Did your children dress up as Goblins and Ghosts, Princesses and Superheroes and come home with loads of candy?
Are you now dealing with whining children begging you for a piece of candy every single minute of every single hour?
Then continue reading to get tips on what to do with all that candy and how to handle your new roll as "The Candy Keeper"!
I have given you three options that our family has tried over the years. The first option is fun and generous. The second option is my favorite. And the third option has its place and time!
Option 1: Donate or Trade
You can donate your candy to the troops overseas. Check out the Military Missions for packaging and mailing instructions. Operation Shoebox is another great resource.
To read more about how to donate your candy yourself please read here.
Operation Gratitude tells it all!
If you do not want to package and mail the candy yourself then check with your local health food store or dentist office. Many healthfood stores and dentist will trade your candy for a healthy treat or toy and they will mail it off for you to be donated!
We participated at Earth Fare a few years ago! My kids got a healthy treat as a trade off for their candy.
Donating the candy or trading it makes for a great lesson on "giving" and "sharing" with the upcoming holiday season! Not to mention once the candy is gone you will no longer need to be "The Candy Keeper"!
2. Separate and Dissipate (my personal favorite)
Step One: Determine the trash
Remove all the candy you don't want your children eating and throw it away.
For me, this is typically anything too sticky that will end up on my furniture, tables, chairs and walls...or worse stuck in their teeth. Things like taffy. I also throw away the hard candy such as jolly ranchers and jaw breakers. Basically anything that can get lodged in the throat of a 2 year old. I include the "bubble gum" in my throw away pile as well. My kids LOVE gum, but this extra sugary bubble gum serves no purpose for me.
WARNING: You might feel a sense of guilt throwing it away.
Push through. You do not need to feel guilty.
If you have a compost pile in your back yard then these items will make great compost!
Step Two: Get your school snacks
Store it in your pantry up high and only take one out at a time when you are preparing lunches.
This will also cut your grocery bill down by a few dollars for those few weeks of snacks you will not have to buy!
As a matter of fact my kids all took a pack of Oreos for their school snack today and they were thrilled because they usually do not get Oreos for snack!
Step Three: Get your bribe and keep it close
Weed through the candy and put all the lollipops and place in a separate pile.
I like to keep them in my purse and car so they'll be easy to reach when I get desperate and need to bribe a child to be quiet or stop crying.
I've been known to pull a sucker out of my purse at church and stick it in a kids mouth and I'm not ashamed!
Lollipops have always been my go-to bribe with my kids, so sorry candy bowl, these are all mine.
Step Four: Turn sweet into sweet and salty
Empty out the contents of all M&M packages into a zip lock bag (and I like adding the milk duds too).
Be certain to throw all packaging away...at the very bottom of the garbage so your children do not see the empty wrappers!
Then combine said items with any nuts and raisins that you may already have in your pantry. My personal favorite is cashews, almonds, pistachio's, craisins and raisins!
We love a good trail mix in our household and this will give you a healthy-ish snack for weeks to come!
Step Five: Turn the Orange into Green
As all the orange from Halloween starts to all fade away and all the Green begins to appear for Christmas this frozen chocolate will stay hidden in the back of the freezer.
Do not take it out again until Christmas Eve.
The night before Christmas you simply divide it up among all the kids Christmas stockings. Walla! No midnight run for candy. (Not that that I have ever actually forgotten candy for the stockings before and had to run out at midnight!)
The orange Reese's wrappers will be extra green bills in your wallet when you're not having to buy MORE candy at Christmas time.
Step 6: Let them have the rest
Or you can ration the remaining candy out. I like to allow them to pick two pieces of candy after each meal until it is gone. If they eat their entire breakfast, they get two pieces. Same goes for lunch and dinner.
With this formula: 2 pieces per child times four children times 3 meals a day means that we will eliminate 24 pieces of candy a day until it is gone. If my estimate is correct that we have about 100 pieces of candy left at this point then I will only need to be "The Candy Keeper" for 4 1/2 more days.
3. Just say "YES"
I tend to use this method when we receive birthday party goody bags, or with Easter basket candy and other similar times throughout the year when the children come home with an exaggerated amount of candy.
I tell them to get all their candy, dump it out and eat as much of it as they want. I give them a time limit based on how much candy their is. I would estimate that 10 minutes is a good standard time limit.
When the time is up, the remaining amount that they cannot eat will get thrown away afterwards. However in my experience there really isn't that much left worth saving anyway. It's all trash after they've opened each piece and licked it all.
The reason I use this method and I actually really like this method is because they are so focused on getting through all the candy they tend to take one bite of each thing or even just a lick and then they move on to the next piece. They don't even eat it.
And this method is great because I don't have to spend the next several days or weeks as "The Candy Keeper". I hate that title anyway. I have enough jobs as a mom I don't need to add "The Candy keeper" to my resume. And I tell my kids "no" enough without having to always say "no" to the candy.
So with this method, you just say "yes". And you only have to say "yes" once and your job as "The Candy Keeper" is over!
WARNING: You will find a little backlash with this method. You will have children or at least one child who will come to you the next day and ask for a piece of their candy. You will simply have to remind them that they ate it all the day before and it is gone.
You may get a "That's not fair" or "I didn't finish it" or "You shouldn't have let me do that". But it will be short lived and they will move on to other activities...eventually.
You will also have the child who gets a tummy ache and begins to feel sick. This too shall pass quickly. If you're lucky they will stop liking candy all together after eating so much at once and your job as "The Candy Keeper" may be over not just for this year but for all the years to come...if you're lucky. I have not experienced that yet by using this method.