Motherhood

A Big Guide to Halloween Candy Trading

Halloween candy trading guide

There are only two days until Halloween!!! The most high-stakes part of the evening is, of course, the trading of candy. After interviewing 10 kids between the ages of 5 and 14, we put together THE official guide…

Halloween candy trading guide

Snickers and Reese’s are at the top of the heap. One of those is worth two of the candies in the row below, and so on. And no one cares about raisins.

Here are some ways you can trade!

Halloween candy trading guide

Finally, eight-year-old Toby, five-year-old Anton and their five-year-old friend Lincoln weigh in.

How would you describe candy?
Lincoln: Some are chewy.
Anton: A lot is chewy! Basically all of them!

What if someone gives you raisins?
Lincoln: That would be terrible. So terrible.
Anton: I would be like, uh, excuse me, it’s Halloween! That’s more like snack time!

What’s the best color M&M?
In unison: Red.

How many pieces of Halloween candy do you usually get?
Toby: 500!
Anton: 16!

Thoughts? Do you agree? Disagree? Please weigh in below!

P.S. 8 great Halloween costumes, and the funny things kids say.

(Graphic design by the wonderful Erin Jang for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Erin Mary says...

    I always hated chocolate growing up, so I make a KILLING with trades. I got all the Twizzlers, Starbursts, and Nerds, all for the low low price of one gross Snickers! :)

  2. Shannon says...

    This will have me smiling for days! The sheer joy of it all, year after year after year…

  3. Naomi says...

    “Anton: I would be like, uh, excuse me, it’s Halloween! That’s more like snack time!”
    I was sipping on some tea whilst reading this and some may have come out of my nose when I read that. He sounds so serious and so cute!!

  4. Sorry Toby, no one is my family likes plain m&m’s.

  5. Lisa says...

    My two year old daughter wanted to go trick or treating like her older brother, and went to our three closest neighbors. She stuffed herself with the candy in typical high speed manner, then looked disgruntledly down on the huge remaining pile of nuts and raisins in her bucket and said “It’s empty!” There it is – even two year olds know what’s Halloween and what’s not.

  6. Emily says...

    “I like them in real life but not on Halloween” that’s such a great quote.

  7. This is adorable, such an original story idea and I love the design too! I totally agree that Snickers and Reese’s are the crème de la crème! Sour Patch are next in line for me :)

  8. Tammy says...

    Haha I love this! “No one cares about raisins” totally relatable and so true! Happy Halloween ladies <3

  9. janine says...

    My son is 7 1/2 and almost never gets sick… yesterday I picked him up from school and he sounded TERRIBLE… last night he got a fever, and was coughing and losing his voice. I called his pediatrician’s office’s on call doctor, and she recommended we keep him home from school today (and we put the doctor on speaker phone so he could hear it straight from her). He burst into tears because he doesn’t want to miss the Halloween fun!! But we convinced him that it’s better to skip school and rest up (who needs that classroom party with healthy snacks and no candy, right?!) so that he feels well enough to go trick or treating later!

  10. Sasha L says...

    This is super cute.

    I do have to tell Toby though, I don’t like M & M’s. Not with peanuts. Not in trail mix. Not in monster cookies. Not even when my daughter used to call them Auntie Em’s (wizard of Oz) and it was so adorable. So not quite everyone loves them 😉 I would trade Toby ALL of my Auntie Em’s for just a couple Reeses, which EVERYONE truly does like (except for peanut allergies).

  11. Kim says...

    Hey Cuo of Jo,
    Are there any good charities we can send leftover Halloween candy to?

    • Leah says...

      A dentist near us buys candy from kids ($2/lb maybe?) and then donates the candy to a charity that sends them in care packages to people serving in the military overseas. You might do a Google search for something like that.

  12. Kirsten says...

    Oh man, I would make out like a bandit cause I’m not so into chocolate candy but I love me some York patties and Starbursts.

  13. t says...

    Do you all limit how much your kids are allowed to eat on halloween? it is kinda a free for all in our house for one night only.

  14. Colby says...

    The charts are brilliant.

  15. GIVE ME ALL THE ALMOND JOYS :)

  16. Eva says...

    …I don’t like M&Ms! I like chocolate, and Reese’s, but the candy coating around the M&M ruins it for me. If it was acceptable to put a handful of chocolate chips in a ziplock bag and hand that out for Halloween, that would be my favorite treat.

  17. Emily says...

    I just LOL’d

  18. Jane I. says...

    This is so precious. :) I cannot wait to have a little one to take Trick or Treating.

  19. Emily Getty says...

    I LOVE the posts that include dialogue from your boys, Joanna!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so funny!!

    • Kim G says...

      OMG!

  20. Amber says...

    Team Almond Joy for life! Even as a little kid, I would trade my whole basket for just almond joys if I could!

    • talia says...

      Me too!

    • Danielle says...

      Me three! Will still only eat the coconut chocolates from a Valentine’s Day heart as well

  21. Hahah I love this article! The littles are so cute! And I have to say I totally agree with their choice of what’s the best Halloween candy! I love my Reeses! I hope you are having a wonderful Tuesday! Love your blog!

  22. Anna says...

    I’ll take allllll of the York peppermint patties, thanks.

  23. Haha this is so great Joanna! I was always up for trading with my brother, Reese cups for dark chocolate almond joys or fruit leathers. Fruit leathers were kinda like the “raisins”, no one liked them, but I was that kid.

  24. I hate to break it to Toby, but I don’t like M&Ms! haha
    I do however love sour patch kids, so I think that that makes up for it. Right? (:

  25. Stephanie says...

    Am I the only one eye-rolling the Switch Witch? I totally get it for kids with allergies, but it just makes me long for the simple days of the 80s and 90s, when it was no big deal to be a kid for a night–way too much candy, crappy homemade costume and all (said with love!).

