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It’s OK. Limiting candy won’t ruin childhood.

Party idea sans sugar and fake-y stuff

My almost 9-year-old trick-or-treats. She roams the neighborhood with friends. She collects candy. She eats a couple pieces. But after the fun is done, we have another Halloween tradition: Divide and conquer. Anything with artificial colors, fake sweeteners, trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup and chemical preservatives gets tossed. Right in the garbage. What’s left (and there’s not much) goes in a candy jar. And that’s often the last we see of it. Out of sight, out of mind, and all that.

When Tess was in preschool, and we visited just a few neighbors’ houses, we’d let her pick a piece, dump the rest and call it a night. Now she helps me sort and toss (or sort and save for gingerbread houses). We talk about why the ingredients are bad, how they affect our bodies, and how there are better (and tastier) alternatives anyway. We do the same with birthday-party goody bags.

Some people rely on Great Pumpkins and Halloween Fairies and Switch Witches and other magical creatures that come in the night and swap candy for toys. But I’d rather have Tess involved in the process than avoid the conversation by letting some nighttime sprite do the deed. I want her to understand why we make the food choices we do. I want her to know that we can participate in cultural experiences like Halloween or state fairs or amusement parks without the obligatory bad food. I want her to know that the tired phrase “everything in moderation” is meaningless in a world of ingredients that shouldn’t be consumed at all.

Kids can enjoy Halloween without stuffing their faces or making it all about the candy. Their childhood won’t be ruined. They won’t turn all binge-y and weird and scarf every multicolored sugar nugget the minute they get the chance. Really. They won’t. That’s a myth.

What if Tess wants to eat something we’ve put in the toss pile? We let her. Because the surest way to get a kid to appreciate real food is to let her taste the opposite. The only chemical candy that has ever survived this test is Smarties, which I give a pass for food dye because they’re so pastel I figure it can’t be that much. And she eats, what, like a roll a year?

Now. Wait. Listen. Someone, somewhere, is saying some variation of this: “Sheesh. It’s Halloween. It’s one day a year. Lighten up and let the kids have their candy, already!”

But, see, that’s the problem. It’s not just one day a year. It’s Halloween night and class parties and community events and then the winter holidays and Valentine’s Day and Easter and birthday parties and swimming class and soccer games and the bank and the shoe store and restaurants with kid menus and the grandparents’ house and anyplace else kids set foot, including, of course, school. The sugar culture is so strong, the highly processed foodstuffs so epidemic, that we no longer have the luxury of viewing these things in isolation. It’s not just a few Halloween treats or one blue cupcake. It’s a crushing pile of chemical-laden pseudo food. And at some point we just have to make it stop.

So yes, I say boo.

And what say you? How do you handle Halloween at your house?

Some (post-publishing) thoughts, prompted by reader feedback on Facebook: Yes, it is wasteful to throw the candy away, and anyone who knows me in real life knows I walk the green talk in nearly every other way. (Heck, I even tote our recyclables around on road trips.) But I unapologetically draw the line at pseudo food, Halloween candy included.

Sure, we could skip trick-or-treating altogether, but childhood is short, and I’m not going to deprive my daughter of this fun tradition with her friends. We don’t canvass the entire town or collect a huge haul, so that’s something. And we not only use some candy for gingerbread houses — we’ve also done candy experiments. But, in the end, if it’s a choice between trash in the can or trash in her body, well, there’s no question for me.

Which is also, BTW, why we won’t donate candy (or Girl Scout cookies) to food pantries. And I’m not a fan of donating candy to the troops, either. As reader Casey Hinds (a former Air Force pilot) noted on Facebook, the military is trying to combat junk and improve troops’ health. Why undermine that?

The only answer, then, is for more people to make better choices about what goes in those treat bags in the first place. For great ideas, check out Green Halloween. 

