Now, about all that candy


Well, it’s over. Halloween has come and gone for another year. Time to put away the plastic jack-o-lanterns, take down the make-shift graveyard you constructed for the front yard, and try your best to get the overly large cobwebs from the front hedge.

Once all that is done, there’s still the matter of all that candy. In our recent consumer survey, 78 percent of parents said that they use some technique to moderate their kids candy consumption after the holiday. Some (41 percent) limit their child’s consumption to “a couple of pieces a day” until the candy runs out. About a quarter (24 percent) say they take responsibility for the candy and dole it out as they feel is appropriate. Another 13 percent of parents limit consumption to a certain number of pieces in total and take the rest away.

Have you read food sociologist’s Dina Rose’s blog post about how she handles Halloween candy with her daughter? “Halloween is a great holiday,” she says. “It’s communal, silly and thrilling.  It’s also filled with candy.  No wonder kids enjoy it!  This year, instead of worrying about the sugar, think about the lessons you want your kids to learn.  It’s a strategy that pays off.”

What does she mean, exactly? Well, consider this point she makes:

If 5% of all candy is consumed around Halloween, then 95% of all candy consumption happens during the rest of the year.  In other words, when it comes to candy, Halloween isn’t where the action is.

Basically she means that if teach your kids good nutrition habits YEAR ROUND and you don’t have to worry so much about Halloween. Your children will continue to make good decisions, with occasional reminders and small interventions (come on, they ARE still kids, after all).

If you’d like some tips and guidance, Nora shared some earlier in the week.

The kids pictured above are the children of “K”, a friend of mine from college. K is a smart mom who knows that trick-or-treating is fun, but that it’s also her responsibility as a mom to teach good nutrition habits all year long. “I engage the kids in decisions about the Halloween candy,” K told me. “Halloween night they love to dump it all out and look at their loot to see how much they scored. Then they will inevitably ask us how much they can have. I usually ask them how much they think is fair to eat at night before bed when it’s late and they have school in the morning. Last night they decided two small pieces.”

Yes! Smart choice, kids.

I’ll be back this afternoon with a recipe you can use for some of last night’s haul.


  1. Webanews says:

    [...] (even global warming can’t melt chocolate bars stored in the freezer) the NCA offers further advice from food sociologist Dina Rose about how to deal with leftover [...]