    I’m even (should I admit this?) questioning why I have to to negotiate with the purchase of a new toy to take candy away? If you’d rather your kids not eat so much candy, maybe just say so and explain why. We use this tactic throughout the year for other scenarios and I find it works really well–and will hopefully teach my kids to make smart choices not for the reward that follows but simply because it’s the best decision for the long term.

    • nora says...

      Different things work for different families, but I kind of get what you mean. After a few days we pull out the “best” candy left and get ride of the rest (aka I bring it to the office). We just say Halloween is over. Womp womp!

    • Laura says...

      I’m 100% with you. It’s just one night, and you only get to Trick or Treat for a tiny slice of your life – enjoy it.
      And I’m of the opinion that teaching kids to make smart choices for themselves is better than just removing the situation (candy) entirely.

    • Alexandra says...

      I’m with you – food allergies aside, I hate the idea of a Switch Witch. If you’d rather your kids not eat so much candy, why not just limit their route or the number of houses they go to? This idea of collecting additional candy that they’re not going to consume (and you know you’re not going to let them consume) just to trade in for a toy – I just don’t get it.

    • Kelly says...

      As Cup of Jo wisdom has taught us in the past, “Good for You, Not for Me!”

      We don’t do the Switch Witch, but as the parent of an ADHD kid and a toddler, I can think of lots of scenarios where ‘just say so and explain why’ doesn’t necessarily help my kids be successful. Some kids/developmental stages need stronger motivation than that to learn life skills. If Switch Witch works for your family, Switch away! If ‘just say so and explain why’ works, good for you!

    • Emma says...

      Am I the only kid who had to fight her father for candy? My parents’ simple solution was that my dad ate whatever candy I could procure from neighbors. Problem solved.

    • Hope says...

      It’s not for you. That’s fine. I don’t understand why you feel the need to write a comment putting down and judging others for how they do Halloween.

  26. I feel the need to stick up for the worth of Almond Joy and Peppermint Patties! Or not…because I’m not wild about Snickers….so
    Yes children. Give me EIGHT PIECES OF CANDY for one pathetic Snickers.
    Yes, yes…

  27. Rachel Chang says...

    100% agree – best ever post

  28. Maggie says...

    Ha! I remember every year after we got home and all of our intense trading was done, and my mom was running out of stuff to hand out, my brother and I would give her all of our Almond Joys, Mounds, and Smarties to pass out to stragglers :)

    • Anneka says...

      Smarties! So gross, but so fun to play Doctor with.

  29. Harmony Q says...

    You forgot the most impressive trade of all – when the mom manages to convince the kids that an electric toothbrush is worth the whole bag of candy! My genius mom friend taught me this trick – we don’t always manage to trade a toothbrush but a small toy usually does the trick to keep us a low sugar house.

  30. Jenn says...

    I’m a nanny in Brooklyn, and the family I sit for does something amazing – they get a visit from the Switch Witch. After Halloween, the little will choose a handful of candies to eat over the next week or two. The rest of it is left out overnight for the Switch Witch, who’s sort of like the Halloween Tooth Fairy – she takes all the candy (which is then donated to one of many worthy recipients) , and replaces it with a new toy or a few trinkets, etc. This way a child gets to experience all the fun of Halloween without the weeks’ worth of squabbles over endless candy consumption, and what candy remains isn’t simply thrown away. What a wonderful idea – I’ve been sharing it with anyone who will listen, and can’t wait to introduce my own kids to the Switch Witch!

  31. Holly says...

    BEST COJ POST EVER

  32. Joi Caplen says...

    No guides please. Let’s just keep Halloween simple. Parents these days need to organize and perfect childhood. I know this I just for fun but the parents in my office are way overboard with Halloween. By the time the night comes the kids are friggin burnt out by the parades, harvest festival, numerous dress ups and town shop trick or treating. When I was a kid you had the school parade and trick or treating. Simplify!!! Kids are better off.

  33. Kelly says...

    If you can, remember to support kids with food allergies — you can print a free teal pumpkin sign from this site and put it on your door or window so kids with food allergies know that they can trick or treat at your house because you have non-food options. Of course, you do have to have non-food options :) , but stickers, tattoos, or something of the like are usually easy to pick up with your candy.
    https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project

    • Kim says...

      Thanks, Kelly. I will try to do this next year. Halloween should include all kids.

  34. Tina says...

    This is wonderful! Thank you. Makes my week. :)

  35. Rob says...

    This is great! Love it. This year I heard an amazing idea from a friend that we’re going to implement with our kids. Because we all love candy, but hate cavities, and cringe at the idea of our kids actually eating all the candy they get on Halloween, the deal is this: if the kids want they can trade in half their candy in exchange for getting a new toy. Brilliant! My 5 year old has accepted the deal. My 2.5 year old was hard to understand, so we’ll have to ask him again. :)

  36. Kate Morris says...

    Thank you a million times over for promoting a healthy relationship with food for women and our babies. Your approach (here and elsewhere) is so good and calm and very much in line with many therapists and nutritionists who do work around Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size. Halloween is a fun holiday and is supposed to be enjoyable, candy included!

  37. Kate says...

    I’m one of the few dozen people in America who loves those orange and black wrapped chewy things that are completely blank on the label. I also love Mary Janes and caramels, so I definitely have a type!

    • jet says...

      And they only come out at Halloween! Ilike them too.

    • Caitlin says...

      Yes! Loved those weird things.

