Regulate Halloween Candy and Teach Valuable Life Lessons

With over 600 pounds of Halloween candy given out each and every Halloween, how do we, as parents, regulate our children’s candy intake without detracting from the Halloween fun?

If you ask Jimmy Kimmel, he would say “Parents should eat it all!” which is exactly what he told his daughter.

Check out this video for a little laugh.

Alright, alright…it was a good joke, but on to more serious stuff.

What the heck do we do with our children’s huge pile of Halloween candy?

Not to fear, I’ve outlined 5 effective tricks (pun intended) to regulate Halloween candy – without destroying your kids lives – while also teaching them valuable life lessons.

5 Tricks to Regulate Halloween Candy

Regulate Halloween Candy

Kids crave what’s off-limits.

It’s basic human nature.

The more we restrict something – like Halloween candy – the more kids are going to want it.

So what’s the trick?  How can we regulate the amount of Halloween candy they eat without them noticing?

Here are some tricks for the treats.

Trick 1: Sort Halloween Candy Immediately

There’s no need to store pounds of Halloween candy in the pantry for months.  The faster you can get it out of the house the better.

Throw Away Some Halloween Candy

Start immediately by tossing anything opened, or slightly opened.  Also, if your child has allergies, quickly toss all potentially dangerous candy your child is allergic to.

Reduce the Rest

Then, focus on thinning out the rest.  Get rid of:

  • Candy your kids don’t like
  • Anything with multiples – you don’t need more than a few of each type
  • Candy that contains peanuts – they’re the worst
  • Any candy containing gluten

Ever wonder why you might consider avoiding peanuts and gluten?  Check this out.

Trick 2: Teach your Children About Sugar

Sugar is very addictive and can cause very serious problems.

By teaching your children the importance of regulating their sugar intake now, while they’re young and faced with temptation, you establish a solid, healthy foundation for them to grow and build upon.

What is a “Healthy” Amount of Sugar?

Is there a “healthy” amount of sugar?


But…I understand that’s not always the case, and certainly not the case on Halloween.

According to recent Dietary Guidelines, no more than 10% of your total daily calories should come from sugar.

OK…how much is that?

Let me break it down for you.

See this great info-graphic that shows you how to to calculate what Dietary Guidelines would say is the Maximum Grams of Sugar.

Check out this Free Calculator to calculate your Daily Calorie Intake and use the formulas below.

How to Calculate Maximum Grams of Sugar

The maximum grams of sugar calculated above are for the WHOLE day – breakfast, lunch, dinner, AND dessert.

Sugar is not limited to Halloween candy; it’s everywhere in our western diet.  Even foods you never would have expected like:

  • Ketchup
  • Chicken Broth
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Salad Dressing

The list goes on and on.

Meaning…your 62 grams of sugar may look like 16 grams by the time to you get to dessert.

I like seeing the numbers, but in case you don’t like numbers as much as I do, here’s what 16 grams of sugar looks like.

16 Grams of Sugar
  • 2-3 “Fun-Size” Candies
  • 1/4 cup of Candy Corn
  • 6 Chocolate Kisses
  • 5 Tootsie Rolls
  • 8 mini Twizzlers

You get the picture, right?

It’s certainly not half the bag of Halloween candy…barely a handful.

Trick 3: Halloween Candy is NOT a Reward

Whatever you do, please, please, please don’t offer Halloween candy as a reward for good behavior.

This has the potential to completely rewire your child’s brain into thinking candy, or other sugary treats, is a reward.

This type of thinking has the potential to completely alter your child’s lifestyle and can cause serious problems later in life.

Save the Halloween candy for designated dessert options and reward your children in other ways with toys, fun activities, and lots of hugs and kisses.

Teach them that being good to others and the joy of family, fun, and friends, creates wonderful memories that last a lifetime.

When you put things into perspective, it becomes way more important than Halloween candy.

Trick 4: Always Offer Options

Offer Options

There is a cute story about the Halloween Switch Witch, who comes to all the childrens’ homes on Halloween night and will “switch” all the Halloween candy and replace it with something more valuable.

By giving your children the option of trading all their Halloween candy, they might choose to give it all up.  The options could be something like:

  • Money
  • Toys
  • Fun trips
  • Fun experiences

By giving them the power to choose, you’re teaching them valuable decision making skills and independence.

They’re more satisfied when they make their own choices.

Plus, you got to regulate the amount of Halloween candy without them even noticing.

Parenthood Score!

Trick 5: Lead by Example

Lastly, and arguably the most important, set a good example for your children.

We are our children’s role models.

If we are constantly grabbing for Halloween candy, sugary treats, or other unhealthy foods, they will grow up having similar tenancies.

The more we live a healthy lifestyle, the more our children will grow up learning it, following it, understanding it, and appreciating it.

Enjoy Halloween

You’re now armed with some great tricks to regulate Halloween candy this year.

So..go on…Enjoy Halloween!

Take lots of pictures, have lots of fun, and be sure to follow these 5 simple, but effective, tricks once the night is over.

Wyatt dressed up as SuperWhy

What do you do with your kid’s Halloween Candy?

I would love to hear from you.

How do you regulate your children’s Halloween candy?

Please comment below, and share your tips and tricks with others.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Tai says:

    Very cute and good write up Tanya. Thanks for putting those numbers in perspective. 16 grams of sugar per day isn’t bad if you would that into 6 Hersey kisses. That’s allot of kisses.
    That Super Y got some flare to him.

    1. Tanya says:

      Thanks Tai; I’m glad you liked the post. I honestly never ran the numbers for sugar and what 10% of our Daily Calorie Intake looked like. It was interesting to find out.

  2. Amanda M says:

    I love this! Thank you for posting on this topic. We took our 2 yo trick or treating for the first time and we did the trade all your candy for a prize deal. But at some point when she gets a few years older I was thinking like you, being too restrictive may backfire in the later years. This sounds like a good plan, Tanya. 🙂

    1. Tanya says:

      Thank you, Amanda, for that great suggestion of trading in the candy for a prize. Is it an option? haha.

      Overall, no matter what you do, or don’t do, it’s the leading by example point that makes the most difference. Your children will see and learn from you, which is much more powerful. Giving them the information that backs up your reasons is also very important so they know. Wyatt, being 4 yo now, knows a lot more about healthy eating than most adults! 🙂 Keep up the great work!

  3. Amanda M says:

    If wanting to avoid all the additives and preservatives and food dyes, etc in all the Halloween candy, another good idea might be trading their candy for like a Fair Trade, Vegan dark chocolate bar like, Endangered Species brand or Green and Black brand. They’re a delicious and healthier option without depriving them.

    1. Tanya says:

      Excellent idea! I love your idea about trading candy either for a toy or for other, more natural candy. Here are the links to the two brands in case anyone wants to check them out.

      Endangered Species:

      Green and Black:

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