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An additional note about Facebook: As much as I love the immediacy and real-time interaction Facebook offers, there’s no guarantee with Facebook’s new algorithms that all my posts will show in your news feed. (Not to be presumptuous or anything, but I assume that if you “liked” the Spoonfed Facebook page, you did so because you actually want to see what I post.) Checking the Facebook page regularly helps, as does liking, commenting on and sharing Facebook posts. But the only way to be sure you see Spoonfed blog posts is to subscribe by e-mail or RSS feed (which you can do at the top of the blog). Thanks, all.

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{ 54 comments… add one }

  • Stacy @School-Bites.com September 27, 2012, 12:25 pm

    I think why it works for you is because you do such a great job teaching and explaining WHY we want to make certain food choices. Still working on that in my house! My boys (ages 6 and 4) are the tough ones. So glad I found your blog. Very inspiring!

    • Kim T. September 27, 2012, 12:45 pm

      I’m in the same boat as you…still trying to get my daughter to care that real food is better. So I am the one who still throws things out whether she knows about it or not. I allow certain things and i’m sure my kids still eat too many things that they shouldn’t…

      • Christina October 2, 2012, 10:38 pm

        Kim and Stacy: This stuff definitely takes time, especially if you start when the kids are a bit older. But you know what they say about practice and patience… (But not perfection!)

        • Mrs. Lindsey October 8, 2013, 4:49 pm

          Teaching children to take something then throw it away is wasteful. I agree with limiting candy, however, I think an important message is missing here. If you aren’t planning to consume it, please don’t take it in the first place.

          • Christina October 8, 2013, 4:58 pm

            Mrs. Lindsey: You might re-read the end of the post, where I address this very issue.

  • Aimee Roseborrough September 27, 2012, 12:26 pm

    Last year we did the Switch Witch and our 5 year old remembers it fondly. I’m sure she will want to do it again this year, but I totally agree with your method. Any suggestions for what we can do without “bursting her bubble” or having her question all imaginary creatures (aka Tooth Fairy, Santa)?

    • Christina October 2, 2012, 10:27 pm

      Aimee: Perhaps just say that you’re doing something different this year? Without addressing the existence (or not) of the Switch Witch. Tell her she’s a bigger girl now and that you’d like her to help sort the candy and trade it in for something else (better candy, a coveted toy, whatever else the Switch Witch would have brought). Would that work, do you think?

  • Meridith September 27, 2012, 12:31 pm

    We do the Halloween Fairy at our house. “Luckily” there are many, many, many other opportunities to talk about why we don’t eat candy. My 4 year old daughter was offered a free sucker at the store the other day. She politely accepted it and then told me when we left we could just throw it away. :) Ha! The store owner was happy that he could make a little girl smile and I was happy she knew what to do. Win-win!

    • Christina October 2, 2012, 10:32 pm

      Meridith: Now, see, that’s a case where we wouldn’t have taken the candy in the first place! I find it much easier to decline (and ask Tess to decline) in situations like that vs. during a night dedicated solely to the fun of gathering loot. So far as I know, we have yet to offend a bank teller or shoe-store clerk, LOL.

  • Beth September 27, 2012, 12:52 pm

    We are extremely lucky that the two hour trick or treat time is more like a street party in our town. My nine year old is the one walking up sidewalks and saying “Hi” and “No, thanks” to candy. He comes home with about five treats and generally forgets about them by the next day. Our five year old is autistic, on gf/cf diet. There isn’t a darn thing he can have except pencils and erasers.

  • Christine September 27, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Ah,I’m vindicated for pitching a fit when I learned my son’s Mother’s Day Out teacher was giving a lollipop every. single. day. while waiting for car line. My husband didn’t get it. His teacher didn’t understand me saying no. But YES! I’m not the only one! Because good grief, those will add up! It’s not just ONE lollipop.

  • Sandra September 27, 2012, 3:38 pm

    Gah. You know I agree with you. You KNOW. But it gets so much harder with more than one kid. Twice the school, twice the friends, twice the sports … and twice the personalities. I think you got really lucky with Tess. One of my kids, I could see being the way she is. The other one? Not a chance. I make 80 percent of their meals, and they eat fast food maybe three times a year. I do what I can to keep the dyes out my house, and I made as much as I can from scratch. But I can’t summon the strength to fight this one too. It’s us against the world. Yes, it sucks, and yes, it’s ridiculous. I educate and educate. I teach them to read labels. I show them what chemicals do. I buy beet root powder. I do end up eliminating a good half of their candy (like you say, out of sight, out of mind), but for me to fight the full fight, we’d have to live on a different planet.