  38. Tina says...

    Love this! But let’s also not forget our family’s tradition of a history/government lesson in which we teach our children about taxes with the Halloween Candy Tax wherein citizens (kids) have to pay a portion of their income (candy) to the government (parents). I only take tax payments in the form of Reese’s and Almond Joy;-)

    • China says...

      Hahah – I love this! My kids are young enough that I can get away with just stealing their candy, but this way is so much more responsible ;)

    • Sarah says...

      Made me laugh out loud!!! Thank you!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha that’s hilarious, tina. i’ve already been having so many twixs and mini snickers after dinner! should have waited to buy our candy :)

    • Megan says...

      Yes! My dad always took 10% of all chocolate-peanut butter candy from all three kids in exchange for his services of taking us trick-or-treating and checking our candy for razor blades.

  39. Ann says...

    This was enjoyable. Mounds get no love? Those are my fav! I love the “real life” comment. Priceless!

  40. Rachel says...

    I dislike peanuts in my candy and love almond joys. I’d make out so well with this guide!

    During the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, my family was cooped up (without me) and made a chart of each of their favorite Halloween candy ranked and sent me a picture of it. Made my day.

  41. Summer says...

    omg I just loved this post! so cute!

  42. Amoreena says...

    My kids always give me their Baby Ruths. Halloween is the only time of the year I eat them!

    • Mandy says...

      In my area growing up we lived really close to a chocolate factory in PA. As kids, we knew who’s parents worked for that company. They usually gave out full size (FULL SIZE!!) candy bars. (I work for that company now) <3 I love Halloween

  43. Alison says...

    what a fun post! I loved trading candy with my brother when we were kids because Reese’s were my favorite (still are!) and he hated them. We used to clean swap all my Milky Ways and Musketeers for all his Reese’s regardless of how many there were of each. Obviously I made out ;)
    Now that I’m in my 20’s I love handing out candy to the kids in the neighborhood- it’s so fun to see them all dressed up and excited! We sip wine and order pizza and sit on the stoop handing out candy – I love it!!

  44. Stacey says...

    After being totally confused by some comments about Smarties being chocolate, I had to Google. To me, Smarties are fruity/sweet/sour tablet-looking items in a roll! I had no idea! I’m going to have to try these chocolate Smarties! #candygoals

    • Amy says...

      In Canada, the “tablets” in a roll are called Rockets (and if your childhood was like mine, they were used as pretend medicine) and we have Smarties that are similar to M&Ms but not quite the same. We have M&Ms too; I personally prefer M&Ms to Smarties but I’m not sure I’m in the majority.

  45. Shiv says...

    do pretzels even stand a chance???

    • cgw says...

      nope.

      lol

  46. Bonnie says...

    It sounds so nutty to say it but one year I gave out granola bars along with the chocolate options and EVERY single kid picked the granola bar from the big bowl. The parents, selecting for really young kids, took the Reese’s and m&ms, etc., but to the last child, every single one chose granola bars. And I’m not in some uber-healthy area…

    • PJ says...

      In college, I nannied and went trick or treating with my charge in Davenport, California. A lot of Brussels sprouts were grown in that area. One house always offered a choice of roasted Brussels sprouts OR packaged candy. So many children chose the veggies!

  47. Alex says...

    “Nobody doesn’t like M&Ms. Basically that would be impossible” That had me laughing out loud. And my boys agreed. Last year my kids were given crispy veggie sticks by a well meaning elderly couple. My boys were gracious but so confused. Haha!

  48. My friend’s lovely child, Leo, has INAD (described as a mix of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s for kids). This Halloween they are attempting to raise awareness (and funds) through their “Get a Kiss, Give a Kiss” campaign. If your child receives a Hershey’s Kiss while trick-or-treating this year consider donating a dollar for every kiss received. You can also send actual bisous to Leo on Instagram to raise awareness and send love. Please consider reading more about it here:

    https://inadcure.networkforgood.com/projects/57415-bisous-for-l-o
    https://inadcure.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/GiveKissGetKiss.pdf

  49. Laura says...

    We don’t get any trick or treaters, unfortunately. Our house is in the middle of nowhere in the forest and has a long spooky laneway. I always buy candy and put out a jack o’lantern anyway just in case. My plan is that if a trick or treater is brave enough to venture up to our house they will be richly rewarded and get ALL the candy. It hasn’t happened yet but I hold out hope.

    • cgw says...

      This sounds like a premise for some adventurous (fairy) tale!!

  50. Laura says...

    Oh man, my brother did that. He would log all his candy, separate it in to types and store them all in mason jars in his closet and then eat only a small amount every day. The candy would basically last him until the next Halloween. This was tough for my sisters and I since we would eat all our candy right away and then have to see all his candy still in his closet (amazingly we never stole any of it).

  51. alice says...

    I’m in the U.K. so we have a slightly different line up but I can see the subs. Red, yes, always and forever, but twix would be at the top of my pile. This year my four year old found marshmallow eyeballs at the corner shop. They’re contending for a top spot.

    My favourite is Anton’s “I like them in real life, but not on Halloween”
    Bring on the candy and the fantasy of it all (I have spiders in cobwebs all over my flat, hair, and bowl of cereal).

  52. Lucy says...

    I would like to take a moment to defend the honor of the much maligned DumDum lollipops! They were always my favorite as a kid, especially the mystery flavor!

  53. Sour Patch win for me EVERY time – although as an Adult – I’m not sure anyone is asking my opinion as it’s been a great many years since I’ve been trick or treating haha!!

    Rebecca

  54. Sadness as I live in the UK and not in a residential area so no trick or treating for us!

  55. EvitaM says...

    Anton’s a cool dude: “Excuse me, it’ s Halloween…” :D

  56. Caitlin says...

    My version of all this was to trade my stash bit by precious bit for my younger brother to leave me alone! One Reeses equalled 10 minutes peace.

