Sayonara, Halloween Candy

Here's the deal in my house: Halloween candy can stick around until Christmas. Yep, that's right. They can have a candy from their bucket once a day if they choose but as of December 25, whatever is leftover is thrown out. Stale. Garbage. I say this because just when I thought I was done with candy for a while, this morning I noticed Valentine's Day decorations and candy everywhere. And next to that? St. Patty's Day stuff. 

Halloween Candy 2014

But back to the Halloween candy... the Candy Fairy takes some of my kids' candy on Halloween night in exchange for a little gift - but that still leaves them with a bucket of candy.  Here's the funny thing: after about November 10, my kids don't even ask for Halloween candy. They're back to their usual dessert/treat requests. (Right now, my kids are all about Cuties, which are mini dairy-free ice cream sandwiches or mango sorbet). 

This year I chucked the Halloween candy on December 24 - a day early - when the stomach bug started to go 'round in my house. (I won't bother with those details, but suffice to say, the last two weeks have not been relaxing). That day, the kids watched me empty dozens of candies into the garbage without a word, as they have in years past, and I wondered - why didn't I do this a month ago? Maybe our Halloween tradition should be October 31 until Thanksgiving? Maybe earlier? 

As I gear up for the Valentine's Day onslaught, I'm thinking about holidays to come... perhaps 2015 will bring a new Halloween candy plan for us.

What's your Halloween/Valentine's candy strategy? 

The Candy Fairy

Here's the deal: the night before Halloween, my kids write sweet notes to the Candy Fairy asking what his/her favorite candy is this year. They leave the notes under their pillows and are incredibly excited to find a response in the morning. On Halloween night, they leave that candy under their pillow for the Candy Fairy and in exchange get a small present. The kids usually get a huge haul of candy (and it seems to grow every year), so parting with a few pieces (usually between 5 and 10) is never an issue. Here's what we do with the rest of it. 

Candy Fairy 2

We've had a bit of a hiccup lately with the Tooth Fairy -- the jig might be up with my 8 year old -- so her questions for the Candy Fairy were a lot more probing than a simple "what is your favorite candy." 

Candy Fairy 1

As usual on Halloween morning, the day began with excitement! The Candy Fairy will be busy today finding a little gift to place under their pillows tonight in exchange for that candy. 

Happy Halloween! 


Our Halloween Candy Strategy

I have a sweet tooth. There used to be a time in my life when I ate a lot more candy than I do now (red swedish fish and peppermint patties were some of my favorites). I read this post by Sally of Real Mom Nutrition and like so many of her posts, I felt she was speaking my language. Once I began connecting the dots between how I felt and what I ate, my habits changed and so did my life. I still have a sweet tooth, and while I'll always have a soft spot for homemade chocolate chip cookies, I mainly stick to seriously dark chocolate these days. 

trick or treating

My kids eat something sweet pretty much every day. I'd love to sit on a high horse and say 'well, it's not junk,' but frankly, I think sugar is sugar. They get heaps of candy for Halloween from trick or treating and eat whatever they want that night. They leave about 10 pieces of candy under their pillow that night for the Candy Fairy, who replaces them with a small toy or book. After that, they can choose one per day until the stash runs out or until the holiday season, when Halloween candy gets dumped out. 

FARE teal pumpkin

This year, I've decided to forego buying Halloween candy and will be giving out glow-in-the-dark bracelets and glow in the dark fangs to trick-or-treaters. They're seasonally relevant and they don't contribute to the candy overload of the holiday. They're also safe for kids with allergies, and while I don't have a teal pumpkin, I will print out a photo of one and attach it to our door. 

What's your Halloween candy strategy?