    • Christina October 2, 2012, 11:17 pm

      Sandra: No doubt it’s harder with more than one kid. And each child is different whether he/she is an only or one of many. But I don’t believe luck has much to do with it. Sure, individual palates may tend one way or another, but we have a lot of influence in how those palates (and habits) develop. Nature-but-also-nurture and all that. That’s not to say kids will all respond the same way or on the same timeline. But so long as we’re the primary ones feeding them, well, that goes a long way.

      BTW, none of this means you have to do Halloween the way I do Halloween. You don’t! Nobody does!

  • Robin September 27, 2012, 5:33 pm

    Thank you for speaking out about the everything in moderation idea as gospel. I do understand that motto, and I do think it applies to real food. Sure, have some additive-free ice cream, just not at every meal. But, like you, I draw the line at non-food chemicals. Artificially dyed candy can’t be ok in our family, even once a year, because of what it does to my boys.

    It kills me how every activity now has become intermarried with junk food, right down to school, like you said. My boys love a jack-o-lantern drawn on a tiny Christmas orange. We’ve done those the last two years a Halloween treat.

  • Molly Hyde-Caroom September 28, 2012, 3:25 am

    We have done everything from having our own halloween parties to staying a night in a hotel and swimming in the pool instead. Since half of the fun for Halloween is dressing up, when my kids go out for trick or treat, we try to have them focus on the socializing aspect and not the amount of candy they get. We also discuss all the ingredients and then trade them in for a trip to a “healthy” bakery that uses fresh, whole ingredients or organic chocolate or healthier treats that we usually don’t allow. What I noticed the most was that when my kids have had a treat that was not good for them (ie a birthday party where it would have embarassed the hostess for my kids to turn it down and I didn’t know what to do at the time) they didn’t like the taste of it. It is not easy and I know a couple pieces won’t kill them but WOW, it is so much a part of our society that it drives me crazy. We homeschool now but when my kids were in public school they were given candy as treats or rewards ALL THE TIME! So hard to control when you are trying to make good choices for your family.
    Thanks for a site of like minded people, we are out here and there are ways to make this happen!

  • Shaunna@mamas13minutemile September 28, 2012, 10:47 am

    My little one is too young to get the concept but we are taking trick or treating. Her auntie and dad will probably gobble up the candy themselves. I will leave it 1 week in the house and then toss it. I like how you explain the reason why you toss as opposed to a sneaky trick :)

  • Magda September 28, 2012, 12:50 pm

    My kids don’t trick-or-treat but I use a similar method as you when my older one (8 YO, in 3rd grade) brings home candy from school for various reasons, mostly holidays. We go through it together and most of the time the only stuff left is chocolate (true: it’s Hershey’s, but still chocolate). Most candy gets tossed. Like you said, it’s not only once a year… there is so much candy coming in from school!! I do educate my son whenever I can and he knows (at least theoretically) what’s good for him and what’s not.

  • Lana September 28, 2012, 3:10 pm

    I got lucky last year, in that my son was so excited about trick or treating that when we were all done making the rounds ourselves, we stopped by a friend’s house that had a constant parade of trick or treaters showing up, and when they ran out of candy to offer, my son suggested we give away the candy he’d collected to the kids coming to the door! When we got home, he got a homemade whole grain chocolate pumpkin “ghost” brownie and he was over the moon :)

  • Jules September 29, 2012, 12:07 pm

    Yeah, candy’s not special anymore. THe magic is gone, it’s cheap and mass produced and ever present. Our grocery store has not one but TWO candy aisles, one for individual candy bars and gum/mints, and another aisle for the econo-sized bags of candy bars that we used to associate with Halloween. But apparently Halloween is all year round now, because the econo-sized aisle never goes away. Who is buying enough of those huge bags of candy to justify keeping an entire 2nd candy aisle filled?