  57. Andrea says...

    In Canada it’s all about the Coffee Crisp bars. Hands down.

    • Amy says...

      Oh for sure. I tell my kids they’re too young to have coffee so those ones are for the grown ups!

  58. Snickers? At the top?! That’s crazy talk

  59. Laurel says...

    Easily one of the best posts ever. I love it!

  60. Courtney says...

    Thanks for posting something light right now :) Can’t wait to steal All my son’s Reese’s. Obviously.

  61. Anne says...

    Sugar daddies and sugar babies were always at the TOP.

  62. Katie says...

    This was so fun! Although I just don’t think you can beat a Kit-Kat…

  63. Holly Stuermann says...

    My grandsons dentist has a candy trade-in. The kids bring it in he weighs it out. All the candy brought in is packed up and sent to active duty military. The grandkids now know on Halloween night after trick or treating they can pick out their favorite 5 pieces of candy and the rest goes to the dentist.

    • Love this!

    • Kelly says...

      our dentist and my kids’ school do this too. does anyone else feel guilty about sending the candy that we don’t want bc it’s unhealthy to the military??? or to anyone really. I’m still scratching my head on this.

    • Akc says...

      dentist here :). My office use to do “candy buyback.” We used a third party that we mailed the candy to for the troops and they were very specific about what was accepted… I felt a bit guilty about it- paying kids for their reject candy, throwing mass amounts of candy away and the shipping the “accepted” sugary treats. I think treats are a great on occasion, but I have a huge problem with sugar consumption and waste… So I give out non food treats. And toothbrushes. The kids like the brushes (they’re black and orange) and the parents enjoy making fun of my husband (They assume my husband is the dentist!)

      Teeth wise a one night candy binge for your child is better than eating more candy slowly over days/weeks.

  64. Jaclyn says...

    Taking my daughter trick or treating for the first time this year and I am more excited than I probably should be to eat most of her candy. Haha!

  65. Annie says...

    Aren’t Reeses, M&M and Snickers all made with peanuts? It made me sad to see my daughter having to give away half her candies at the end of the evening because of her allergies. Please keep this in mind when choosing the treats you’ll give.

    • Kate says...

      Not M&Ms, although you’d have to watch for may contains.

    • Jill says...

      My son has a peanut allergy too. I make sure we are stocked with his favorites and hold back a bunch so he gets to trade me at the end of the night. Then I toss all the peanut candy back in the bowl and set it on our porch and the last stragglers of the night scoop it up.

    • Suz says...

      My son has multiple food allergies including peanuts. So he’s giving away most of his candy. The other day he was vomiting all afternoon after eating his first Twizzlers which he got at an early trick or treating event, because it didn’t occur to us that Twizzlers would contain wheat, which he’s allergic to. WHY would Twizzlers contain wheat?

    • aleksandra says...

      twizzlers contain wheat so they wont stick together in the package…. :(

  66. Kelly says...

    My mom got gummy vampire fangs at the candy store, those should be fun! I always loved things I’d never see otherwise, like the fruit flavored tootsie rolls and the Utz cheez balls. I actually really like when places give chips! I have low blood sugar, so as a kid, my brothers wound up with most of my candy and I wound up with all the chips and a few precious fun size bars that I managed to hide from my mom. I think it would be fun to give out whoopi cushions or wind-up racecars to other littles like me!

  67. Mer says...

    Butterfingers for the win!

    • Jess says...

      Second this! Also, have you tried the Butterfinger peanut butter cups? They are SO yummy!

    • alanah says...

      My boyfriend and I have an ongoing battle about butterfingers. I think they are the devil’s candy and he thinks they are the best candy in the universe. His birthday is Halloween (10/31) so I give him a load of butterfingers every year as a demonstration of the unselfishness of my love.

  68. Rachel says...

    My (evil? jk) genius mother used to steal pieces of our favorite candy from our Halloween haul save it for our Christmas stockings. We had no clue until she told us as adults!

  69. April says...

    My kids and I have a standing agreement….all 100 Grand bars go to me to cover the cost of Halloween costumes! Yum! :)

    • cgw says...

      YES!! I am actually dressing up as 100 Grand for Halloween at work tomorrow!!

  70. Vicki says...

    Almond Joy at the bottom – come on! I actually always home my boys get Almond Joy or Mounds because they don’t like them so all coconut candy is mine!!!
    I love this sorting and trading the candy was always favorite part of Halloween

  71. Sacha says...

    Kind of true, but sad… my son is allergic to peanuts, cashews and pistachios so can’t eat the candy that’s ‘worth’ something in the Halloween guide. What rank does playdoh, stickers, temporary tattoos and Made Good bars get because those are what kids like him will be trading it all in for. (For anyone handing out non-candy treats this Halloween, thank you SO SO much!!! ).

    • Summer says...

      Made Good Bars are wonderful! I was so psyched to see that they have made mini’s for Halloween treats.

  72. Mag says...

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween and the act of it! But I’m having a hard time thinking about what’s in candy and allowing my kid to eat copeous amounts. We definitely have limits and my son can pick his favorites and then we send the extra to troops overseas. But I just cringe when he eats this garbage. I wish I was oblivious like when I was kid!

  73. Berta says...

    This is wonderful!!!!

  74. Roxana says...

    Haha! This is hilarious. Totally making me laugh.

    However, these kids have it all wrong! ALMOND JOYS ARE AWESOME. And what’s with the low regard for Starbursts??

    Banana candy sucks. Yuck. I love bananas, but there is something about
    banana flavored candy that is all wrong. I don’t know a single kid who has ever liked banana flavored candy. It’s down there with black licorice (blegh) and black jelly beans at Easter.

