Halloween Poll Results And Some Final Thoughts on The Candy

Before signing off for the week I wanted to share the results of this week’s two Halloween polls and also let you know what happened in my own house this Halloween.

Candy Poll Results

On the question of what people gave away to trick-or-treaters this year, about 47% of you said you were giving away non-candy treats, like trinkets or pretzels; about 38% were giving away traditional candy; about 4% insisted on giving away only all-natural candy; and the remaining respondents chose to answer with a comment.

Yeah, we’re going to drag out this stock photo one more time!

On the question of what to do with the candy your kids bring home, about 24% of you said you let your kids have complete control over the candy; 31% limit the amount of candy that can be consumed at any one time; about 14% arrange for an exchange of candy for money or toys.  The remaining respondents chose to leave a comment.

These polls are obviously not terribly scientific but it’s interesting to see a big drop in the number of readers giving away traditional candy (72% in 2010 vs. 38% this year).  Of course, my readership had grown wildly since 2010 and I’m probably attracting a pretty health-conscious group, which might explain the drop.

The Best Laid Plans . . .

Meanwhile, here in the TLT household, all did not go as planned!  First, I never was able to find any Unreal Candy in my area, at least not in treat-sized bars that I could hand out for trick-or-treaters.  And my daughter hated the idea of giving away the video game coupons, on the stated grounds that “I’m sorry, Mom, but girls do not play Plants vs. Zombies!”  So yes, in the end, it was traditional candy in our treat bowl.

Second, I mentioned in a post last year and on TLT’s Facebook page this year that it’s a good idea to fill your kids up with their favorite dinner before trick-or-treating to avoid candy craziness afterwards.  (Last year I even shared the recipe for one of my kids’ favorite dinners, since a lot of readers asked about it when I mentioned it in my Halloween post.)  So this year I made a Greek spinach pie (the kind with layers and layers of phyllo dough, which takes a fair amount of work) and served it with a Greek salad, hummus, baba ganoush, pita bread and also pumpkin seeds from our jack-0-lantern that I’d roasted with salt and olive oil.  It all sounds lovely, right?

Well, it turns out the tween daughter had other ideas.  She had to race from religious school (which ends at 6:30) straight to her friend’s house to meet up with her girl posse for trick-or-treating, and my son claimed he wasn’t at all hungry.  So Mr. TLT and I enjoyed an adult-only dinner, interrupted now and then by trick-or-treaters at the door.  So much for that plan.

But the good news is this.  I’d resolved this year (as I did last year) to be as laid-back about the candy as possible, following Ellyn Satter’s advice (and my own mom’s example from my childhood) and letting the kids do what they want with the candy.

And guess what?  They’ve shown remarkably little interest in it.  My son had a few pieces when he got home from trick-or-treating; my daughter didn’t have any candy at all, though she may have had some earlier in the night.  And in the days since, they’ve added one piece to their lunch and had a piece or two after dinner, but no one has gorged on the candy or attempted to spirit it away in their room or shown any other signs of candy-obsession.   They also remain interested in keeping just a few choice pieces and  “selling” me the rest for a little extra spending money, so we’ll probably do that this weekend.

So there you have it:  Halloween 2012.  Thanks to all of you who shared such thoughtful comments on this topic both here and on the Facebook page, and we can continue this endlessly interesting discussion in October 2013!


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  1. Uly says

    Because of the storm, we were lucky to even have a Halloween, and others on Staten Island are even worse off. So I ditched my plans and just bought regular candy for houses on the block to dole out, instead of my usual glowsticks.

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