    • Sparkina November 8, 2012, 9:25 am

      “Who is buying enough of those huge bags of candy to justify keeping an entire 2nd candy aisle filled?”
      I guess people buy it to fill candy bowls in their offices

  • Carla September 30, 2012, 12:21 pm

    I LOVE the idea of saving Halloween candy for the gingerbread house! I allow our daughter to save one jar of candy at any given time. Right now THE jar still has left-over Easter candy in it. It will be tossed to make way for Halloween candy…which inevitably will hang around until next Easter. I believe the fun is in the getting of the candy, the sorting and seeing…far more than the eating.

    • Kathleen October 2, 2012, 8:52 am

      Now that is a great idea! I hate the thought of throwing all that stuff away. I’ve heard of people planting treats for their kids at other’s houses (esp. for allergic kids), but never just tossing everything, and that bothers me. But it’s not like we eat the gingerbread house, either! So brilliant combination! Love it!

      • Christina October 2, 2012, 11:35 pm

        Carla and Kathleen: The possibilities are endless, but our favorite gingerbread-house candies are lollipops (trees) and Tootsie Rolls (woodpiles and campfire logs). ;-)

  • Chris October 2, 2012, 7:36 pm

    I certainly agree with “everything in moderation” but I have to say I think the views on food here are anything but moderate. I find it hard to believe any of these chemicals are particularly harmful (no proof) or that “natural” things are de facto good for you (see lard, salmonella, tobacco). I’m sure this will be unpopular here. I’m not looking to cause a flamefest, and you are of course free to believe whatever you like, but please don’t represent any of this as “moderate”.

    • Christina October 2, 2012, 11:30 pm

      Chris: I never called anything “moderate.” Nor did I say that everything “natural” is automatically good. And, as I mentioned in the post, I don’t buy into the “everything in moderation” mantra… Perhaps you should re-read the post?

      And you might also check out my Resources page, where you will find plenty of links detailing why chemical food additives indeed are harmful.

  • Cady October 5, 2012, 8:23 am

    Since having our son three years ago, my husband and I have really cleaned up our food. We were okay before but now we’re good: mostly organic, local food; meat and dairy are from pastured animals who are humanely treated and we know this because we can visit them in their pastures or barns when/if we want to; no fake colors, no fake flavors; maple and honey are our sweeteners; etc.

    We have an annual pumpkin carving party, and as we now have a child it’s becoming more child-centered (we had the party for years with just adults and had a blast!). I am really excited by the picture in your post, because that’s JUST the sort of thing I want to serve at the party. A touch of whimsy and holiday spirit without food dye or HFCS. Perfect. Thanks! :)

    • Christina October 5, 2012, 8:38 am

      Cady: I made those for my daughter’s class Halloween party last year, and they were a big hit. And so easy/not fussy. I used a box cutter with a new blade to carve the little faces. But an X-Acto knife would work well, too. Took only about 15 minutes for the whole batch!

  • Isabelle October 18, 2012, 7:22 pm

    I just want to give you a different view of life – that of a 59 year old who was not allowed candy, junk food, fast food, and all those other “evils” in childhood. My mother was from Europe and only believed in “healthy” things. Candy was a nono because of sugar and food colouring. Junk food like chips and Ding-Dons was not to be eaten or brought in the house because it either “didn’t do our bodies good” or “did our bodies bad”. Yes, I understood the difference, but craved what everyone else around me was having. I do understand that “healthy eating” is a lot more common, so a child might not be as isolated when it comes to candy, pop, chips, etc… Howevr, what happened to me was that I wanted what everyone else seemed to have. As soon as I left home (16), I went on a junk food spree that lasted years. I ate MacDonald’s morning, noon, and night. I lived on Twinkies and Ding Dongs. When I didn’t have money, I ate a Mars bar for supper. I became addicted to Diet Coke. I am now a diabetic, with Stage 4 Kidney Chronic Failure and I do blame it on the severe restrictions my mother put on me in childhood that caused me to go into overdrive for the goodies I had been denied to the extent that it destroyed my health and I still couldn’t stop. In my humble opinion, you’re far better doing the “everything in moderation” than the complete denial that candy does exist and does taste good. I’m just sayin’!

