Halloween Candy: What is a Parent to Do?

Remembering trick or treat expeditions as a child brings a smile to most of our faces. All of that candy, and it’s all ours…at least until mom or dad gets a hold of it. How a parent handles the candy can make for happy memories or lots of frustrated ones.

Our mother is an R.N., and she knew some of the dangers eating all that candy could pose. She had a rule that is now actually being backed by some dentists. The first Saturday after Halloween we could eat all the candy we wanted, as long as we ate our meals. It seems dangerous, but if you’ve had a good breakfast, lunch and dinner, the amount of candy consumed is far less than one might think.

After that, the candy was put up and doled out over time. She often still had some of our favorite Halloween candy at Christmas. The least like candies lasted to Easter and were quietly dumped into the trash. After getting an Easter basket full of more candy, no one wanted the icky, six month old leftovers.

There is another option to consider. Many dentists will swap candy for toys. They really don’t want to have to fill teeth when it could be avoided. I doubt any of my siblings would agree, and I know I wouldn’t. Even if it’s doled out, candy is candy. No toy can really take its place.

There is one other thing to keep in mind about Halloween candy. There are some real idiots out there that get their kicks out of hurting children. My parents always sorted our candy, tossing anything that could have been contaminated. That meant all those home baked cookies, boxes of unsealed raisins and apples were tossed, just in case. Mom wouldn’t even let us keep the apples my grandmother gave out if someone else had given us one.

We did the same things for our children. It doesn’t really take long. Mostly, just make sure the wrappers are whole and if they’re twist closed, make sure the twists are firm. Your kids probably won’t be given anything bad for them, but it’s best not to take chances.

If you are in an area where this sort of idiocy is more likely, check with your doctor’s and dentist’s offices. Several offer free x-rays to make sure there are no razor blades or visible contaminants in the candy.

Halloween is a lot of fun, and with a bit of care, the kids can enjoy their candy safely. It does take some extra effort on our parts, but the kids are worth it.

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