I started hearing about the concept of a Switch Witch a few years ago. I was looking for a way to make candy at holidays easier for my kiddo with gluten intolerance. We are also food dye free in our house which makes candy and treats at holidays tricky as well.
Enter the concept of the Switch Witch. She is a character, similar to Elf on the Shelf, who lives on candy. After Halloween, you leave your candy out for the Switch Witch and she magically changes your Halloween candy to a toy.
I liked the idea of swapping out my kids’ gluten and food dye laden candy. But I still wanted them to be able to enjoy Halloween candy on Halloween night like all of their friends. Plus the imagery of a witch was a little too spooky and scary for my youngest at the time. I also didn’t want to have to fool with yet another doll to keep up with or move. The Elf on the Shelf and I already have a love-hate relationship as it is.
What is The Flip Flop Swap?
This is when I came up with the Flip Flop Swap. The kids know that at the end of trick or treating I will switch their buckets of candy with allergen and food dye-free alternatives. They still get to enjoy some candy (in moderation) on Halloween night and I know that everything they are eating passes my standards.
I also use the Flip Flop Swap for any other candy the kids receive on holidays or functions. We swap out candy canes received from Christmas parades and classroom parties for versions that aren’t laden with Red Dye 40. The same goes for Valentine’s day hearts and Easter jelly beans.
If the kids get a Dum Dum from a sport or activity they know that when we get in the car I have a dye-free version waiting for them to Flip Flop Swap.
You can take this notion and run with it in whatever means you want to in your family. 99% of parenting is truly looking to see what other parents do and then taking that and putting your own spin on it. Try out the Switch Witch if you like having to deal with little stuffed critters in your house. Take the Flip Flop Swap out for a spin if you like that notion. Or come up with your own creative name and spin it however you want to.
You can use this concept anytime
We’ve used the Flip Flop Swap successfully with all kinds of holidays and instances where our kids received candy. If something is offered to us that our kids can’t have we usually just politely decline and I try to always have alternates on hand.
If our kids do receive a mass quantity of candy, like at Halloween or during a Christmas parade we just swap out the candy later.
What candy do you swap it out with?
We try to always have on hand (and hidden in the back of the pantry) gluten-free and food dye-free alternative candy for our kids. I have suckers stashed in the center console of my car just in case while we’re out and about. Being able to easily and quickly swap out that DumDum that was given at gymnastics class has saved me a lot of times.
What do I do with the candy that gets swapped?
In years past I have always sent any candy that doesn’t have food dye (because no one needs those cancer-causing ingredients in their life) with my husband to his recording studio for clients to eat. This year I plan on packaging up any good candy and sending it off to the troops.
I have found a few organizations who facilitate this:
This is just what works in our house
As always everyone parents a little differently. Some of you may roll your eyes at the notion of swapping out candy and think that kids should just eat whatever was given to them. Others of you might not let your child participate in candy holidays at all.
It takes all kinds to make a world and I completely understand that what we do might not work for everyone. But in my experience parenting has mostly been seeing what other people do, taking all the advice with a grain of salt and then trusting my momma gut to do what’s right for my family.
I hope that this was in some way helpful or inspirational for you guys.