    • Christina October 18, 2012, 10:19 pm

      Isabelle: It sounds like you’ve had a rough road. But if you read this post again (and my whole blog, actually), you’ll see that we in no way deny candy, other sweets or snacky foods. We simply believe that even those kinds of foods should have quality ingredients. And we believe in educating our daughter about why we make the choices we do, and also in having her be part of the process so that she’ll make her own wise choices when she’s older. (Again, re-read the post.) So while I’m sorry your life has been so difficult, I don’t see any parallels here at all.

  • Sahara Violet October 18, 2012, 11:06 pm

    “I want her to know that the tired phrase “everything in moderation” is meaningless in a world of ingredients that shouldn’t be consumed at all.”

    This right here is amazing succinct wise stuff! Keep up the good work with your daughter!

    • Christina October 22, 2012, 2:21 pm

      Thank you, Sahara!

  • Britin @ All Good Bakers October 22, 2012, 6:32 pm

    We own a small bakery and try to make more replacement treats every year. Our 5yo DD loves to go trick or treating, and we are trying to increase the exchanges for “healthy” treats that we make or buy from the local Co-Op for Halloween

  • Amy pangestu October 23, 2012, 2:07 pm

    Boy, reading what you wrote up there is like listening to myself talking.
    My daughter just celebrated her 7th bday. What she wanted for her bday cake was real specific: a moist cake with lots of raspberries. She loves everything natural. I think family eating habits has something with a child’s point of view of food. At 3yo in her nursery school, every time she had a goodie bag from a friend’s bday she would give it to me first and ask me to check what’s good and what’s bad –usually that left her with a carton of milk only lol!– at 4 yo she already could sort those goodie bags. Now, she’s a lil no coloring no preservatives preacher:D. When asked, did I force her or turn her into a rubbish food hater, I would simply answer NO.
    We talk about everything. I told her how bad food would make her sick and since her aunt is a doctor n my mom in law is a midwife.. There are plenty scientific story that can be made fun and interesting, though scary–don’t they just looove scary stories–.
    If for example she wishes to eat chocolate chip cookies, then we simply bake it. As for candies, I think it’s easy. Who wants to have that when you can have a yummy sandwich and some red bean ice cream?
    You should see how she loathe rainbow cake eaters:D

    Sorry for the long reply. I live way in Jakarta, Indonesia, and not many people around us think alike.

  • Dina Rose October 25, 2012, 10:44 am

    You won’t be surprised to hear that I have the opposite philosophy. In our house the only Halloween rule is don’t throw up. I agree with you that the big problem is all the other days of the year (the school parties, the playdates, the banks, the doctor’s offices, the grandparents, etc.) that’s where I put my energy: teaching my daughter the concept of proportion: eating healthy stuff a lot more frequently than junk. We talk about proportion a lot in anticipation of Halloween. That’s the only way she can get to the day without having already completely over done it.

    • Heather October 29, 2012, 1:37 am

      I agree with your philosophy! As an unschooling family we believe in offering the information (i.e. my kids know that there are healthier alternatives to commercial candy, snacks etc) and have the option of eating some of the Halloween candy, asking for alternatives, eating all of it or trading it for fruit etc…. We feel that if we are always impressing our feelings and restrictions on them that they are not empowered with making those decisions on their own. My kids in general will choose the foods and snacks that are more natural, fresh and don’t make them feel sick but that is because they have tried everything and know which ones they prefer :-)

      • Christina October 29, 2012, 1:54 am

        Heather: I’m all about empowering kids through education. And, as I mentioned, I’m a big believer in letting kids taste the crap so they can better appreciate (and choose) the high-quality stuff. Just in case any of that wasn’t clear…

  • Renee October 25, 2012, 7:05 pm

    Hi Christina! This is my favorite Halloween post of the year :) Thank you for your candid true words. I only have 2 toddler aged kids and I feel the same way but in the back of my head sometimes wonder if I’m ruining them or if people think I’m sheltering too much. I’m feeling more confident! I’m sharing your post on our FB page today – I just love it!

