We Four in Egypt

Now back in the US!

Candy strategery (11/3)

As I blogged yesterday, my boys gathered up all their extra candy the day after Halloween and gave it to some Egyptian friends who didn’t trick-or-treat (in a family without much money).

What motivated them to perform this generous act of giving? Their pure hearts, perhaps, or a sense of love? Nope.

I told them if they gave away their candy, they could each pick out a new toy at the toy store. It did two good things: it got the candy out of our house (good for the boys, even better for Mr. Four and me), and it made it fun for them to give something of value away. They were thrilled.

But, yeah, I bought them, bribed them, what have you. It turns out so far to have worked beautifully for us. It’s a real treat for my boys to get a new toy from the toy store here (when it’s not a special occasion), and eating a bunch of candy first made them feel less-than-deprived. Plus they were very glad to see their old pals.

I’m always interested to hear what others parent do to deal with candy overload.

Some friends here let their kids eat whatever they want on Halloween night, and then that’s it. The rest of the candy disappears (into the trash or into mom and dad’s secret stash, I cannot say) after that.

Another mom told me she lets her kids eat the candy they want, because it’s their candy, as long as they eat (for example) breakfast first. I actually really like this approach and this style of parenting, but it wouldn’t work in our house. This would be very difficult for Mr. Four to let happen, and it might end up creating more candy conflict.

How about you? What’s your best idea for candy management?


3 November 2008 - Posted by | bug, food, giggle, holidays


  1. Bribery! I love it! LOL

    Comment by Typ0 | 3 November 2008

  2. Ours goes in a box on a high shelf in the hall closet. After meals, Gabriel’s allowed one piece. Bad behavior means we skip the treat:-) At this point, we’re gong to have candy lingering well past the Fourth of July!

    Comment by Rachel | 3 November 2008

  3. We do something similar to your bribery. My daughter sorts through her candy into “must keep” and “don’t want”. I usually have to nudge some more into the “don’t want” pile, and she leaves it out for the Candy Fairy, who takes it in exchange for a little treat. This year, the Candy Fairy brought a cute little notebook, a set of pretty pencils, and some stickers. My daughter was thrilled.

    Comment by Jess | 3 November 2008

  4. We let our kiddo (he’s 5) eat the candy whenever he wants until it’s gone, except at breakfast, where he has to have a healthy breakfast first (for school). Typically he gets tired of eating it after the first night, and then ends up kind of self-regulating with several pieces a day until it’s gone. He doesn’t like chocolate, so he gives us all his chocolate (yikes!), so that reduces the amount quite a bit. I’ve found that attempts to restrict it just increase it’s apparent value to him. And since he doesn’t have access to candy normally, I don’t worry about forming bad habits.

    While we’re discussing eating – what do those of you with 2 working parents do about making dinner? Ms. Four – does your housekeeper cook every night? Now that we have 2 little ones, I find getting preparing dinner after getting home from work to be almost impossible. I read that I should prepare meals on the weekend, so yesterday I made 3 meals, but it really was a drag! Ideas?

    Comment by Annie | 3 November 2008

  5. Leo (who’s only 3) can have one piece a day–after dinner, if he eats his dinner. So far it’s been working well. Right after trick or treating Jeff and I divided the candy (w/o Leo present) and we each took the things we really wanted, took out anything that none of us liked or that weren’t really 3yo friendly, and the rest went into Leo’s stash. In the end he maybe has 2 or 3 weeks of candy (at one piece a day). We’ll see what happens when it’s all gone.

    Comment by Kirstin | 3 November 2008

  6. Part of the strategy to let them eat all they want (after full meals) is also 1)Courtney & I pick through their baskets in the evenings – not too much to notice, but still it reduces the amount, and 2) they actually enjoy sharing with us. The feeling that ALL THAT candy is theirs, helps them be less protective, and they don’t mind handing it out.
    Also, as another commentor noted, after a day or two, as the favorites have dissapeared, they simply get less inclined to eat candy and end up self-regulating. I’ve NEVER had them finish their candy. In the end it gets so old sitting out, that we end up dumping the rest out.

    Comment by Jennifer | 3 November 2008

  7. When we were kids, our parents let us chow down on Halloween–after that, our candy bags were hidden out of reach and one or two pieces of candy would appear in our lunches till it was gone. That way Halloween lasted for months and we didn’t OD on sugar.

    Comment by Alicia | 3 November 2008

  8. Thanks for all the comments! I love these ideas. Annie, I will answer your specific questions about dinner in a future post.

    Comment by Ms. Four | 3 November 2008

  9. I send a piece in my boys’ lunches, and they also get some after dinner. And I
    I eat the a lot of the rest of the candy myself!

    Comment by MaryJo | 4 November 2008

  10. […] Writing about Halloween candy really got the lurking moms, and lurking friends, out and commenting. I loved all the ideas. And I […]

    Pingback by I want candy (11/5) « We Four in Egypt | 5 November 2008

  11. […] advice on meals with kids (11/6) In my earlier post about Halloween candy, my dear friend Annie (whom I’ve known for a shockingly long 20 years! oy!) asked a question […]

    Pingback by Your advice on meals with kids (11/6) « We Four in Egypt | 6 November 2008

  12. We follow the rule of only having candy after you’ve eaten a healthy meal. We always have candy in the house, so this is a rule we’ve had since way back. The only “conflict” is that Russell’s definition of a healthy meal and mine are a bit different. So I’m apt to say she can have a piece of candy way before he would.

    Comment by Juju | 6 November 2008

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