Many Seattle and Puget Sound area dentists pariticipate in the Halloween Candy Buyback program. Buybacks are held at local businesses, most often dental offices. But many other local businesses participate. The goal is to remove excess Halloween candy from kids, while supporting American troops and charitable causes.
Participating businesses offer different ways to buy back kids’ Halloween candy: cash, xylitol products, coupons, toothbrushes, or other creative exchanges. They might partner with other local businesses to give away coupons for food, services, and goods. They can give away hygiene kits or coupons for their office.
Most participants collect the candy the day after Halloween, but be sure to check with your selected business for the details of their exchange: date, time, and details of their buyback. The candy collected from kids is sent to Operation Gratitude to be used in Holiday Care Packages for our troops overseas.
Everybody wins: the kids have fun on Halloween and get some treats to enjoy, but give their excess candy to brighten the day of an American Hero.
Parents guide to Halloween candy
Like many other distractions from video games to the latest fads in fashion or music, there’s no one right way to handle Halloween candy. The following lists summarizes tips from parents on how they approach the Halloween season. Adjust ideas on an age-appropriate basis.
- Start ahead of time to discuss Halloween traditions.
- Involve them in the planning and decision process about costumes, parties and trick-or-treating.
- Set limits on candy consumption, anything from number of pieces per day (two after dinner), the total number of pieces (health experts suggest 10-15 pieces), or a candy eating binge on Halloween night. Some parents let children choose a certain number of pieces, and the rest goes to a candy buyback.
- Especially before a Halloween party or trick-or-treating, make sure the kiddos get a high protein meal and drink lots of water, which can help deter excessive candy consumption.
- This is purely anecdotal, but I notice when pickled foods are served with a meal, then tendency to want sweets after the meal seems diminished. Maybe I just hope that it does. Note that some pickles contain sugar.
- Most parents check their children’s candy for anything dangerous. Fresh fruit should be washed and cut into small piece; check for needles, razor blades, pins and shards of glass. Unless they came from friends or family, discard any homemade treats including baked goods, popcorn balls, and caramel apples. Any candy not in original packaging, already open, or torn should be discarded. When in doubt…throw it out.
- Most parents eat some of the child’s candy. So go ahead, indulge a little.
- For older children and teens, discussion about candy can lead to a discussion about how to eat right, yet enjoy desserts and sweets.
- It’s also a good time to reinforce proper teeth brushing, especially right after eating candy.
- What’s the worst kind of candy? Any candy made of pure sugar. Nutrition experts weigh in with this list of the worst types of Halloween candy.
- Want some healthier candy choices? (Though we admit “healthy candy” is an oxymoron.) RealSimple magazine compares the nutrition of popular candies and also suggests healthier alternative choices. Other nutrition experts recommend alternative snacks, such as nuts, popcorn, and sugarless gum.
How to participate in the Halloween Candy Buyback
To find a participating buyback in your area, use the ZIP code search at the top of this page to find a buyback near you.
You may also ship your candy directly to non-profit Veterans’s organizations, by filling out the donation form on at halloweencandybuyback.com.