    Also, Toby is ADORABLE, but I disagree about M&Ms :(. However, he and I are totally sympatico over Sour Patch. Mmmm. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

    Anton’s “in real life” distinction is awesome.

    One year, the old lady in our neighborhood forgot and handed out bunches of grapes :(. Poor woman. I remember all of us being like “Errr. . . thanks!” Because even in first grade I think we felt more badly for her than we did about being handed a random bunch(let) of purple grapes.

  75. Marianne says...

    When my little guy was 3-4 years old. He would give people back anything that wasn’t a sucker, and place it back in their bowl. Now I have to bribe him to give me a single piece of his candy stash! Peanut butter cups and kit kats are the favorites around here.

  76. Liz says...

    Loved this so much. Sour Patch kids ARE the happiest candy.

  77. Sara says...

    The number 1 candy in our house on Halloween is the Take 5 bar. I know they’re available year-round, but we only buy them on Halloween because I can eat a whole bag all by myself. Yes, I know that’s problematic. LOL.

    • Margaret Maley says...

      Take 5 are amazing!!

  78. Bailey says...

    I basically agree with all these kids EXCEPT for the Almond Joy. Give me all the Almond Joy and Mounds bars. Even as kids those were prized candy bars in my household (though can anything beat a full-size Reese’s PB Cup?!). When I was a kid, my parents gave trick-or-treaters the option of candy or non-candy things like toothbrushes(!), Halloween-themed pencils, erasers, and notepads. You’d be surprised how many kids chose the non-candy!

    • Jeannie says...

      What a great idea! And whatever’s leftover of the non-candy could totally be used for the following year. Brilliant! Definitely doing this for my neighborhood kids.

  79. Erin says...

    When I was growing up my younger sister would keep a log of her candy inventory. I still make fun of her about that. Nothing was getting past her!

  80. Kaitlyn S says...

    My husband and I had a long, sincere conversation in our Target last week about what kind of Halloween house we would be – a cool house or an “okay” house. We even had strangers weighing in, giving us their opinions! We now have a front hall closet full of snickers and reese’s and I’m so happy to see them at the top of the pyramid. My husband was astounded to learn, in the meantime, that I legitimately hate snickers. I like twix and kit kats, and gummy candy – basically any kind. So I’m safe from the Halloween candy even though we’re “cool”.

  81. kate says...

    Smarties are not the equivalent to M&Ms! Smarties are far far superior to M&Ms and actually taste like chocolate. Nobody in their right mind would ever trade a Smartie for a mere M&M or a Snickers or a Peanut Butter Cup. Smarties are the gold standard. This is an indisputable fact!

    • Kate says...

      fyi Smarties in the US are not a chocolate candy and are definitely NOT equivalent or better than m&ms! https://www.smarties.com/

    • Jo-Anna says...

      Maybe you’re Canadian like me! In Canada, we have Smarties, which are candy coated chocolates like M&Ms. But in the States they don’t have them! So Smarties in the states are what we call Rockets, powdery sugar pellets. That was confusing to learn as an adult.

    • Jillian says...

      Canadian here! I don’t get a lot of kids on my road, so I just bought a bunch of full size boxes of Smarties for tomorrow night. I love seeing these comments – I feel like I just performed some sort of patriotic duty! Also, no plastic wrappers. ;)

  82. jen says...

    Too many of the homes in our neighborhood give out “healthy” treats like pencils, tattoos, glow-in-the-dark whatevers, Annie Organic bunny gummies, etc….so we go to another neighborhood where we get a real buffet of candy selection. And then after our 5 year old goes to sleep, we seriously pare down her “haul” and hide the rest for our evening snacking. ha! Can’t wait for Wednesday! ;)

  83. Elisabeth says...

    Almond Joy is TOPS! Anton gets it.

  84. Cailin says...

    Haha this is amazing. I am team Anton and think Almond Joys are the best candy ever. I’ll be happy to receive eight for my one snickers bar.

    And raisins are totally worthless.

  85. Tami says...

    Hooray for kid interviews! Toby and Anton crack me up.
    5-14 y/o’s like Snickers? Who knew?
    In our house, those go straight into the “old lady” candy category with Milky Ways and Mary Jane’s (my Grandmother LOVED all of them back in the day).
    Kit Kats rule – now and forever.

  86. Sara says...

    What….no Butterfingers?? Those are the best!!

  87. Christine Hart says...

    Smarties (American Rockets) are worse than raisins.

    • Chloe says...

      Truer words have never been spoken

  88. Veronica says...

    Oh my gosh, I wish my son were older. It seems like I could get all of his almond joys and peppermint patties and we’d both be happy. Maybe next year he’ll be old enough to trick-or-treat.

  89. Hillary says...

    Reese’s are definitely the top, but I do admit to a soft spot for Three Musketeers. And I remember unwrapping all the smarties and sorting them by color. For what purpose, I have no clue. Maybe a younger me was onto a way to soothe my anxiety and candy was the medium? Maybe I should try this again?? 😊

  90. Laura C. says...

    “I like them in real life but not on Halloween” – – – > Oh, Anton 😊❤️

  91. Hope says...

    I’m a school teacher in New Jersey and the last couple of years I started hearing about the Switch Witch. The Switch Witch will trade all your candy for a new toy. Then parents get to eat the candy and the children don’t get cavities.

    • Allison says...

      We are in NJ too, and are going to do the Switch Witch with my daughter who was recently diagnosed with Celiac! the “safe” candy list is soooo confusing (regular size reeses pb cups ok but not pumpkin shaped ones…) i’ll have her trade her candy in to me, and then i’ll replace it with safe candy/treats that she likes.

    • MM says...

