Denying Kids Halloween Candy Isn't What Cool Moms Do


candyEvery year around this time -- as we rush around readying costumes, taping up hand-drawn ghosts and bats, and discussing whether the family jack-o'-lantern should look silly or scary -- a batch of irritating stories inevitably appears in the press. In them, misguided, if well meaning, authors suggest acceptable "alternatives to Halloween candy" or assert that "non-edible Halloween treats work, too."

I am here to stand up for dentally challenged, hyperactive children everywhere to say, unequivocally, that when it comes to trick-or-treating, there is no acceptable alternative to candy, and non-edible Halloween treats work only if you want to forever be labeled a killjoy by the kids in your neighborhood.

Geez, people, just break down and -- for one special, super-sweet day of the year -- give these kids what they want: candy, candy, and more candy.

And no, pencils and erasers and plastic spider rings are not the same thing.

Look, I'm not saying that kids should eat candy all day, every day of the year. In our house, we pretty much never buy our kids candy any other day of the year. Which is precisely what makes Halloween so precious.

For one day, and only one day, they get to go door to door, show off their costumes to the neighbors, and get showered in sweet, sticky treats that will last them for months and months and months on end. (Come to think of it, I think the dregs of last year's trick-or-treat rounds are still sitting in a kitchen drawer -- gotta clear those out before the new batch rolls in.)

I love seeing my kids excitedly examining and arranging their Halloween candy -- like each chocolate bar is a glinty gold coin in a treasure chest -- after they've returned from their local travels. They sort and stack. They swap. They share, saving favorite treats for beloved friends and family members. They study the labels with scientific intensity.

I remember doing the same thing myself. (Well, maybe not the sharing; they get food generosity from their father's side of the family.)

Why do people want to deprive kids of candy one precious, perfect day a year?

It's not fair. It's not right. Halloween without candy is like ... well, it's, like, no fun at all.

Do you intend to give out something other than candy for Halloween this year?


Image via respres/Flickr

food, kid health, kids nutrition


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.


I got a small craft for my son's party favors for his school party. I figured he'd get plenty of candy, and a small craft would "engage" the kids for a while. :-)

Rachel Schiller

We don't hand out candy because we never get trick or treaters.

In regards to your title: it is not my job, as a mother, to be cool.

Melis... Melissa042807

Candy and Halloween are synonymous. But just because your kid comes home with ten pounds of candy doesn't mean you have to let him/her eat it all at once. In my house we'd hand our bags over to our mom, who would put them up, and we could choose one or two pieces per day. We'd whine about not being allowed to gorge, but after a couple of weeks when all of our friends were out of candy and we still had our bags half-full, we always saw the merit of Mom's method. 

And she taught us how to brush our teeth well. :-) 

Kritika Kritika

I agree with this article 100% and I don't think the title was meant to be taken so seriously...

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Kids are different. Mine would rather have the trinkets than candy. If it's good candy he's happy enough but he always seems to wind up with half a bag of tootsie rolls and I don't know anyone who likes those.

Lynette Lynette

how many of these posts is there going to be on The Stir?  My kids have a lot of allergies.  So while we will be trick-or-treating they will not be eating the candy.  Instead they can sell it to Mom for 5cents a piece.  We are also going to do science experiments w/ it.  I also have no problem w/ the mom's who are into health not doing candy for Halloween.  1 tsp of refined sugar can suppress the immune systemfor 6 hours.  It's no wonder people get sick during the holidays.  Please these mean mom candy posts can stop any day now.  Would love to see just one post on the other side of this topic, thanks!

Lucre... LucretiaMcEvil

I don't think it's so much about "being cool" as it is not being a douche bag.

How could a parent let a kid go that far into the Halloween tradition, then deny them of candy?

Either celebrate Halloween, or don't.

Some parents on here are wacked-out dictators.

Lynette Lynette

I hope for your sake "LucretiaMcEvil " you don't have to be the "douche bag".  That has to choose between their child having an eczema breakout that covers their entire body for the next 8wks from eatting candy or denying the candy but still trying to find a way that your kids can feel like a normal kid.  Everyone asks my kids what they are going to be for halloween.  Should I take all the fun of the holiday away because of allergies?  Seems to me that would break their hearts more.

nonmember avatar Bunny

I would never label someone a killjoy for giving something out other then candy and neither would my kids. If they had that attitude then they wouldn't even be allowed to go trick or treating. People complaing because someone GAVE them a pencil...really?

babyb... babybirch

I'm on the fence . I just found out I'm having baby number one, so I haven't had to handle this yet . My husband and I don't eat candy, niether of us like it, so we will probably not buy it and give out alternatives . I don't think candy is the heart of Halloween; as a kid, I enjoyed getting stickers and small toys more than candy, anyways . And more than anything, I just loved getting to wear scary costumes . That was more than enough for me !

1-10 of 49 comments 12345 Last