Taking Candy From A Baby…


So Halloween is now but a memory.

All that remains is to take down the decorations and return the costumes that currently lie crumpled up on the floor.

The ten pounds of candy inhabiting my pantry notwithstanding.

I’ve tried many things to part my children from their candy. And considered even more.

And as I ponder the options open to me today, I’m reviewing what I’ve done and thought about following Halloween’s past.

Six Ways I’ve Taken Candy From A Baby

1. When they were two, three and four, I’d let them have five pieces and hide the rest. They forgot. Score!

2. When they were five, I rationed them out. Five pieces a day for a week. A bit more at the weekend. Then it was mine. Score! And fail.

3. One year, I suggested they trade their candy in for a DVD of their choice. I’d overheard one mother say she was doing this and thought it was clever. I’m not sure if her kids were film buffs but it sure didn’t work with mine. Fail.

4. When they were six, I was being a food nazi. We had an enforced trade-in. Twenty-five dollars each boy for all their candy. Trade-in dropped five dollars for every piece of candy eaten. Harsh? Maybe, but as I was the one being judged by their chemically-induced behavior, I made the rules. The kids still haven’t forgiven me. Even though they still talk about it as though they were psychologically scarred at a young age, I consider it a moderate score.

5. In the last few years, I have let them eat it all until they are done. I may have given some guidance (as in ‘Pixy Stix over my dead body’ kind-of-thing) or done some selective pruning and maybe a little consuming here and there but on the whole, I let them be. There was the odd temper tantrum or overexcitability after a few days of chemikill buildup. But no murders took place, we survived.

6. This year, we’re negotiating. The lure of candy has been replaced with the enticement of things like…an iPod. The cry of ‘I wanna piece of candy, I wanna, I wanna!’ has been replaced by the far more insidious ‘Let’s-prey-on-mom’s-loathing-of-candy-and-all-things-unnatural-and-turn-it-to-our-advantage.’ The entrepreneurial mindset I have taken such care to nurture has risen up to outsmart me. Or so they think. 😉

I’ve thrown my opening chip, they have theirs. The internal battle rages between the immediate gratification of candy with the longer-term prospect of a thing near and dear to the heart of a pre-teen. They can’t lose. They either get to apply some of those lessons in supply and demand, delayed gratification and investing over spending.

Or they get candy.

Which will they choose?

What strategies have you tried with respect to Halloween candy? Are you the sooner-you-eat-it, the sooner-it-will-be-gone kind of person, or do you ration it out? And how popular are buy-backs and trade-ins, really? Let me know in the comments!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary E. Ulrich
November 2, 2010 at 5:43 am

Alison, you are amazing. I never even thought of negotiating for the candy.

I guess you could give the candy monitary value. Each piece is worth a certain price. Then, use it as collateral. You forgot to take out the dog–you owe me $2.00. You want to hire me to take you to …. @$5.00, The movie costs $7.50–pay it in bubble gum… you might be on to something here.

I’ve heard that dentists say to just let them get their fill the first couple days, brush good, then pitch the rest.
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Alison Golden November 2, 2010 at 6:50 pm

I didn’t know dentists said that.

Seems in our house that the instant gratification of the sugar hit is winning over the desire to own an iPod sometime in the future so I’m about to sneak out some of the worst stuff from their HUGE bowls full of candy. Death to Nerds!


Gary Jordon November 2, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Hi Allison in those huge bowls of theirs any chocolate?? Teleport me some. Mr. Scott Energize. The ADDHD kid in me Loves Chocolate. Not a big fan of nerds hehehee.

I would never have thought of or encoutered the trader Smo approach. hmm interesting concept. But the sugar hi is mighty good though.


Alison Golden November 3, 2010 at 8:58 am

Hi Gary:

I don’t get why Nerds have lasted this long either. I mean, I get why they can last for ever (chemikills) but really, does anyone eat them?

Thanks for stopping by!


Lisa Liguori
November 3, 2010 at 8:36 pm

This has always been a challenge for me. I have tried all of the above. I think I am now leaning towards it being better to get one big hit and get it out of the way, instead of constantly being barraged with “Can I have candy?”
Good ‘food’ for thought. Thanks Alison.
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Alison Golden November 3, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Hi Lisa!

For me, now it’s been a few days, it’s time to start pruning some of it. The craving seems to have passed and now it’s just ‘there.’ Mundane and monotonous but still threatening to waistlines and behavioral expectations. I’ll start pulling the worst offenders tomorrow.


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