      We do Switch Witch too (only now the kids know it is us). We used to do a movie or toy, but now we do a trade-in where you can trade a certain number of candies for a ticket to do something fun (coffee outing with parents and no other siblings! art museum trip! trip to Target! train ride to grandma’s! staying up late 30 minutes! extra video game time!). I have to admit though, we have been guilty of “disposing” of the trade ins right into the trash.

  92. Elizabeth says...

    Also Elizabeth and also a Spree lover! But they only came in long rolls. Not small packs to hand out. :(

    • Shelby says...

      The glow necklaces would be SO fun!

    • gfy says...

      The unicorn poop is so funny! And not too pricey, thx!

  93. Ali says...

    The best houses on Halloween are the ones that give out FULL SIZE candy bars!! When we find one of the those the kids freak out. Speaking as an allergy mom, we really do appreciate the houses with the teal pumpkin and safe treats or toys, but also as the mom that has to sort out all the snickers, Reese’s, butterfingers, baby Ruth’s and peanut m & m’s and remove them from the house “to give to my co-workers”; I love eating ALL of them at work!

    • Megan says...

      Watching kids freak out when I give them full-size bars is legitimately the best thing about Halloween-and I work for one of the candy companies, where we take Halloween very seriously!

  94. Robin says...

    This is awesome, I really appreciate their insight. I’ve upscaled on the PB cups as a grown-up (thanks, Trader Joes), but can’t beat the PB and chocolate combo!

  95. Sara says...

    I love anything Reese’s but dislike most chocolate. Even M&Ms. I was usually trading to get dots or starburst or anything gummy. My mom always has us save her all our Whoppers!

  96. We’re in a new neighborhood this year, and it’s one that does trick-or-treating!! Our old neighborhood didn’t really do it. I stressed about what candy to buy–we have to make a good impression! Luckily we got plenty of snickers and reeses!

  97. Erin says...

    I love this so much!! Even if the chart is all wrong ;) :P

    For me and my brother, the main Halloween event was the *trading* of the candy. I taught my kids (ages 9, 6, 3y) how to trade candy this year, using the haul from the school event. (Side point: WHY would I need to “teach” this?) and it was exciting to see them get into it. One child is allergic to peanuts and many tree nuts, so that obv changes the chart substantially. York patties and dumdums are worth a lot more at our house than yours. lol. But then again, my brother would trade me almost anything for tootsie roll. Weirdo.

    Raisins > Chiclets. Anyone who doesn’t appreciate raisins didn’t grow up with enough chiclet homes on their block! haha

    • Elizabeth says...

      As a child, I was the one who would trade about anything for tootsie rolls. 😂

    • Eliza says...

      I have two sons, and my older son has a severe peanut allergy too. So, Halloween at our house is basically my older son trading all of his chocolate bars (M&M’s included) for my younger son’s Twizzlers, Dum Dums, and Toostie tolls. And then me and my husband pilfering the chocolate when the kids are in bed ;-)

  98. Nathalie says...

    Gonna blow Toby’s mind here – my 7 year old does not like m&m’s. In fact, she doesn’t really like any chocolate, though she sometimes tolerates it. She would trade ALL her chocolate bars for a little package of gummy bears (but not the sour kind!)

  99. Carrie says...

    Finding a Heath is like finding gold- it should be held in the highest regard. Right up there with Reeses peanut butter cups (!not! Reeses pieces) I always love a lemon flavored tootsie fruit roll too.

    For me, a perfect Halloween candy bag would have a mix of sour candy and chocolate candy with no “sweet” candy, i.e. Twizzlers, Smarties, Dum Dums!

    And no, I am not a child… just a 32 year old woman who loves Halloween candy

    • Amy says...

      Heath for the win!

  100. Rebeccah says...

    I love this post! It bring back SO many childhood memories.

    On the flip side though, this is the first year that my youngest is old enough to trick or treat but he has an allergy that restricts him from eating much of what is given out sadly. I’ve prepared a separate bowl of non-food items to give out to anyone who needs/chooses that over candy. Bring on the pencils and temporary tattoos!

    • Shelby says...

      Yes! My favorite items while trick-or-treating were fun pencils, erasers, even cans of pop (trick-or-treating makes you thirsty!) I’m sure kids will love this!

  101. Dee says...

    This is absolutely precious.

    What if someone gives you raisins?
    Lincoln: That would be terrible. So terrible.
    Anton: I would be like, uh, excuse me, it’s Halloween! That’s more like snack time!
    You made my day!!

  102. Annie says...

    My parents used to put all of the pennies they collected over the year (with a few nickels mixed in) in a big bowl and mix in plastic spider rings and then give each kid a small handful. I was mortified as a child that my house was the one giving out pennies!! But now that I have my own littles, I think they would be so excited to get MONEY in their trick or treat bag. Maybe my parents weren’t so bad after all.

    • LG says...

      When I was growing up there was this one house that was always dark, and you’d climb the steps to knock on the door, and someone on the other side would knock back. And then you’d see this terrifying wearwolf mask pop up, and he’d drop a handful of coins in your bag. It was always the last house on the block and so much scary fun!

  103. dawn says...

    Banana Laffy Taffy is always the last candy standing at our house. Usually with it’s buddy the Tootsie Roll…

    • Sharon says...

      YES!!

  104. Katie says...

    Ok but I would take the banana if it came with an individual packet of nutella…

  105. Jenny H says...

    There were two houses we avoided on Halloween as kids…
    Popcorn Balls, because no, and the worse because of the deception involved, the woman who wrapped a penny in aluminum foil to make it look like a Hershey Kiss. What a let down!

    Anton’s “real life” comment is gold.

