Is the Halloween Candy Obsession a Healthy Thing?

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Is the Halloween candy obsession that seems to happen every year healthy for our children?

We went to a Fall Festival at the YMCA last Friday. There were carnival games set up. J was excited to play them. He then discovered that success at a game meant that the dude overseeing it would give him a lollipop.

Candy as a prize? Suddenly those games were even more thrilling.

Is a Halloween candy obsession a good thing? - Halloween Costume Contest 2nd Place Ladybug M and her proud Momma

On Saturday we went to our local Haunted House event. We went for the family-friendly “lights on” time (which was PLENTY scary enough for even me!) and then wandered around outside checking out the rest of the fair. We decided to put the kids in a costume contest. M came in second place for the 1 and unders. When M’s second place finish was announced, her candy-obsessed big brother asked:

“Mommy, if the prize is candy, can I eat it because M is still a baby and she can’t eat candy because it’s bad for her tummy and will stop her from growing up.”

The prize was a bright orange t-shirt so the question about who would eat the candy was forgotten.

But what has not been forgotten is this Halloween candy obsession.

How has Halloween become all about the candy for my little devil? Honestly, we’ve barely even mentioned candy when talking about Halloween; it’s been all about the costumes and the fun things we’ll do together.

So today I’m asking you, fellow parents, where is this candy obsession coming from? Should I try to stop it or just accept it as part of Halloween? If we continue teaching and modelling healthy eating habits throughout the year, is a bit of candy craziness in October alright?

Thank you for any thoughts or advice you have on this,



8 Responses to “Is the Halloween Candy Obsession a Healthy Thing?”

  1. [email protected] — November 1, 2012 @ 9:30 am (#)

    As I sit here munching skittles from last night, I’m not sure I’m the person to anwer this question! LOL!

    • Christine Pittman — November 1, 2012 @ 10:33 am (#)

      I’ll match you your skittles and raise you a Reese Peanut Butter Cup for breakfast. (J has already left for school so this behavior is NOT being modeled to him! lol).

  2. Michelle — October 31, 2012 @ 2:38 pm (#)

    We limit candy and I know that brings on the candy crazies. I really think with sugar it’s hard to control that impulse to eat/want to eat more! Braeden is actually really sensitive to sugar (he’s found out the hard way, more than once) so we only give out a few pieces at a time. Tonight we will let them eat 3 pieces and then one or two pieces for the next few weeks. I don’t want to completely restrict because I do believe in moderation! Last year we threw a ton of it out. This year we might donate it to the kids’ dentist!

  3. Kerry Ann @Vinobaby's Voice — October 31, 2012 @ 7:59 am (#)

    Oh, and if you look, there are usually places you can donate your excess candy. Last year we dropped pounds off at his orthodontist who then mailed it to soldiers overseas.

    • Christine Pittman — October 31, 2012 @ 9:33 am (#)

      Kerry, That is a FANTASTIC idea. From what I remember of last year, he wasn’t that excited about the candy afterwards either. But then, last year he wasn’t excited about it before either. I have no idea what to expect.

  4. Kerry Ann @Vinobaby's Voice — October 31, 2012 @ 7:58 am (#)

    We are a weird family. While the kid is totally amped up about getting candy, we never end up eating more than a few pieces. In fact ::shhhhhhh:: you don’t want to trick or treat at our house, because I just pulled out LAST YEARS candy to fill the basket at our house. (Don’t worry, the chocolate was in the freezer at least.)

    Most people I know will go through their candy within the week. The kids will eat handfuls a day (sometimes several pieces after breakfast because they finished their coco puffs). The parents see nothing wrong with inundating their kids with the garbage…but they also don’t see how the crap has added to their own eating issues.

    My kid will eat a FEW pieces tonight, maybe A piece tomorrow for dessert, then will forget about it. And I have no problem with that.

    • Matt — October 31, 2012 @ 10:57 am (#)

      Just an FYI….Never put chocolate in the fridge or freezer when trying to preserve it. Doing so will result in the chocolate losing it’s richness in flavour and then it tends to taste stale. Store chocolate in it’s original packaging or airtight container at room temperature. Ideally 15-17 degrees C ( don’t know what that is in F). I learnt this from one of the baking teachers at a vocational school. I asked why certain chocolates were getting white spots. He told me he worked at a specialty shop making chocolates and that was rule #1.

    • Christine Pittman — October 31, 2012 @ 7:56 pm (#)

      Interesting, Matt. You know though, I definitely remember having a freezer full of Easter bunnies when we were kids. Remember how many we used to all get from the aunts and uncles? I think my mom baked with that chocolate all year long! But I do know what you mean about the white spots. Can’t say I’ve ever noticed a taste difference but then usually if I’ve frozen the chocolate, since I expect those white spots, I don’t plan to just eat it by itself but to bake with it, making it harder to taste the difference. (A handy temperature conversion trick: 16ºC is the reverse so 61ºF and 28ºC is 82º.)

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