On Facebook I posed the question, “How do you manage holiday candy with kids?” I was so excited to receive a lot of feedback. It wasn’t just feedback, it was really good content. Therefore, today I’m aiming to answer the age old parenting question, “How do I manage holiday candy with kids?”
I decided that today’s post would be the responses I received from the readers on Facebook. I’d love for you to read the content and give your own feedback. Just for the record, my initial thought is that I’d do two treats a day. However, I like a number of these ideas and might need to re-think my strategies.
How do I manage holiday candy with kids?
- It all gets dumped in “The Bucket” and put up on top of the fridge. After dinner, if they eat, they can get a few pieces. The bucket is a metal tin, so out of sight out of mind, because after the first few days they forget it is up there and has something in it. – Melissa
- At Easter, my daughter-in-law made a game of breaking up all the chocolate eggs with her daughter, and all eggs are in a plastic container out of sight in the fridge. She will be doing the treat a day idea. 🙂 – Lynne
- Have them pick out ten pieces to keep and then trade the candy for a small toy or a pack of chalk. And take the candy somewhere. That way you don’t have a ton of candy and they still get a special treat. – Kuhn
- Let them trade with their siblings, tax to their parents and just eat the candy at will.
- We let them eat as much as they can for five minutes. Then, they choose 30 pieces for the next 30 days of school lunches. The rest is donated to dad’s candy fund. – John
- Depends on the size of the treat. At Easter, we broke up the bunny into smaller parts and told them one part consisted of one treat. We gave them one treat per day rule (We still have Easter and Halloween candy from last year that we should probably throw out…lol) – Becky
- I only put 1-2 M&M’s in each egg at Easter so we don’t have much. But I like the 2 treats a day idea. – Camille
- We choose one piece for lunch and one piece for dinner. In our house, there are no sweets allowed if the kids don’t stay in bed. – Me
- Last year there were some dentist offices that were asking for the candy and giving out something healthy or a toy or something, I can’t remember. Haven’t heard this year. – Sandra
- Don’t give so much to start out with. – Nancy
- We “buy” ours back from the kiddos. Usually they get a little something (a Barbie, a small set of Legos, etc) and we get to dispose of all of the junk. Win/win! – Renee
- If they eat dinner they get to choose one piece. We hide ours away too and every once in a while they’ll get an extra one for doing something good. I’m wondering what to do with all the eggs, lol. – Katy ——— My response: I have a couple posts about that…http://meaningfulmama.com/2012/04/day-101-upper-and-lower-case-egg-match.html andhttp://meaningfulmama.com/2012/03/day-82-place-value-platic-eggs.html – Jodi
- I chop up the chocolates and make cookies dough and then freeze it for when I need it later. Works for the peanut butter candy too; just make peanut butter cookie dough. I have yet to find a good recipe for he jelly beans. ; ) – Debbie
- We do one piece a day rule. – Tammy
- I’m old school – I let the kids keep it wherever they want, and binge until they are sick, and then usually they just forget about whatever remains. Also throw some in the lunchbox usually, but Easter coincides with spring break, so just option one. – Melanie ——My response: I actually considered it. A lot of nutrition experts talk about not hiding it away and keeping it as a reward or special treat. It creates an unhealthy response to dessert and treats. I also watched a Dr. Oz special on studies they had done. They found when something was limited, kids went crazy wanting to get it. They’d limit something healthy like nuts or grapes. Then, they’d tell the kids they could have as much of another item as they wanted. They’d go mad crazy when they finally had access to the forbidden fruit. Definitely something to think about. – Jodi
- I let them go for it after meals are eaten, more so on the weekends. It’s once a year, and I don’t want to be the bad policeman all the time. Because they can go nuts, they don’t. – Rebecca
- A local restaurant in my area is collecting for the Ronald McDonald house. – Nicole
- As long as parents step up to the plate and eat most of it then kids don’t have to deal with the sugar overload 😉 But in all seriousness it gets put away in the cupboard and used for potty treats and special treats now and then. Any left over chocolate makes its way to Christmas parties. Our kids are still little though so they don’t fight me on it, I’m sure that’ll all change in 5 years. – Brittany
- I’m going to be rationing candy throughout quite some time so that they don’t have an overload. But, I’m saving all the M&M packs, as well as Skittles and smarties, so that we can use them to help learn patterns, addition, and subtraction. Then, we get a tasty reward for a job well done! – Danielle
- I noticed something my neighbor did which seemed so smart! The container she gave her children was very small. I thought this was so reasonable! I mean why, if you want to limit children, do you give them a pillowcase if you plan to limit their take to a small amount. With a small container, I can imagine children electing not to take a candy they don’t like since they don’t have room, etc. Seems like a great message somehow – do we want more just to have more? – Melanie
- About a week after a holiday that involves candy I make a batch of brownies called “Aeris’ Halloween/Christmas/Easter Brownies” that I put as much of the chocolate candy into as I can. It makes a huge dent in the candy and my daughter and husband love it because it’s never the same. I let my daughter open, chop, and add the candy into the batter so she doesn’t feel cheated! – Kelli
- Don’t manage it. Let them. I believe that letting them learn helps later in life. – Christy
I really love when my readers write back. You all have really good ideas. Thank you for contributing your thoughts to this question every mom is considering around the holidays.
This post was originally written in April of 2013. It was re-vamped and re-published in November of 2016.