Saturday, November 3, 2007

About Halloween Candy

You may be wondering why I haven't posted on this before halloween. I have three simple reasons:

  • I just moved to another state
  • I spent my childhood in Australia, where they don't celebrate halloween (although we went trick or treating a few times anyway)
  • Since I've lived in the US, I have not lived in areas where people trick or treated (or I didn't know I was supposed to turn the porch light on).

So this was my very first real halloween and I DID give out candy. I realized that, from a nutritionist's perspective, I have a lot of thinking to do about this.

A comment on What to Eat blog said the following: "What kind of killjoy can’t bear to give kids candy on Halloween??! It’s just one day out of the year, and as long as they’re not eating crap for the other 364 days, why ruin the fun?"

No, I don't want to be a killjoy by not giving out candy but the kids were coming around to my place with LOTS of candy. I would say that most of them could have filled at least a one gallon ziplock bag (and that's being conservative here). They definitely had more candy than they could eat in one night.
Furthermore, my 15 month old was bouncing off the wall after eating maybe 6 m&m's .

You've probably heard this before, that all foods are ok, as long as they are eaten in moderation. Well, when does moderation become excess, and at what point does it become a cause for concern or alarm?


  1. I'm all with you on this about excess. This is why it's getting harder and harder to rear a child since we, Americans (or rather Americans of the U.S., since there are other Americans in this continent of ours) are getting too indulgent in our "village". Years ago, sodas, pizzas were served only on special occasion. Nowadays, some children go to couple birthday parties a week with all you can eat buffet. Can a mom enforce portion control at a buffet? Is she nuts??
    Also, people should be aware that today's candies are mostly made of high fructose corn syrup and not sugar cane, and these two sweeteners are processed differently in the body.

  2. Thanks Hahn for visiting and posting your comment. My oldest is just now approaching the birthday party stage, so I was not aware of there being so much offered so often.

  3. Yeah, I really regret letting the kids get so much candy. We got some from a church party a few weeks ago,we went trick or treating and my daughter got TONS from school.
    We really try to watch what our kids eat, and limit candy, but it is hard when there is so much sitting around (especially for me) I think we will got to like 10 houses next year and that is all.

    I seriously want to just throw it all away.

  4. You know Donna, if you want to throw it away, then I think you should go ahead and do it. I know it is a waste of candy, but why should we keep it and be miserable.

    Another idea is that your husband could give some out to his clients. He can explain that you guys had simply too much that you had to share them.

  5. I agree. I LOVED ToTing as a kid, and want to share that tradition with my own kids. But I do not agree with the idea that 'everything in moderation' is okay. Just because I don't eat much of something does not mean that it is not a neurotoxin. By definition, HFCS DOES harm the body, even in small amounts. And I don't want to be a killjoy to one of my favorite holidays... so what to do?
    For starters, we gave out Yummy Earth Organic Lollypops and recycled candy my kids took in to the older kids later in the evening. My kids get the lollypops too and trade their candy in for 10$ to spend on a toy the next day. (We also eat at home the Endangered Species Dark Chocolate... so that base is covered here as well.)
    Daddy takes all extra candy to work. Out of sight, out of mind.

  6. Good idea, Jenny, however I think some people at work may not benefit from the extra candies, especially those of us who need to loose a few extra pounds. May be in the Halloweens of the future, people should make an extra candy co-operative & truck it somewhere where it can be turned into ethanol or something. Just to think that all of this comes from corn that the Farm Bill is to subsidize with our tax money :((

  7. Hi Jenny, I like the trade in for cash and the alternative candy idea too. I have to go with Hanh about taking it to the office. I read a headline today (sorry, too busy to actually read the article) that went along the lines of 75% of junk food is consumed in the workplace, so I don't want to contribute to that. Biofuel would be nice...