Mom's Candy Shop

 
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Anyone have a kid that likes candy? OF COURSE YOU DO! My oldest was in preschool this past year and I was faced with a tough candy reality. No matter how hard I try to make healthy choices for my kids they will always bring candy home from somewhere else at some point. This year I realized that school was the candy nemesis! I learned it the hard way.

Picture a mom (me) reading all the awful ingredients in all the most popular candies. Now imagine it was around Easter time (because it was actually about a week and a half before Easter) and that mom was trying to figure out how to give her precious kids Easter baskets that weren’t totally filled with junk candy. She did her homework! She ordered some awesome organic candy from Amazon and went to Whole Foods for others. She was so excited for her girls to see their baskets and she was pretty proud that all their candy wasn’t full of harmful dies and toxic ingredients. She knew their candy would still contain quite a bit of sugar but she figured she could overlook that on special occasions, right?

She made their baskets look gorgeous with natural dried grass (none of that synthetic bright green stuff that burns up your vacuum if you’re not careful), healthier candy, and a couple of non-edible trinkets. It was all topped off with a giant pink bow.

Enter the Pre-K Easter egg hunt at school. My kid took off like a lightning bolt when her teacher instructed them to “go!” She had a mid egg-hunt collision with another kid, pulled herself up and stayed the course. Each kid had 15 eggs when the hunt was over. 15 eggs filled with candy (about 45 pieces to be exact). The junk candy that I tried so hard to keep from my kids. 15 eggs staring back at me and laughing, telling me I would be a bad mom if I didn’t let her eat some, and of course I did. Right there in the school courtyard all my ‘healthier candy’ dreams were shattered and I asked myself, “why the heck did I even try?”

My next question was, “how do I get ahead of this same problem the next time and not have to feel like a terrible mom for not wanting my kids to have this junk?” I thought about it awhile. I wanted them to participate in celebrations and get excited about having candy every now and then, but I didn’t want them to have “THAT CANDY.”

So, I made my own candy shop. Mom’s Candy Shop, where you can buy better candy. Mom’s Candy Shop does not take money however, Mom’s Candy Shop only accepts junk candy as a trade. That’s right, my kids know about junk candy (because I talk to them about healthy choices and ingredients all the time) and they know Mom will take the junk candy in trade for anything in Mom’s Candy Shop they want! They can trade every…single…piece. Of course I wont let them eat it all at once, but they can trade it all and eat it over time.

BREAKING NEWS, MY KIDS ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS IDEA AND IT TOTALLY WORKS!!!

The key is to make your candy shop look more exciting and inviting than the junk you don’t want them eating! I bought the cutest plastic unicorn box to keep all my candy in. Make sure your box has an airtight lid, because another key to this working is having your shop stocked all the time. You never know when they will bring home something they want to trade. When they do, I just reach for the already stocked candy box and open the shop!

 
Unicorn Box from Hobby Lobby

Unicorn Box from Hobby Lobby

Make sure you have an air tight lid so that your candy does not get stale.

Make sure you have an air tight lid so that your candy does not get stale.

 
 
 

The next step is to get a couple different cute bags. Make the shop as colorful as you want! I have girls, so unicorns, mermaid tails, and pink go over pretty great! If you have boys there are lots of boy options as well! I found some super cute and cheap pink paper bags at Hobby Lobby. I also found some mermaid tail Zip-lock bags, also at Hobby Lobby… yay Hobby Lobby!

 
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NOW FILL THE BAGS!!! I put a couple pieces in each bag, for example an almond butter cup and a lollipop, or some chocolates and a lollipop. I put the loose candy in the airtight ziplock bags.

 
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Now fill your cute box with your candy filled bags! The sky is the limit on how creative you want your shop to look. I’ve kept my shop simple so that restocking doesn’t take too much time or prep.

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Below are a few of my favorite candy options for my kids. My youngest LOVES M&M’s and so I found these amazing M&M-like candies called chocolate gems from Unreal. They have more than one kind of M&M-like candy. The ones below are crispy chocolate and are great! When you open the bag they are loose and so I put these in the mermaid Zip-locks to keep them airtight.

Also from the Unreal products I get dark chocolate almond butter cups. Ok grown ups, you better have a will power of steel if these are in front of you! These are amazing! I could sit and eat the entire bag, yikes! They come individually wrapped so these go in the cute little pink paper bags.

MY KIDS MOST FAVORITE CANDY ARE THE YUM EARTH ORGANIC POPS! Ya’ll these are so good! There are a ton that come in a bag so I can restock my shop with these for a long time with just one bag!

Last but not least, sometimes I get this Simply Gum. I let my oldest have this sometimes, but mostly it’s for mom! If I had one complaint about this gum it would be the use of soy lecithin. I usually stay away from soy, that’s why this gum is not something I buy a lot.

 
ingredients: dark chocolate (*organic chocolate liquor, *organic cane sugar, *organic cocoa butter, organic vanilla), *organic cane sugar, organic quinoa crisp, colored with (beetroot juice, carrot juice, hibiscus juice, annatto extract, turmeric extract, red cabbage juice), tapioca syrup, sugar, gum acacia, vanilla extract, carnauba wax.

ingredients: dark chocolate (*organic chocolate liquor, *organic cane sugar, *organic cocoa butter, organic vanilla), *organic cane sugar, organic quinoa crisp, colored with (beetroot juice, carrot juice, hibiscus juice, annatto extract, turmeric extract, red cabbage juice), tapioca syrup, sugar, gum acacia, vanilla extract, carnauba wax.

ingredients: dark chocolate (chocolate liquor*, cane sugar*, cocoa butter*, organic blue agave inulin+, sunflower lecithin, organic vanilla*), almonds, organic cane sugar*, organic palm oil+, organic blue agave inulin+, organic coconut flour, salt, sunflower lecithin.

ingredients: dark chocolate (chocolate liquor*, cane sugar*, cocoa butter*, organic blue agave inulin+, sunflower lecithin, organic vanilla*), almonds, organic cane sugar*, organic palm oil+, organic blue agave inulin+, organic coconut flour, salt, sunflower lecithin.

Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Natural Flavors, Colored With Concentrate (Carrot, Blackcurrant), Colored With Organic Concentrate (Carrot, Apple, Blackcurrant), Turmeric (Color), Organic Annatto (Color).

Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Natural Flavors, Colored With Concentrate (Carrot, Blackcurrant), Colored With Organic Concentrate (Carrot, Apple, Blackcurrant), Turmeric (Color), Organic Annatto (Color).

Organic raw cane sugar, all natural chicle, all natural mint, organic vegetable glycerin, organic soy lecithin, organic rice flour.

Organic raw cane sugar, all natural chicle, all natural mint, organic vegetable glycerin, organic soy lecithin, organic rice flour.

 
 

I have listed a few more organic candy options below! Click the photo to shop the options! Now go open your candy shop! Who knows what Halloween will bring! I may up my game and add some trinkets that will cost 15-20 pieces of candy!!!

 
Kate Bowman