  106. Caitlin Kunzle says...

    This is too cute. I love reading the things Toby and Anton say, and Lincoln is a welcome addition!

  107. Jenny says...

    This is adorable. Also, you can tell Toby that my almost-three-year-old recently declared M&M’s “too crunchy”, despite the fact that they’ve been her favorite treat for months. So I guess it is possible not to like them…or maybe just feel in the depths of your soul that you MUST say you don’t like them because your mom said they were good and you are almost three and have a pathological need to assert the opposite of whatever mom says. I digress…

    • Sarah says...

      Hahahaha!
      Love.

  108. TJ says...

    Where in the world did 100 Grand candy bars go? And Bottle Caps? They are magic.

    No one should ever hand put Dum-Dums. Hello, that’s what you get after a haircut. Laaaaaaame.

  109. Claire says...

    Raisins = worthless
    ha! we keep trying to explain this to my mother in law, who always wants to give kids nutritious treats at Halloween. And she wonders why she doesn’t get as many trick-or-treaters as she used to. Word gets around. The kids probably mark the curb in front of her house to let others know not to stop there, like traveling hobos used to mark houses with symbols to communicate with other hobos. Chalk drawings on the curb of pretzels and raisins to let other kids know “keep moving! no candy here”.

    • T says...

      this made me legit LOL

    • Kyra O'brien says...

      I see we have a mad man fan here!! Your comment is sooooo on point!! looove it

    • Neen says...

      Omg. Hahahahaha

  110. Rebecca says...

    Oh NO!!! I’m the horrible raisin lady! But I taped construction paper and wiggly eyes on the boxes to make them more fun. Can I show my face?!

    • shannon says...

      😂😂😂 Rebecca, there was one neighbor who always gave out raisins to us growing up. I always really enjoyed having the little box, because we only ever had the big cylinder at home and having my own little box felt special. You do you!

    • Sara says...

      You can show your face, but you might want to protect it. :)

    • M says...

      Same here! I’m the pretzel lady! But I also throw in fake spooky fingers and glow bracelets for good measure.

    • Claire says...

      Totally. Wiggly eyes redeem raisins.

  111. Stephanie says...

    Do kids still eat Smarties? Please say yes (because that’s what I bought to hand out).

    Although . . . If it’s a no I guess that’s more Smarties for me! ;)

    • b says...

      Smarties like the chalky candy or Smarties like Canadian M&Ms?

    • Twyla says...

      If you’re Canadian, then yes – Smarties are the Canadian equivalent to M& M’s. If you’re Australian, then Smarties are the equivalent to Rockets in the US, which aren’t that exciting.

    • Yes! My boys went to Lego camp one summer, and on the last day, the teacher handed out Smarties to everyone to celebrate everything they had learned that week. :)

    • Laura from Canada says...

      Smarties and M&M’s are NOT the same ;) Canadian Smarties are definitely close to M&M’s, but M&M’s are so much better!

    • Midge says...

      Stephanie, I LOVE the chalky Smarties, I think they’re a classic Halloween choice and always give them out, but all my friends make fun of me and say they’re grandma candy. Pixi Stix are super Halloween-y/ grandma-ish too.

    • Lauren says...

      Australian Smarties are delicious chocolates that come in a cute little box and are similar to M&M’s (but not the same, we also have M&M’s and they do taste different and come in different colours).
      Yes, people do still eat them (at least, 34 years olds who are nostalgic for their childhood do). Yum.

    • Allison Whitener says...

      Midge,
      My daughter is all about the smarties, too!! They are her favorite. But, she is kind of like a little 5 year old grandma, so I love the reference ;)

    • Stephanie says...

      You guys, i had NO IDEA about Canadian Smarties but now I for sure want to try them!

      I was referencing the grandma-esque, chalky version. Ha! Even better (which I’d forgotten about until now) were Smarties Lollipops. Does anyone remember those? Such a treat!

    • Midge says...

      Oh my gosh, YES, Smarties lollipops! I just found a version of them in France, of all places, and screamed out loud. They are pure nostalgia. In fact, I’m going to have one right now since my kids are in bed and I refuse to share them.

  112. Joslyn says...

    This is so timely! My husband and I like to debate the “Mount Rushmore of Things”. Basically, it is what would be the top four best things in a category . We did it for candy and I put Skittles on my Mount Rushmore, he said those were a bottom four candy. But he had the audacity to put Almond Joy on his “Mount Rushmore of Candy” and I said that was the worst candy of all time. Looks like your hierarchy above agrees with me!

    • Abbie says...

      A hahaha, what a fantastic game.

    • Lauren says...

      This sounds like a great game, especially for a long drive, or with the kids participating too!

    • Jess. says...

      The “Mount Rushmore of Things” is genius. Thank you for sharing! xox

  113. Charlotte K says...

    If I get 8 Almond Joys for a Snickers, I will take that deal, thank you very much. Almond Joys & Mounds are my two favorite American standard candy bars.

    I’m sorry to say I’ve seen a trend lately in my New England neighborhood of kids not being that excited by candy on Halloween. What.is.the.point? Glad to see that Anton has a better attitude.

    • Neen says...

      Agree! Bring on the chocolate & coconut!!

  114. Kristin says...

    Hilarious! Totally agree with all of this except kit kats should clearly be on the top row with the snickers and peanut butter cups. Other than that–perfect!

    I have taught my three kids that peanut butter cups are only for adults, and they save them all for me every Halloween. :)

    • Anna says...

      Ha! I am so going to do this if I ever have kids! :)

  115. Nisha says...

    Toby and I are basically twins. Sour Patch is legit happy-making and Almond Joy is blech. Though I have to say I like neither Snickers nor Reese’s…Kit-kats and Twix (and Whoppers!) are the ones I request (and steal) out of my kids’ Halloween stash. :D

  116. Ruth says...

    Hahaha: “red.” Remember the tan M’n’Ms?! Those were the best. :-) #80skid

    • florence says...

