Halloween is coming up! Forget the ghosts and ghouls—you may be dreading October 31 because of the challenge of helping your kids make good choices amidst a sea of endless candy. For so many of us, Halloween is a time to connect with friends and neighbors, similar to mama @lindsmeeks on Instagram, who said, “We LOVE going trick or treating. We walk the neighborhood with friends, talk, laugh, and watch the kids have the best time. I love the atmosphere, it’s all about community in our neighborhood.”

You may choose to just let Halloween go and pick your battle for another day. Or maybe you have a creative way of dealing with the onslaught of sugary treats. We recently asked the mamas in our Instagram community how they handle Halloween candy and are sharing some of our favorite responses here. There’s no need to fear Halloween candy. Go in with a plan, be confident, and everyone will enjoy the holiday!

Switch Witch

This was the most popular alternative solution to making Halloween fun without gorging on candy. You can purchase your own Switch Witch doll or just use the concept. Some mamas allow their children to pick out the same number of pieces of candy as their age, and then the rest goes to the Switch Witch. A few mamas shared other ways that they do it:

  • “We have the ‘switch witch‘ come! The kid leaves out some candy and the switch witch takes it and trades for money or a prize. More candy leads to a better prize!” – @ashleycribbwellness
  • “We let them trick or treat. We go through the candy at home and only let them keep a small amount. The rest is left on the porch for the witch to feed her black cat. She leaves a toy as a thank you. Yay Pinterest!” – @hennifah_
  • “They trick or treat and are allowed to select a few favorite candies. Then the pumpkin fairies (some call it the switch witch) swap out the rest of their candy for a non-candy treat.” – @Buggabites
  • “My child gets to pick 2 pieces from trick or treating. The #switchwitch gets the rest (my husband takes it to school for the teacher’s lounge).” – @agbdiva

“Buy”or Trade the Candy

Another popular option, similar to the Switch Witch, is to buy or trade the candy for something else, such as money to buy a toy or a gift card to a favorite store.

  • “My kids have never done well with red 40, so a couple of years ago we started buying it from them. Nickel or dime per piece, depending on how big it is. It helps empty out my husband’s dresser tray, and keeps the kids happy.” – @sarahpchandler
  • We let them go trick-or-treating and then “buy” the candy from them and then take them shopping for a toy.” – @mrsannaalbert 
  • “We allow our kiddos to pick one or two items that don’t have food dies in them, then we let them “trade” the rest for a Target gift card. They are 8, 5 & 4.” – @kara_thewholemomma
  • “Treat the candy like currency. Buy some toys at the dollar store and have your child buy the toys from you with candy. Like 8 mini candy bars is for a hot wheels car etc. in the end maybe they just keep like 5 favorite pieces of candy instead of 100! It has worked for my younger kids.” – @katieam9

Let it go

  • “I don’t eat any candy with peanuts so that makes it easy for me because it rules out most chocolate! I’ve been thinking about this since I’m expecting my first, and I definitely plan to take him trick or treating and let him enjoy candy. I don’t want it to seem forbidden since that’s not how I grew up and so I learned to self-monitor.” – @sappolivia
  • “I never really regulated candy with my kids. We had a candy drawer in our house. Since it wasn’t some big forbidden thing, it’s never been an issue. They regulate themselves really well. My youngest just completed a Whole30 at age 13 and my oldest has done 3 rounds of Whole30! For Halloween the candy always went into the candy drawer after they took their favorites. It usually sat there until I threw it away months later.” – @whole30badasses
  • “I struggle with wanting to micromanage their candy intake on Halloween because I fear they’ll form an unhealthy relationship. By letting them indulge on holidays, I hope they learn that candy is for special occasions. Halloween night is a night of no limits on candy, but I do teach them to listen to their bodies and to stop when their tummy says stop.” – @debenemomma
  • “We eat candy around Halloween and when we get tired of it in a couple days, we donate it to a homeless shelter.” – @leistieboys 

Alternative “treats”

The Teal Pumpkin Project has risen in popularity in the past few years to accommodate children with food allergies. Here are some ideas for alternatives to candy.

  • “I hit the Target Dollar Bin section for glow bracelets. – @mommywantcoffee
  • “We’re that family that gives out pencils!” – @allysonburgin
  • “Apples or organic popcorn!” – @marnathea
  • “We’re handing out fruit snacks this year That’s a step up from turning out our light because I’d been boycotting all the candy!” @running_for_our_dreams
  • “I don’t buy candy to give out that I like so I’m never tempted to eat it. I also buy a non-candy item to give out in addition to candy, either stickers or pencils.” – @brittmsmith15
  • “My kids don’t really like candy, especially chocolate. They love the houses that give out pennies, bouncy balls, stickers and one house last year gave out fidget spinner which was a HUGE hit.” – @wholefoodforall
  • “My boys have nut, dairy, and egg allergies (aka 90% of Halloween candy!). I’m trying to teach them Halloween isn’t a bummer just because you can’t have the candy.” – @christineclemmer
  • “We will provide some healthier treats for my son and let him go trick-or-treating to have fun, but also using it to try and teach him that fun things don’t always have to involve candy or food. We got our kids fun bags with all sorts of Halloween themed items like tattoos, pencils, notepads, etc.” – @wondeckerfullife

Have you dealt with Halloween candy in a different way? We’d love to hear your how you’re planning to navigate it on Facebook or Instagram!