  • Mandy November 21, 2012, 1:12 am

    I love everything about this.

  • Lora April 2, 2013, 7:38 pm

    Oh my GOSH!! I couldn’t love you MORE!!! I just recently found 100 Days of Real Food and now YOU! I thought I was the ONLY mom doing stuff like this! I am a beginner, but I can’t wait to read through your entire blog. You are SO right. Last year, we took on the philosophy of “it’s only ONE night” when Halloween came. It made me almost sick to watch my two boys gorge themselves with their trick or treating candy. Two days later, my oldest son who has many food sensitivities and allergies, began having facial tics. They got so bad that he looked like he had Tourette’s Syndrome. His teacher even met with me about it because they were so bad. It has taken us many months to get his tics under control (they’re mostly gone) and he has had to eliminate several more foods from his diet. This stuff is serious. We will NEVER, EVER again presume to think that one night won’t matter. Thank you for your post, and for your blog.

    • Christina April 10, 2013, 12:54 pm

      Yikes, Lora, what an ordeal for your family. But I’m so glad you’re here. Kindred spirits unite!

  • Mary April 10, 2013, 2:10 am

    As a high school girl I can appreciate the importance of healthy food. However kids that were to restricted by health (especially in an educational way) can become rather obnoxious in a social respect. I have a friend who’s very health conscious and honestly it can be pretty annoying. I think that a kid trick-or-treating around the neighborhood worked hard for that candy (especially in a neighborhood of long driveways and isolated houses) and deserves to eat it. I personally like the strategy my parents used with me. I was allowed to eat pretty much everything (with a few exceptions like caffeine before a set age) but it was clear what quantity I had and I always had to ask. For example no more than 2 pieces of Halloween candy a day. A Little Debbie once a year won’t result in a morbidly obese kid, and as I’ve seen with my friend a healthy eater can often evolve into a picky eater. Letting a kid be open to new experiences while not allowing them to gorge on sweets seems more logical to me.

    • Christina April 10, 2013, 12:41 pm

      Mary, it’s certainly true that some people can take restrictions too far, but you’ll see from this post and the rest of my blog that I don’t advocate disallowing candy altogether — I advocate choosing and eating it thoughtfully. So I’m not sure what you’re actually responding to?

      Oh, and sadly, there’s no such thing anymore as just “a Little Debbie once a year.” As I mention in the post, junk is offered 24/7 these days, so it’s not really that black and white. And this isn’t only about weight — it’s about health and the quality of the ingredients we eat and feed our kids.

      Curious, though, how your friend being a healthy eater has led to her being a “picky eater”? What do you mean by that?

  • Cerenzio October 8, 2013, 1:55 pm

    Poor Kids…. :(

    • Christina October 8, 2013, 4:36 pm

      Thanks for your concern, Cerenzio, but you worry about your kids (if you have any) and I’ll worry about mine. :-)

  • Angie October 8, 2013, 9:50 pm

    Chris, You know how we roll in our house. Anyone who disagrees with the fact that food dye causes behavior changes in children can spend a day with my daughter after she’s had some. I’d wager to say that you wouldn’t make it an hour!

    We do the big dump too, but, I actually take much of it to work for Science experimenting. I usually let C & M keep the chocolatey stuff. The rule is one piece after dinner (if they eat it all) and thats it. That lasts for a few days and then they forget about it. It ends up getting stale. And now that they are both in braces, they could care less about any type of desserty stuff. Lucky me, my kids have never really been sweet tooths, well, outside of dark chocolate.

    I strongly disagree with the “poor kids” attitudes I’m reading. Chew on this….Nearly every morning I have students eating CANDY, CHIPS, SODA for breakfast. FOR BREAKFAST!!!!! That’s when we should be saying “poor kids”. It’s obvious that no one is teaching them about healthy choices when it comes to food.

