penny in a castle

A digital chapbook.

Too. Much. Candy.

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In previous years, I used to think that we had too much candy come into the house on Halloween.  That was before the third kid learned to rocket around the neighbourhood as fast as the two older ones.  This year though, the amount of candy seemed more than three-fold. 

It’s possible our kids earned more candy because they are super cute – I’m biased of course, but a pint sized dragon in orange running shoes is pretty adorable even with chocolate smeared across its face.

I think the more likely reason though, was that with the inclement weather (read: steady monsoon down pour with gale force wind), most parents wisely kept their children home.  And there seemed to be fewer marauding teenagers out collecting this year (pro-tip kid – if you have a moustache or are texting on your cell to meet up with your buddies after trick or treating, I am not going to be too generous).

Either way, by the end of the evening, people seemed to be eagerly dumping handfuls of sugar bombs into the kids’ bags – as if to say, “Better your house than mine!”

So, what to do with all this tooth-rotting, hyperactivity-inducing, diabetes-encouraging stuff?  Surely we can’t eat all of it (although the kids are already asking if I think it will last until NEXT Halloween. Not on your blood-sugar levels kids). It’s even worse for my husband and I – despite being adults we have zero restraint if there are chocolates or chips in the house.  I will also admit to a special weakness for Rocket candies and Kraft caramels that rears its ugly head this time of year.

Our troubles are compounded by the fact that I have one kid with a peanut allergy so there’s a whole candy food group that absolutely can’t stay in the house.

Yet, I must admit that I am loathe to just throw it out – although I recognize this is always an option (and it may come to that later in the month when I am horrified by the numbers on the scale).

Here are a few ideas I’ve come up with to mitigate the situation:

1) First – I took out all the peanut M&Ms and set them aside.  We are actually trying to desensitize our peanut allergic kid and the way we do it is to give him a peanut a day (and then after a while two peanuts a day and then three peanuts a day and then…well, you get the picture). This is going to save us a small fortunate as peanut M&Ms are almost five dollars for a tiny bag of them these days.  In case you are wondering – if you have a peanut allergic kid don’t try this at home without talking to a doctor first.  We went through a lot of medical tests before they felt our child could handle trying peanut desensitization (and it still feels a bit like Russian roulette every day we give him a peanut).

2) I sent some home with my parents who always help us with handing out candy and wrangling the kids on Halloween.  The amount they took though barely put a dent in our stash. 

3) I took it to work.  Yes I know it is highly unfair to download your bad nutrition onto your colleagues, but a sugar hit during a long tough slog of a two-hour meeting is often appreciated.  I took all our other peanut-infused candy to work and most of it has disappeared already.

4) We have three birthday parties coming up in the next month or two.  All those chocolate bars, ring pops and gummy bears will make awesome additions to the loot bags. I can also use candies, Smarties and licorice to decorate the cake or cupcakes (one of our favourite birthday activities is “decorate your own cupcake.”)  I put quite a few aside to save some money on the birthday front later

5) I plan on using some of the gummy-type candies and Smarties to decorate Christmas cookies and ginger bread houses.  I think I have talked the kids into making a gingerbread house to share with the other church children after the Christmas pageant this year.

6) I’m also going to save some for Christmas stocking stuffers.  I just have to make sure the wrappers don’t have pumpkins on them!

7) I know some parents swap with the Switch Witch.  The kids agree to give up some of the candy in return for something else (usually a toy or activity).  Using this method though, you still have candy to get rid of (I think most parents just pitch it).  I haven’t tried using the Switch Witch but as kid number three gets older (and even –heaven help us – faster at going door to door) I might just give it a whirl. 

The beauty – and the curse – of Halloween candy is that it is very shelf stable so I can hide it in the closet for quite a while.  Out of sight, out of mind, out of our mouths.  The important thing is – if you are going to set aside candy for other uses, you need to go into stealth mode and have it disappear while they aren’t looking.  Otherwise, your children will immediately start blaming your partner for the missing candy.  “Daddy is going to eat it all!” has already been heard in our house a couple of times since Thursday (although, that may be on to something about the potato chips…)

What are you going to do with your sweet haul?

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Written by pennyinacastle

November 3, 2013 at 3:17 am

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