Bad Mother Gives Away Her Children’s Halloween Candy

green container full of candies

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green container full of candies

Every November 1st or 2nd, depending on when Halloween falls, my husband loads up all the leftover candy from Halloween – including about 70% of my kids stash- and drops it off where it’s needed. The past two years have been the Boyle Center, here in Edmonton, who are more than grateful to accept candy donations from Edmontonians.

Yes. I just said we give away our children’s candy.  There goes my Mom of the Year Award.

Take a look at my post from last year. We weighed the candy. Go see how much was donated alone, after the kids chose their candy and we snacked on it.It makes me speechless every time I think about it.

Did you go read it? Ten..and a half…freaking pounds of candy and there’s a picture of me weighing it to prove it.

I love Halloween. I love the decorations, the costumes and oh yes, I love the candy. I have been a’ twittering about how much I love those mini Coffee Crisp bars and couldn’t wait for the kids to go out an’ git mama some choklit! Let’s face it. I have no willpower. None. Those mini chocolate bars call my name once the kids are in bed and their siren song lures me in.


I do not love my children eating candy for a month. It goes against everything my husband and I agreed on eating-wise. Junk food is much-loved but less eaten in our household and that’s the way it’s going to stay. Should I go on the rant about “when they have a place of their own they can eat how they want, but under MY roof..?”

Naw, that’s a boring rant. Instead, I’ll talk about why I love donating the kids Halloween candy.

Now I know they are taught it in kindergarten, but this truly teaches them to share in a way that talking doesn’t, because actions speak louder than words. We were listening to the radio the other day and they were discussing this very dilemma. One woman called in about “the Switch Witch”, her kids leave the goodies on the doorstep at night and then a present appears in its stead. Which actually isn’t that bad of an idea if your goal is to get rid of that darn sugar. But my daughter chirped at me ” Mommy! That’s not what you do, you DONATE your Halloween candy to people who don’t have any!”

And my heart grew three times that day.

Thank you Lord, I’ve done one small thing right. They may grow up to be serial killers or even worse – God forbid- politicians, but darn it, they donated their Halloween candy as children!

My children also find it exciting. Before you scoff at me and start writing a nasty comment below regarding my sanity, it’s absolutely true. When they were out last year my son wanted to keep going….and going…and going because he wanted more to donate the next day. Greed in order to do good, very Robin Hood-esque.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Because then we get home.

And the kids spend an hour delightfully picking out the best of the night, their most loved treats of all. We give them each the same sized bowl and they get to fill it. Compared to their gigantic haul, of course, it looks puny but half of the joy of our Halloween evening is choosing the perfect treats. There is no oversaturation, they appreciate every single treat that is in their bowls to snack on the next week or two. My son will sort them out, then agonize over which ones to keep, talking about each candy and it’s merits, weighing those merits carefully until he makes his final decisions.

They know their mama loves her Coffee Crisps, so a pile of those are set aside for me. I also weigh in my advice on the candy, heavily on the chocolate side but discussing with them what are the most delicious ones, which will last the longest and so on. It’s a fun family affair for us all.

The kids also get to eat as much candy as they want on Halloween night, outside of the bowl they eventually pick out. So let’s figure a good half pound of candy goes into their little gullets that night alone .

I have mentioned it before, but my husband and I do not need that candy in the house. What adult needs that temptation? Let’s face it, we have even less willpower than our children when it comes to candy.

kids watching TV while eating candies

What you see in the picture below is what each kid got to keep and the green container in the first picture of this post is what we donated. Somehow I don’t think our kids are lamenting the lack of candy they got to keep.

white container full of candies in front of little girl

I find it’s hard to write or even talk about subjects like this without coming across as over zealous. As the trying-to-one-up-you parent or holier-than-thou. But I just do not want all that candy in this dang house!!!

I am not the only one who’s looking to get rid of that extra candy come the first week of November. So for my fellow Edmontonians who think alike, here are a few places that accept candy donations and the Boyle Street Center eagerly awaits them. There is no moral dilemma about foisting candy that we don’t want our “precious children” to eat onto other people. Streetworks needs candy and the contact information is below.

The Boyle Street Center:

Boyle Street Community Services
10116 – 105 Ave
Edmonton, Alberta T5H 0K2
Office hours are from 9:00am to 4:30pm daily

By telephone: (780) 424-4106
By fax: (780) 425-2205
By email:

Streetworks is always in need of candy for their van and can be contacted via a team member at the Boyle Street Co-op (424-4106 ext 210, 211 or the Boyle McCauley Health Centre (422-7333 ext 1).

The Bissel Center will also accept candy donations.
10527 – 96 Street
Edmonton, AB T5H 2H6
P. 780.423.2285
F. 780.429.7908

YESS (the emergency youth shelter) does accept them, but every time I have called to donate they have more than enough, which is not an unhappy thing in the slightest. Give them a call if you want to find out.

I hope that everyone had a great Halloween! This was the first year that we hardly had any children show up and I am sure that has something to do with the fact that our street is only half-finished house-wise. We also have to donate an entire box of 60 chip bags that didn’t get given away, something that was unheard of at our old place. I would guess we had maybe 20 kids. I really hope that next year we get more, I love seeing the costumes and handing out candy.

I hope that helps some of you out!


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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. Debbie says

    I totally agree with your plan and your rationale. My kids got to dump their haul out, count up all the different types of candy they got and then selected 20 pieces each – put in a zip lock and put away as treats for other occasions. My husband and I have very strong feelings about junk food and, really, for my kids, the fun is in the collecting, not the eating (I still have last year’s candy in my cupboard.) But the worst part is that the chips and bars are too much of a temptation for the adults. So they have to go… so thank you for the donation suggestions.

  2. Trish says

    We do this every year. We don’t even have to limit my big girl she chooses to keep less than I would allow all on her own. And she can’t wait to do the sort. I always figure she could wait a day but she is eager to set aside the candy to give away. We have a Halloween candy fairy around here. She takes the candy that Meg leaves out and delivers it to kids in need. I think next year we will skip the middle man. I know tons of people that do this. You are not alone. It begs the question… Why do we do this trick or treating thing anyway? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • Karlynn says

      Oh, I love the trick or treating part! I wouldn’t change it for the world. This neighborhood wasn’t as bad, but our old one, seriously, almost 11 lbs of candy AFTER we all ate some and the kids picked their bowls? That’s just too much! People are pretty generous on Halloween with their goodies so passing on the generosity makes the holiday even better! Every time I see an article on this there’s usually commenters with “let kids be kids” and “stop having control issues, let them eat” so it’s always great to hear that others think the same way.

  3. Mindy says

    Doing this makes you a GREAT mother – one that SHOULD win a Mother of the Year Award.


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