Well, it’s that time of year again. National Candy Corn Day is October 30th. Anyone who has visited a supermarket in the past 6 weeks cannot have missed the massive displays of CANDY CORN as we prepare for this joyous day! I am particularly drawn to the monstrous Family Sized bags of candy corn (140 calories and NO FAT … serving size – 19 pieces…. Yeah, RIGHT!) 35 million pounds of candy corn go on sale each autumn. If you laid each piece end-to-end, you could circle the moon 20 times. (I want to see the proof of this.) The National Confectioners Association says that Americans will buy more than 600 million pounds of candy this year – just for Halloween. That adds up to $2.4 BILLION dollars spent on candy and sweets in the month of October.
So, what’s my point here? I’m not going to rain on the Halloween parade. I look forward to my candy corn. NEWS FLASH: I eat more than 19 pieces in a sitting. My kids are too old to Trick or Treat, but we still have to think about what to be prepared to give out at the doors when those little monsters come a calling. The past few years we have bought the standard bags of varietal candy bars that I have put in a large soup pot and delivered to the plastic pumpkins and pillow cases via a ladle after telling the princesses and pirates that they were about to get a serving of beef barley soup. I was met with looks of horror and revulsion… perfect for the holiday season! UNTIL, reading a website devoted to alternative treats recently and seeing a suggestion that we dole out organic chili to the marauding masses that come to our doors shouting “Trick or Treat!” Chili!? Organic chili!? Looking further at the list provided on this website also offered such alternative treats such as:
- Soy crayons
- Soy candles (do we include matches?)
- Acorns (!)
- Paper balls (What?)
I’m not making this up…. What kid do you know who doesn’t want soap and/or toothpaste for Halloween? I say, just give them the toilet paper now and hope that it doesn’t rain before you get it cleaned out of your trees.
Sometimes it is assumed that because I work with Teach a Kid to Fish to Fish I do not support this massive sugar rush of a holiday. Nonsense. I love Halloween and I LOVE CANDY! I give generously at Halloween. It’s expected and appreciated. I also know that it is my role as a parent to help my kids control that urge to eat everything in one sitting. I have to control myself, too. My kids are past the Halloween candy stage, but they are still learning how to control the urges we all get to overdose on many of those things that tempt us in this life such as screen time and soda pop. It’s our job as parents to say “No” and to help our kids pay attention to portion control…. Whether it’s candy or screen time.
So, go on out with your kids and get those bags filled with Gummi Bears and Jolly Rogers. Stop by my house and you’ll get a ladle of beef barley…. Er, candy corn!