How Much Halloween Candy? – Let the Kids be in Charge

The kids have had the fun of piling Halloween Candy into their trick or treat bags. They’ve looked over their loot and even traded a few pieces… so now what?

If your house is like ours, candy consumption is limited and Halloween is no different. Last year we came up with a solution that not only gave the kids some power and freedom, it also gave them the opportunity to practice making tough decisions. It worked so well we plan to do it again.

Great tip for how to limit candy and give the kids some power!

After looking through the pile (safety first) and clearing all the candy for consumption. M and M will be free to eat 2 or 3 pieces. The rest of the evening is for sorting, comparing and examining. FUN!

The day after Halloween when we are met with the question “Can I have some candy” (no doubt before the coffee is even done brewing) we will be ready with an answer.

So here’s how it works. Each kid can pick 30 pieces of candy to keep. (Decision number 1, plus a little counting practice.) They both get their own bag, labeled with their name. They will be free to reach into the bag whenever they want until it is empty. (Decision number 2).

We will ask a few questions to get them thinking. “How many days will the candy last if you have one piece a day?” “What if you eat 30 pieces in one day?”

Then the candy situation is out of our hands… and we are free to enjoy the tossed goods. (Oh I hope they leave me an Almond Joy or two!)

Extra Tips: 1. We have done this every year since 2012. It works wonderfully for us… we did end up increasing the number of pieces they were allowed to start with. 2. We also added a “30 minutes before a meal” rule. Once I start cooking, no more candy is allowed to be eaten.

What to do with Leftover Halloween Candy

Make a Candy Graph
Make Candy Art
Make Candy Bark
Make a Candy Donation
Make Candy Gift Jars

How do you handle Halloween Candy?

This post originally appeared on October 31, 2012.


  1. This is the most brilliant plan I have heard yet. I’m getting bags for my kids to decorate to put their candy in and they will be sorting and choosing their 30 pieces right after breakfast. Thanks!

  2. Pingback: Halloween Candy Math · Playful Learning
  3. good idea for my older child. i also like the candy art one. so far, we’ve ended up adapting an idea from a friend of mine, whose kids were anxious for Halloween and decided to hunt for plastic eggs with their pumpkin buckets before the holiday. we’re using the idea now for a candy egg hunt to slow the rate of consumption!

  4. Haha, so good! I have told her that she can have 2 pieces a day (little does she know I’ll get rid of the lot of it by the end of November.) I’ll have to try it this way next year because she is always trying to bargain for more than 2. If I did the 30 piece rule, she’d probably be done by now!

  5. We’ve done this for years, and it’s taught my kids a lot about decision-making and whether or not they should do the same thing as their siblings.

    1. I love that point Gina! My daughter generally eats hers quickly and my son takes his time. It’s a really great way for them to learn from each other.

  6. We will save the majority of the candy for gingerbread house decorations in the winter. There is no need in buying a lot of candy for decoration when you are practically given bags full in October.

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