different than you are already doing. Just bask in the glorious candy cornucopia of plenty. Wake up next month from the candy coma just in time for the Christmas goodie overload.

2. Take it to the dentist.

Plaza Dental Group in West Des Moines participates in the Halloween Candy Buyback. They will take it, weigh it, and give the kiddos $1 per pound. It’s a win-win because the kids get a little cash and the satisfaction of knowing it’s going to a good cause (U.S. Troops overseas) and you get rid of unwanted candy. The only one who “loses” here is the dentist—think of all those cavities that won’t be eating away at your children’s teeth from that candy you just gave away!

3. Buy it.

Give the kids some money for the excess and get rid of it however you deem necessary.

4. Take it to work.

(Or send it with the hubby to work.) Who doesn’t love that co-worker with all the candy?

5. Set some limits.

Have the kids pick out 10-25 pieces of candy and save them for special occasions. Send off the rest.

6. Implement The Switch Witch.

I love this idea! Have your kids set the candy out on the front porch the night after Halloween (have them save back a few pieces to enjoy), and The Switch Witch will replace your kids’ candy for a toy! Brilliant!

*Disclaimer: YOU are The Switch Witch…. Plan ahead and get a toy to replace the candy with!

7. Freeze some.

Save it for later… even next year for giving out at your door?

8. Give it away.

Goodie bags for teachers or family members. (I had a few teachers tell me this was their favorite idea!)

9. Send it off to the troops!

This sounds like it would be a great way to brighten up a military man or woman’s day by sending them a bit of home in the form of familiar sugary goodness. To request more information, click here.

10. Plant it.

Yeah, just bury it in the garden so you can have candy trees in the spring. Okay, that is not a real option. I just wanted one more so this could be a list of ten.

Have fun getting—and getting rid of—it all this year!

::Watch Jennifer’s Story on WHOtv Channel 13 News::

Now tell me, what do you do with all your kids’ Halloween candy? Comment below and share your ideas.

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Jennifer is a single mom of two boys. She does her best to get to places on time, despite being a chronically late person and the fact that neither she or her boys are morning people. She recently went back into the classroom after staying home for nine years to raise her kids, and she credits her sanity and success at this endeavor to the fact that she has incredibly supportive parents, family, and friends. She also has a network of single moms that truly “get it” and who encourage her on a daily basis. When she’s not hanging out with her kiddos, Jennifer enjoys writing at a coffee shop, trying new restaurants, or catching up with friends.


  1. Please please please do not take candy to the workplace. In a world where people are trying like crazy to be healthy, our society has to own the fact that we have to support everyone…if you must take candy please also take a bag of apples or other healthy alternative. If companies are willing to make us pay for health insurance for not being healthy then we should all do our part.

    • I totally agree that we all should do our part. I don’t know about you, but I am just overwhelmed by all the sugar and processed foods in the typical American diet. I know it’s not really fair to pawn the candy on someone else who doesn’t need it, but I am not sure what the solution is.


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