Thursday, 18 October 2012

Witchy Woman

A little while ago I found out about significant trickery surrounding my childhood Halloweens.  Each and every year my mother would feed us a good, hot stick to your bones meal (think beef stew or chili) to make sure we'd  have a solid meal before our journey into Candy Land.*  We would go off, get a crap load of candy, eat a ton of candy on Halloween night and then surrender our goods to the giant bowls of candy that would sit in the centre of our family dining room table.  As we ran lower on candy, bowls would shrink until we were out of treats. 

What I didn't know, until very recently, was that my mother was secretly, gradually throwing a significant portion of our candy into the garbage to make sure that we weren't indulging too much for too long.  Generally all Halloween goods were gone well before Christmas season.  As a trusting** and obedient child I never suspected a thing.  When we got older my mother began to throw out candy in front of my brother insisting that it had "gone bad".

This isn't an issue that we have to deal with this year, as my children will be visiting a total of 5 houses (2 sets of grandparents and 3 neighbours mainly to show off their costumes), but it's something to consider for the future.   When I complained to Chris about my mother's confection deception he shrugged and told me that growing up he ate a lot of candy that he didn't even like after Halloween simply because it was there.

 Jack - as Batman - Halloween 2011

The Original Minion - Molly as "Minion" from Despicable Me - Halloween 2011
So what can you do to limit the amount of candy your child*** consumes following Halloween?  Here are some solutions I found/worked out which will lead to a healthier November for kids and mom and dad beyond my mom's tough love method to healthy eating.

The Halloween Witch
I received a press release a couple of weeks ago about this and here's the pitch direct from the mouth of  Founder & President Jennifer Carlson Broe, Baby Gourmet: The Halloween Witch is a household tradition for Jen's children Eamon and Findlay. Trick-or-treating is an experience that children love and Jen knew it would be very difficult (and disappointing for the kids!) to convince them not to participate - yet she was concerned about them eating big bags of candy. So...she told them about the Halloween Witch.

Eamon and Findlay have fun picking out their 10-15 favourite treats to keep and then they leave the rest of their candy next to the fireplace. The Halloween Witch visits their home each year and takes away the candy in exchange for a new present. Jen's children enjoy the whole of experience of Halloween without the lingering damage to their nutritional plan.

The Cons:
  • You're lying to your kid.
  • Your kid is ridiculed for talking about a mythical creature that no one else has ever heard of. Other kids throw their excess of candy corns at them and they are shunned from their social circle.
  • You need to go out and purchase replacement treats and create yet another hallmark holiday.

The Switch Witch
This is an on line version I found that is a bit different then the one above.  The Switch-Witch is coined as an eco fairy who comes once a year, on November 1st and takes away the most-offensive candy**** and replaces them with healthier surprises.

The Cons:
  • You're still lying to your kid.
  • Your kid continues to get ridiculed for talking about a mythical creature that no one else has ever heard of that has brought them things that they can't trade at lunch time.  Other kids (in greater numbers) throw their excess of candy corns at them and they are shunned from their social circle.
  • You need to go out and purchase replacement treats.

Candy Creations
Encourage your children to play with their food!  Let them do experiments to turn their candy into experiments, art work or jewellery.  Here are two great sites: (there is also a book you can say, purchase on November 1st) or

The Cons:
  • Some candy will get consumed in the making of the crafts.
  • It encourages wasting and playing with food.
  • Your kids could burn down your house creating a candy experiment or try to eat a varnish covered candy off of their bracelet.

Sharing is Caring
Why not encourage your kids to select some treats for mom and dad to bring into work and share with coworkers, give a goodie bag to the bus driver, postal worker, hair dresser, barber and the grandparents.  Check and see if your local food bank will accept donations of wrapped candies.

The Cons:
  • You have to negotiate with a child caught midst a CANDY CANDY CANDY state of mind with no pay off but kindness.  Think negotiating with Cookie Monster at the Christie factory outlet. 
I'm open for other suggestions and comments and will probably entertain a combination of a few of the above methods.  At least I have another few years to prepare for Candygeddon.

*There is truly nothing more scary than 3 flatulent children running around the streets, thanks mom.
**See stupid and unobservant.
***And ultimately the parents - cause come on - I know how much candy I eat on Halloween night when I give out treats and can only imagine the candicopia headed our way.
****So like those stupid caramels wrapped in Halloween paper, raisins and toothbrushes?


  1. Hi! Great post. I would have been furious if my mother had even made me put my candy in a bowl to others to even look at - I hid my candy from my brothers under my bed. Every year I do recall them getting the gross candy I didn't like and taking it to the hunting camp with them, so I must have shared something with them. My community is small at home in NS, but people give out HUGE treats and delicious home made ones too (I'm related or went to church with every house I visited). I'm wondering if my mother hadn't driving me to all the houses, if I wouldn't have had as much candy? What if we just don't take our kids to more than 10 or 15 houses? Or give them a time limit on how long they can be out (once they are old enough to walk on their own)? Wouldn't this limit the amount of candy?

  2. I think because the Halloween candy was always stored in the dining room we never questioned it, although I do remember being jealous of friends who had stashes under their beds!

  3. I thought the Halloween Witch was the dumbest thing I'd ever read. But then I read about the Switch Witch.

    I'm with Reebs on limiting, but that would be harder to do somewhere where there are more houses than fields. I'm still a fan of, you know, just telling your kid not to eat all the candy and taking it away if they eat too much.

  4. When I was a kid, coming home after Halloween was always the most fun part, mainly because I had an obsession with sorting things. I would dutifully sort out every piece of candy into piles of chocolate, lollipops, gum, small wrapped candies, chips, boxed mini candies (like Nerds), etc. It was very elaborate and everything had it's place. I would remove all candies that were obviously unwrapped or looked sketchy and throw them away. Then my mother would put every candy group into individual jars. The rules were very strict - we were allowed to chose ONE thing as a 'desert' after lunch and dinner, and one thing to take to snack at school - and that was all. Our candy lasted way past Christmas, and there was never any overdosing. Maybe my sister and I were just freakishly obedient children.