How Much Halloween Candy Should We Really Let Our Kids Eat?

Originally Published Oct 31, 2019 on health and wellness | By Elizabeth Yuko

For kids — or really, anyone — the concept of trick-or-treating is pretty amazing. Not only do you get to dress up in a costume, but you are permitted to walk from house to house requesting candy. Something this magical only happens once a year, and for most parents, that’s probably a good thing. Sure you want your children to enjoy Halloween, but what should you do with their candy haul? SheKnows spoke with a few experts to find out how much candy kids should be allowed to eat, and what to do with all the leftover sweets.

Candy limits on Halloween night

So your kids come back with a bag full of sugar — what’s a parent to do? According to Dr. Gina Posner, a board-certified pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, the key is setting limits. “As a mother, I know it can be extremely difficult saying no to your child when they look so cute dressed up in their costume and excited about their treasure trove of Halloween candy after a fun night of trick or treating, but I think parents should limit their child to three to four small pieces of candy or just one larger item.”

Another strategy involves discussing the candy limitations before the kids even hit the streets. “I encourage parents to set a predetermined amount of candy that they feel is an appropriate amount prior to going out for trick or treating and discuss the amount with their children beforehand,” Dr. Tyree Winters, an osteopathic physician and board-certified pediatrician tells SheKnows. “This will set a realistic expectation for how much candy the children will be allowed after returning home, and hopefully avoid conflict later that evening.”

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