Halloween Candy: Buy-Backs, Donation Ethics, Werewolves and More!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on October 31, 2013

Well, TLT’ers, it’s the time of year kid-and-food bloggers live for: Halloween.  No matter how much I’ve blogged in the past about the candy conundrum (what to hand out; what to do with the haul), it seems there’s always something new to share. . . .

First, for those of you who are new around here, let’s recap some past TLT Halloween posts:

In 2010, my first year of blogging, I explained to you why I was fine handing out candy to trick-or-treaters and I also told you how, when I was a kid, I was given complete control over my candy bag.  My mom actually commented on that post, explaining her rationale for giving us free reign.  (And, by the way, I never did turn into a wild-eyed candy addict in later life, so I think she was on to something.  More on that below.)

In 2011, I took a different approach to what we hand out, opting for trinkets instead of candy, and the next day I told you how that went down.

And in 2012, I shared with you some ideas for candy alternatives, and also tons of ideas for what do do with the candy haul.

So now let’s turn to a link round-up of some more interesting posts on Halloween candy:

Is It Ethical to Donate Candy to Food Pantries?  

It seems to be a growing trend among dentists (and some parents) to offer to pay kids for their candy as a way of reducing sugar consumption.  But then where should all that candy go?  Is it ethical to donate it to a food pantry, where patrons might lack the resources for adequate dental or medical care?  The New York Times‘s resident Ethicist took on that question earlier this month. Turns out he’s not a fan of “buy-backs” in the first place, but he’s fine with the donation.  Read why here.  For a contrary view on donating candy – or any food that’s nutritionally subpar – to those in need, check out this 2010 post from Spoonfed.

Switch Witch: Yay or Nay?

Similar to a dentist’s buy-back, many parents offer their kids a present in exchange for the candy, and the magical agent behind this transaction is the “Switch Witch.”  Given the growing popularity of the Switch Witch, I applauded Bri of Red, Round or Green for daring to say on her blog’s Facebook page that she’s not a fan of the custom.  You can read her interesting reader exchange here.  [Ed update: Oops!  I didn’t realize Bri had a whole post on this topic.  It’s great, and you can read it here.]

Just Let ‘Em Eat It

As noted above, my mom let us have a lot of freedom with our candy and the older my kids get (and the wiser I become as a mom, hopefully) the more I think this is the right approach.  To read why, check out this post that I first shared back in 2011 from the Motherlode blog’s K.J. Dell’Antonia, entitled  “What to Do With the Halloween Candy?  Eat It.”  A newer post along these lines comes from Rainbow Plate — “Halloween Is Scary. Are You Brave Enough to Try This?”  What do you think?

Should You Fill Your Kids Up Before Sending Them Out?

In 2011, I mentioned in passing that I like to give my kids one of their favorite dinners before trick-or-treating as a sly way of avoiding candy overload.  (As a side note, many of you wanted the recipe for that dish – lamb and yogurt whole wheat flatbreads – which I provided a few days later.)  But Dr. Dina Rose of It’s Not About Nutrition actually doesn’t love the idea of filling kids up before trick-or-treating.  Read why here.

Is Halloween Sugar Just a Distraction?

In the Huffington Post this week, registered dietitian Andy Bellatti asks parents to focus less on the Halloween sugar rush and more on the excess sugar most American kids consume on a daily basis.

Please Don’t Kill a Baby Werewolf’s Mom

However you feel about letting your kids eat Halloween candy, this truly hilarious post from Momma Be Thy Name, railing against handing out healthy treats tonight, is a must-read.

Finally, What Not to Do – EVER!

This year a North Dakota woman reportedly is going to hand out scolding letters instead of candy to any overweight kids who are unfortunate enough to visit her house.  I don’t think I have to tell you why this is a truly horrible idea.

*  *  *

Wishing all TLT’ers and their families a happy and safe Halloween!

Do You Love The Lunch Tray? ♥♥♥ Then “like” The Lunch Tray! Join almost 7,000 TLT fans by liking TLT’s Facebook page (and then adding it to your news feed or interest lists) to get your Lunch delivered fresh daily, along with bonus commentary, interesting kid-and-food links, and stimulating discussion with other readers. You can also join almost 4,000 TLT followers on Twitter, check out my virtual bulletin boards on Pinterest and find selected TLT posts on The Huffington Post. And be sure to check out my video for kids about processed food, “Mr. Zee’s Apple Factory!”

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Bettina Elias Siegel

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Bri October 31, 2013 at 8:55 am

Thanks for the shout-out, Bettina! Excellent roundup here. If your readers would like to see my full post about the Switch Witch, here it is: http://www.redroundorgreen.com/2013/10/22/switching-off/

Reply

Bettina Elias Siegel October 31, 2013 at 9:09 am

Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t link directly to your post! Thanks for sharing it here and I’ve included it above as well.

Reply

Bri October 31, 2013 at 9:40 am

No worries! You’re right, the Facebook discussion was great! :-D

Reply

Katie October 31, 2013 at 9:58 am

Great round up on the whole candy question. I tend to agree with Andy. The issue isn’t so much candy collected on Halloween, it’s the pounds and pounds of sugar kids consume over the course of a year.

Right or wrong, here’s how we handle Halloween it in our house:
http://www.momskitchenhandbook.com/uncategorized/the-candy-conundrum/

Reply

Bettina Elias Siegel October 31, 2013 at 10:19 am

Katie: Thanks for sharing your post – very similar to our approach. I love the image of you chasing your kids around with a toothbrush, which is something I ought to be doing, too!

Reply

Casey October 31, 2013 at 11:04 am

I wrote about why I have a different take on the sweet swap but wanted to mention something else. When I ask for strong school wellness policies that address not using food as a reward, healthier celebrations and healthier fundraising, guess what I’m told? “Kids need to use it as a learning experience.” Ugh! http://kyhealthykids.com/2013/10/23/a-sweet-halloween-swap/

Reply

Nic February 20, 2014 at 11:30 am

Just make sure those teeth are nice and clean after all that candy consumption! Halloween candy is definetly some of the most sugary edible substances you can find and wreck havoc on teeth.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: