Halloween Candy: What We’re Doing

I’ve been in nesting hyperdrive lately, completing projects around the house that have been patiently waiting. Oh, and trying to finish up work projects, and you know, living life. But something on my mind lately is Halloween and handling candy with my sweets-loving 3 1/2 year old.

What to do with Halloween candy

Keep it? Toss it? How long to keep it? Donate it?

Back in the day, my childhood dentist told my mom to allow us to eat as much candy as we like for 1-2 days, then get rid of it. Don’t give a piece or two every day for months until it’s gone. From a cavity perspective, this is sage advice, because it’s the regular barrage of sugar that can contribute to decay. (According to my childhood dentist.) Coating teeth for a couple of days isn’t going to rot teeth out of your head. At least, that’s the theory.

From a health perspective, this is a little counterintuitive. We’ve been working on moderation and enjoying treats occasionally. “Treats are only for special Cajuns,” kiddo calls it. But I think that a daily dose of sweets sets up the expectation that we have candy every day. And having it around the house is NO good for an hormonal sweets-craving mama like me. So, I like this idea because I’m hoping it’ll just get her sick of it and donating it will get it out of the house! Not that I want anyone barfing up mini-Snickers this year, but I feel like being lax about enjoying her stash over the weekend will make life easier for all of us in the long haul. And luckily, with a full weekend following Halloween, we’ll have a couple of days for sugar-crazed silliness followed by crashes. And then it’s done. No more negotiating, no more begging.

What to do with the extra candy come Monday? Well, if there is extra, I’m planning to send to our troops via Operation Gratitude. I know some dentists offer up a candy buy-back system to donate through their offices too. The link above shares how and where to send your goodies (note the November 15th deadline).

One thing I’ll probably institute next year is a “buy-back” system that my parents used with us growing up. Kiddo is a little too young to really appreciate this yet. We’d get a penny for small candies, nickel for bigger candies, and a quarter for full-size candies. It was a good lesson on delayed gratification, saving money to buy something special, etc, etc, but I think the real purpose was for my parents to build up THEIR secret stash! Which (shh) I totally do. Sometimes mama doesn’t feel like sharing.

What do you plan on doing with your Halloween candy this year? What did your parents do for you?

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