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Readers Respond: Keep Kids From Eating Too Much Candy

Responses: 14


Updated October 01, 2012

While I love the cute costumes and the neighborly aspect of trick-or-treating, I sure don't love the giant sacks of candy that result from it. How do you keep your kids from eating too much candy, whether they've accumulated their loot on Halloween, Valentine's Day, Easter, or some other occasion?


I have two kids they love halloween . I let them eat candy for one week not every day
—Guest Snoopy

Put it out of sight

My kids are 4 and 6 years old and I didn't think this would work again this year, but it did! After the first night, I put their Halloween buckets in a closet and they completely forgot about them! I'm not ready to throw them away yet, in case they suddenly ask, but I think I may give away some of the loot in the meantime.

Remember the Election Day bake sale

This year I donated most of my boys' Halloween candy to the Election Day bake sale at their school.
—Guest Erica

Have a party instead of trick or treat

Hi, My name's Marlene and I'm a recovered sugar addict. Sugar is addictive, this is why people crave more than they should eat. Would you give an alcoholic a little bit of alcohol hoping that would solve the problem? In the old days the treats were probably home made and you can't do that anymore because the police will tell you not to let your child eat anything that isn't wrapped. I'm no fan of store bought "treats." We need to learn that the health of our children come first.
—Guest Marlene

Leave It for the Candy Fairy

When my daughter was younger, the Candy Fairy struck a deal. She could leave as much or as little of her Halloween candy as she wanted on the dining room table before bed, and the Candy Fairy would come take it away. If she left a lot, she'd get a "big" toy (nothing extravagant, maybe $5-7). If she left a little, she'd get a "little" toy (maybe something from the dollar store?). She loved this and it was an easy way to cut down on the amount of leftover candy after Halloween, without getting into a power struggle over it.

Great Ideas

I agree with letting them have fun on Halloween up to the point of bouncing off the walls. After that, we use the "slowly dole out" method and every year they forget about their candy. I love the idea of donating the candy. I know my girls would like that!
—Guest Tammy O'Keefe

Let em eat as much candy as they want

When I was a kid my parents never cared how much candy I ate so I never really ate a lot. Even today I rarely have more than a few pieces a year. However, my parents made me eat vegetables and I still don't like eating vegetables.
—Guest Matt

Cut Down Their Candy

When I was a child my mother would never let me and my siblings eat a lot of candy. I never understood it, but one day I found my stash of candy from Halloween and ate it all. Two weeks later I got diabetes and was suffering from obesity as a child. That's why I never let my children eat a lot of candy, cut down the candy to a good size and then give them something healthy to eat or let them do something to burn all that sugar off them.
—Guest Guest Caridad

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

My little girl had a Halloween Sleepover last year. Even though I took all her and her friends candy away and made them play lots of fun games, they still managed to get all hyper on there camp out. Before they went to bed I gave them each 5 peices of candy and took the rest away. Little did I know, her and her friends had bags in they had hidden plastic bags in there pockets and other bits of candy in there pockets. And one of her friends who lived next door had to go home, so I let her take her sweets home. What she done was went home through her back gate and threw her candy over the fence. When she came back with what she needed to get, she had got all the other girls to colect the candy. Now they had loads of candy in there tent. Some of the other girls Mothers had sent them with tubs of sweets to eat. So I had calls from the neighbours all night because they were really loud and hyper. My advice to parents is to take away the candy and check your child (and friends) for candy!!
—Guest Helen

Make 'em over eat

I remember this one time I over ate on candy right after halloween. This echoes a few of the posts here. I got sick right after a binge on candy. To this day, I never eat candy, and I can't stand the sight of candy and junk food.
—Guest Guestnorm

Don't ration it!

I have to disagree with the advice to give a few pieces every night. The research on sweets and children shows that when you restrict a food, children view it as more desirable. So when you make candy a special treat and only give a little at a time you actually make it more appealing. I let my kids eat as much candy as they want on Halloween night and I also encourage them to give the rest away. Usually they're so sick after all that candy they are happy to part with it. :)

Teddy Bear Party

When my son was very young, I'd take him trick-or-treating with his friends, but afterwards, we'd have a "party" with his teddy bears. They "ate" the candy, and then we just threw it out when the "party" was over! My son grew up without a sweet tooth because that's really an acquired taste...so he was never very big on tons of candy. Whenever I had a party for him, we'd offer delicious but healthy food, and several mothers commented that they'd never seen kids behave so well. I'm sure it had to do with them not getting a sugar rush.

Ration It

After we went trick or treating my mom always made us dump all of our candy on the floor and went through it. She was looking for any candy that might have broken wrappers or look suspicious. Then she gave us a reasonable amount and stashed the rest in her room. We got a decent ration every day until it was all gone. There were no stipulations on whether we got it or not (I mean where's the fun in that?), but it did ensure that we weren't engorging ourselves on nothing but sugar all day.

Share with Adults

A co-worker brought in her daughter's Halloween stash and left in our break room. She simply asked her daughter if she would be willing to share some of her candy with her adult friends at work who didn't have kids of their own to share any candy with them. She gave her daughter a snack bowl to fill, allowing her to pick what candy to keep and what to share. I must say this little girl was very generous.
—Guest lila

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