What to Do with All That Leftover Halloween Candy

What happens after your kids bring home pillowcases full of junk food on Halloween? Here's one idea for keeping candy binges in check

Photography by Andre Chinn, via Flickr (CC)

Halloween is over. I managed to get three kids in costumes and there were minimal tears. We had to cut the bangs on a wig so the little Rapunzel could see in front of her. We had to work hard to get the mask to stay on the skeleton. And we forced Dorothy to wear a jacket over her gingham jumper. But, once all of that was said and done, the kids had a great time trick-or-treating with their daddy and their friends. And they came home with pillowcases full of mini chocolates, bags of chips, lollipops and gum. My kitchen looks like a Willy Wonka factory.

In our house, we have a rule when it comes to Halloween loot. The kids are each allowed to choose any three items from their bags to eat. They are given the option to eat all three on Halloween night or they can choose to save them for later. They are allowed to keep anything non-edible—stickers, tattoos, Play-Doh. All of the other candy goes into a giant communal bucket. The bucket then belongs to our family and is used for snacks, treats and—of course—bribes over the course of the year.

My kids get so much junk food on Halloween that we end up having enough candy to last us well into the spring and sometimes even into the summer. I feel like this method allows them the freedom to choose the candy or chocolate that they really want, but at the same time I have control over how much junk they are putting in their little costumed bodies.

What do you do with all of the leftover Halloween candy?

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