    I have a rule in my classroom that no candy, soda, cookies, etc are allowed for snacking. Halloween candy is especially not allowed. If I see it, I take it and toss it. If I don’t impose that rule, kids will eat candy all day long. Because I have that rule and because they know the consequences, most kids don’t bring it in. The first time I take and toss that crap, they know I’m serious and don’t bring it again.

    Mary….Childhood obesity is at an all-time scary high, but we all know that. Having kids give up some of their Halloween candy won’t kill them. Not teaching them this and other healthy-living lessons now, while they are young, may do just that some day. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders. Many kids don’t and there is no one to teach them.

    Imagine a 9 year old boy who is about 5′ tall and weighs over 300lbs. He has trouble breathing half way up a flight of stairs. He’s 9 years old. He doesn’t fit properly in his desk because he’s so big. He’s 9 years old. He can’t fully participate in PE class because he can’t do most of the activities due to his weight. He’s 9 years old. His classmates don’t want to sit next to him because he smells of feces because he can’t wipe properly because he is so big that he can’t reach. Did I mention, HE IS ONLY 9 YEARS OLD!!!

  • Healthy Halloween House October 8, 2013, 10:54 pm

    Here is a great resource too!

  • Suzy October 10, 2013, 2:27 pm

    My mom always made me an “offer I couldn’t refuse”: trade nearly all of my Halloween candy for the exact toy/game/outing at the top of my wish list (guessing about $20 in the 1980s). The choice to accept the bribe was fully mine.

    For kids today I see continuous and nearly unrestricted access to candy, sweets and unhealthy foods as the key issue, not the occasional holiday indulgence.

  • William October 11, 2013, 10:12 am

    Ah, I’ve been reading this blog for quite a while. I have to say, it’s pretty interesting. What I have to say, is that my older kids are totally the opposite of yours (Well of course, your kids are about 4-7 years old). They go trick-or-treating for hours! They go with friends, stuffing their pillow cases with candy. Yep, I said it, pillow cases. When it’s all over, I help them sort out the pieces of candy that they either don’t like, or the pieces of candy that are not good for you and high and sugar. Pretty much what you all do, except I let them keep most of the candy :D

  • barbara November 1, 2013, 11:28 am

    I applaud all trying to keep their kids healthy but I for one am not telling my kid not to eat the candy. His personality would then want it more. I even put candy in his lunch today because he requested it. He has no allergies and can eat it. The rest goes in his snack drawer which is filled with very nutritious food. Most often, within a weekget my 7 yo son wi

  • suzanne October 7, 2014, 4:32 pm

    I find this practice very, very wasteful, why go get the candy just to throw out? There has to be something else that can be done. As a young mother I used money I could have used for other things we needed but I wanted the kids to have a good time. don’t take my candy if you are just going to throw it out.
    No one to give it to if you insist on going out? Call around, other places decorate with candies, community daycares, services to low income – if the kids almost never get a treat it might be appreciated
    going out to just throw most of it away is obscene

    • Christina October 7, 2014, 10:39 pm

      Suzanne: You might want to re-read the post. I address all those issues: why we trick-or-treat; how we decorate gingerbread houses and do candy experiments; and why we won’t donate candy to others. It’s all in the post!

  • Julia October 17, 2014, 11:51 am

    Most of the time it’s the parents that are making the big deal about the candy and bringing their issues with it, not the kids. We treat Halloween like a community event, so the candy is there, but not the focus. It’s worked out well. I’m OK with letting them eat the candy they get though, since it’s just once a year.

  • Jennifer October 18, 2014, 12:42 pm

    Where has this blog BEEN all my life?!?! I’m in LOVE! You preach right up my alley! :D Thank you for your amazing words of wisdom! I am off to go read all the rest of your blog and like, like, like on Facebook! Let’s CURB the sugar/candy generation and give them back some health dignity!

    • Christina October 19, 2014, 9:21 pm

      Jennifer, you just made my weekend with that comment! So glad to have you here. Kindred spirits unite!

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