      Yes, tan was my fave!
      This post is beyond cute. Trading was the best…

    • Auste says...

      I boycotted the blue ones for YEARS because they replaced tan! Ha! My mom must’ve thought I was crazy (though maybe secretly pleased that i was standing up for something i believed in? Or at least happy she got to eat all the blue ones I didn’t want).

  117. Olivia says...

    Please be careful, folks, if you will, and spare a thought for all the kids out there with nut allergies. A Safe Bowl of nut-free candy is always a nice idea and a reassuring offer for kids who have to be careful. You can always put the Snickers and Reese’s in another bowl and bring that one out when you’ve checked if everyone is OK with nuts…Thanks so much! Let’s all take care of each other and stay safe this holiday. x

    • Carrie says...

      Good reminder! I’m giving out Twizzlers this year- nut and gluten free. Also, I have no self-control about Reese’s, so Twizzlers are a good option for me to have at my house too!

    • Kelly says...

      I do small toys for kids with allergies or anyone who wants them (sticky hands, erasers, spider rings, pencils, etc.). They’ve been a big hit in previous years!

    • Olivia says...

      Oh my god, I am SO sorry to tell you this, but Twizzlers have flour. They are totally NOT gluten free. Every time my celiac-afflicted husband passes a package, he points it out 😭 what a fakeout because you’d never guess!

    • Hilary says...

      Yes, licorice and twizzlers have wheat in them! Not gluten free!

  118. MA says...

    Haha! poor raisins. Bananas?! That would be insulting. I will never forget the year that I got a sandwich baggie of red jello. I was half disgusted and half kinda excited because I liked red jello! (this was the early 80s)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha MA that’s hilarious and insane. we had a dentist in our michigan neighborhood who gave out pencils!

    • Jo says...

      Some of the “healthy moms” groups I vicariously follow are all about giving out pencils, fruits etc. This comment made me LOL!! :D

    • Claire says...

      HAHAHAHAHA!! OMG this is really making me laugh. What a great way to use up those leftovers! I am picturing them waking up the next morning to find their front sidewalk all covered with red jello, and their house pelted with red globs.

    • Sandra says...

      LOL…my grandma used to give out peanuts (like, the ballpark kind still in the shell) and little plastic army guys.

  119. Janel says...

    Uh, excuse me, it’s Halloween…

    word, brother.

  120. Christina says...

    This post made my day! For some reason I found this part particularly funny: “What’s the best color M&M?
    In unison: Red.”
    Personally, I always though blue was the best!!

    • Kate says...

      Right?! Maybe this is because Toby and Anton didn’t have the joy of voting for a blue M&M…

    • T says...

      Oh, a youngin’! Blue wasn’t a choice when I was a kid.

  121. Ashley says...

    This is AWESOME!

  122. Lisa says...

    That coconut — so divisive! (Count me among the almond joy lovers.)

  123. Lauren Wallace says...

    I’m here for the Almond Joys! EIGHT for ONE Snickers or Reeses?! Oh heck no!

  124. Emily says...

    Now this is the kind of professional reporting I need you for ;) We’re taking our 2.5 year old (ladybug) trick-or-treating and she has no idea what she’s in for. The big treat so far is wearing a costume. I think the candy might blow her mind! (I will help her out.)

  125. Vanessa says...

    Omg, what a sweet post!! (Pun intended) I’m with Anton on the Almond Joys 😋

  126. Courtney says...

    This is so funny! As a teacher, I see trends in candy depending especially on the region you teach in. In the past few years, I find that super sour/fruity candy is really popular. Things with INTENSE flavor. This is not a candy, but my kids are also obsessed with Talkies and hot-lime Cheetos (see?! things with intense flavor!). Meanwhile, I only love chocolate and peanut butter so all that fruity stuff isn’t tempting at all :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha that’s so funny! what even WERE those candies? peanut butter chews?

    • Caroline says...

      Mary Janes!!! I love these but unfortunately haven’t been able to find a bag in NYC :(

    • Karen Schilling says...

      Maple-ish flavored taffy filled with peanut butter. I did like them. Not the same anymore.
      Question: If your little has allergies, what about products that state they were made in a factory that uses nuts?
      is that safe?
      Thanks,
      Karen

  127. I miss SweetTarts! Wish they would bring them back to the multipacks.

    • Elizabeth says...

      SweetTarts! I haven’t thought of those forever — thanks for bringing back great memories.

      This will really date me but am I the only one who remembers Sprees? They were kind of like SweetTarts…

    • Caitlin says...

      Ok I’m not sure where multipacks I bought but mine had SweetTarts AND SPREE!! I was so excited. Although my personal heartbreak was that I couldn’t find a multipack with Nerds… my fave.

      Also, Almond Joys are the worst. I would give them away for free haha.

    • Sharon says...

      I’m 36 and I 100% remember Sprees. And at 36, I refuse to feel dated… We have so much more time for that ;-)

    • Lindsey says...

      Oh man, I love Sweet Tarts! If I had too many they always left my tongue raw…
      Also loved sprees, and fruity mentos! Those seem in the same category to me, but fruity mentos were chewier, which I preferred. Ahh the good ol’ days!

    • Katie Larissa says...

      Elizabeth, I loved Sprees as a child! I would always choose them when my parents allowed me to choose a candy at the gas station. (Such a rare, happy treat!)

  128. Lesley says...

    Made my day! :-)

  129. katie s. says...

    Oh man – Toby and I do NOT have the same taste in candy!