Halloween candy and what to do with it seems to be a hot topic these days. When I was a kid, we filled a pillowcase trick or treating, sorted it all (I remember that being so much fun) and ate away. I’m sure we had some guidelines on how much to eat as I do remember it lasting a while, but there was no Switch Witch or Halloween Fairy! 

I know a lot of people don’t take their kids trick or treating to avoid the whole candy rush and waste of all of candy wrappers, but for me, Halloween and going trick or treating with my daughter is a once a year special occasion that I have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy as long as I can! 

So for those who participate in trick or treating I thought I’d share a few ideas on what to do with all the candy, including what we do, at the end! 


Halloween Fairy / Switch Witch

The Halloween Fairy or Switch Witch or whatever you want to call it, is a good fairy who comes during the night on Halloween and exchanges the halloween candy for a toy, money or something else. From what I’ve heard some people leave all their candy and some leave only a portion.

We don’t do the Switch Witch and here’s why. The one good thing about candy is when it’s gone, it’s gone. My child does not need anymore toys. I don’t want anymore toys in my house. Enough adding more stuff. You go trick or treating for candy, not for money. If my child does not like the candy then that’s her choice. She does not get to trade it off for something else. You get what you get and that’s it.

Obviously this is my opinion and at the end of the day you need to do what works for your family. 


Another idea is to donate candy. I think this is a good idea. Do you know an elderly couple, a seniors home or hospital or other children who were not able to participate in Halloween? These would be great ideas involving your child in donating their extras, or maybe even all of it! I’m sure they’d want to keep a few favourites though 🙂

We have donated to people within our family and may expand it this year.

Parent Controlled

Are you the parent that takes all the candy and gives your kid 1 per day or hands it out at your discretion only? I’m guessing a lot of people do this? We sort of did this last year. I’ll explain more below. 

Kid Controlled

I’m really curious to know how many people let their kids have full control over their Halloween Candy and what age their kids are? 

For my daughter’s second Halloween I let her have at all her candy the first night. She really had not eaten a lot of candy in her little life and keep in mind we only went to a few of our neighbours houses so she really didn’t have much more then a couple handfuls. She ate her fair share, didn’t feel good and didn’t ask for anymore candy. That was the end of that. She learnt quickly that you’ll get sick if you eat too much. I do think that’s an important lesson to learn. And don’t worry, I wouldn’t have let her eat enough to get REALLY sick. I’m not that mean of a parent!

What We Do

We do a combination of a couple of the above and so far it has worked for us. I imagine it will evolve as my daughter get’s older. She’ll be five this Halloween. 

First off I have some expectations about collecting candy! I took a small backpack with me last year, which came in handy for the can of pop she got (pop is heavy and we don’t give our daughter pop so it’s not really that fair for her to carry it around when we won’t even let her drink it!). I did put a little bit of candy in my backpack to make sure we made it home, but what I’ve told my daughter is once your bag is full it is time to go home! If you’re going to have this “rule” you’ll want to make sure you FIRST decide what bag is acceptable for trick or treating. If a pillowcase is your jam then be prepared for a lot of candy to come home! If you’re looking for a more reasonable sized bag that your small kiddo can carry, then you need a Sew Bright Trick or Treat Bag


In my opinion, the cute pumpkin buckets just aren’t big enough and I don’t want to be emptying it into my backpack all the time. A pillowcase is way too big for my little trick or treater, but our super fun Sew Bright bags are just right 😉 These bags are made to last and now have a reflective handle for making your little one even safer on the dark streets. Plus, the ghosts are glow in the dark, how cool?! 

Click HERE to shop these trick or treat bags before they are gone for the season!

Okay, so you’ve got the perfect size bag, you set the ground rules about carrying your own candy and when the bag is full it is time to go home, now what do you do with the candy once you get home?

Last year my daughter sorted hers into 6 piles. One of herself, myself, my husband, her grandparents (one pile each) and her uncle. We let her pick out what goes in which pile and a couple rounds she even let each of us pick one thing for our piles. I thought it was the perfect exercise in sharing and then she ended up with only a small bag at the end. A much more manageable size! 

Now that bag…wondering what we did with that? This is where the parent control came in. I did put it away and she had to ask each time she wanted a candy. For the most part I said yes each time she asked, except first thing in the morning and after supper and a few other times, but for the most part I said yes, but reminded her that the more she ate the sooner it would be gone and if she ate too much at once she would get sick. She’s figured that out though. I also thought to myself, why would I only give her 1 per day and have to deal with it for so much longer? It’s annoying being asked for candy all the time, so the sooner it’s gone the sooner I don’t have to deal with it. Plus, if she wants to save it then she needs to learn that. 

As always, this is just what we do, it’s our family’s opinion (okay mostly mine, haha), but at the end of the day, you know your children and what works for you will likely look totally different and that’s okay! You do you! I just think it’s fun to share our experience in case you’re looking for some different inspiration! 

Most importantly, Happy Halloween and stay safe out there! 

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