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Halloween Treats: To Give or Not to Give?

I

iDent

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Having eliminated all desserts (except low-sugar ones that I make myself) from my diet nine years ago, I have nonetheless been a frightening, :devilish: horrible hypocrite on Halloween. A lot of children live in our neighbourhood, and the door is usually busy on 31 October!

In previous years, my husband and I gave terrible frosted, mass-produced, cellophane-wrapped brownies (how I used to love them, and how he still does!) to the first two dozen children who come to our door. After we ran out of brownies, we distributed miniature candy bars made by a local candy company to most other children; since these contained peanuts, we also stocked a smaller supply of caramel creams, the centers of which were almost pure sugar, for children with nut allergies.

Last year, my concerns about Halloween candy were primarily related to childhood obesity. This year, having spent approximately $4,500 on my teeth, I want to spare the neighbourhood children my dental fate. The last time I spoke with a neighbour child up close, I saw stainless-steel crowns. . .

I am contemplating going to a dollar store and buying massive quantities of single-serving snack-cracker packages to pass out on Halloween this year. This wouldn't be quite as pathetic as boxed raisins (which, due to stickiness, can cause tooth decay to rival candy!) or sugarless gum (which contains potentially harmful artificial sweeteners like aspartame). When I was a very young child some people still gave fresh fruit, but this is now sadly taboo.

As a child, I used to love Halloween costumes and candy, especially bubble gum and chewy peanut-butter kisses. I don't want to spoil the fun, but I also don't want to contribute to dental decay: as we all know, few "everyday" things are spookier than rotting teeth!

How have others dealt with Halloween?
 
kitkat

kitkat

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It's once a year, I don't see much harm in letting the kids have their day. Plenty of kids celebrate Halloween and have never had a single cavity in their lives (I envy those kids!). You could always pass out floss or travel-size toothpaste though! :giggle:
 
Razzle3

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"You could always pass out floss or travel-size toothpaste though! :giggle: " I love that idea Kitkat! If I lived in a house or apartment where kids came trick or treating I'd totally try to do just that. A small candy bar and toothpaste; the new 2 for 1 in Halloween fun! :)
 
kitkat

kitkat

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"You could always pass out floss or travel-size toothpaste though! :giggle: " I love that idea Kitkat! If I lived in a house or apartment where kids came trick or treating I'd totally try to do just that. A small candy bar and toothpaste; the new 2 for 1 in Halloween fun! :)

I wonder if any dentists do this?! :) Funny story, one time I was at the dentist right around Halloween (I think just after) and they had a ton of candy in the office. While I was in the waiting room (stressing about my appointment) my dentist walked out with a big pumpkin bowl of candy and set it in the waiting room. I asked her if she was trying to drum up more business and she playfully put a finger to her mouth and said "Shh! It wasn't me! ;)" And then said that if the candy stayed in the back with her she'd eat it all and had to get it out of sight and out of mind! :p
 
G

gapmouthgirl

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dollar stores often carry packages of fun stuff that isn't necessarily edible (though i've heard some kids will try to eat anything, lol!), but still lots of fun for halloween.

pencils with eraser tops
mini pots of play doh
miniature slinkie toys
fake vampire teeth
silly putty
mini playing card decks
tiny flashlights that elastic over your finger
glow sticks

........ those are just a few things i could think of off the top of my head. i know i always liked getting pencils and other non edible things at halloween as a kid, because those things lasted longer than the candy.
 
shamrockerin

shamrockerin

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Halloween is my absolute FAVORITE time of year! It's even better than Christmas because it has all the things I love: costumes, candy, ghosts, candy, fall weather, candy, hayrides, candy, ghosts, scary movies. . .did I say candy?;)

Even though I have recently gotten a number of fillings in my teeth, I never had any cavities in my baby teeth. This is due to a number of reasons, including my parents always making sure we brushed our teeth twice a day.

Personally, I think Halloween isn't complete without candy. I always hand it out because I think too much has already been taken away from kids when it comes to holidays.

But of this is a personal conviction, then I think something else that is "fun" like plastic rings or toys or something would be happily accepted by the kids.
 
I

iDent

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This is rather complicated for me, because I loved Halloween as a child but now see it from the perspective of an adult who has dealt with dental phobia for most of my life, and, in adolescence, eating disorders.

Last year I was primarily concerned about childhood obesity, but decided it was OK for children to overindulge on holidays. Now Halloween has two strikes against it: childhood obesity and dental decay. As someone who once had to take two subsequent afternoons off from first grade for fillings (with the infamous Dr. No, who is partially responsible for my developing dental phobia), I don't want to contribute to sending neighbourhood children to The Chair.

One factor compounding my dilemma is that we live in a mixed-income, older urban residential area. Many of the children who come to our door on Halloween are from lower-income families, and while in several ways I find them refreshing (they don't make "play dates," play outside fairly often, and aren't afraid to go trick-or-treating), I know that, based on the neighbourhood litter I pick up, some of their families don't have good dietary habits. We don't have "Kool Smiles" or "Small Smiles" clinics in the state where I live, but there is one chain I highly suspect of being similar, and now that I know about dental chains that physically and financially prey on Medicaid children, I don't want to "be part of the problem" (albeit a small one, but a drop in the ocean nonetheless) by giving them candy.

Why I am reluctant to give toys:
1.) For 15 years, I have tried to avoid "Made in China" products whenever possible (especially if something is nonessential), and almost all party-favor-type toys are made in China.
2.) Although I can't remember the website, I read last year that many parents are weary of the "junk" their children bring home in birthday-party treat bags. Apparently a lot of it is quickly thrown away or never played with at all, and winds up in landfills and incinerators. I'm not a hardcore environmentalist (after all, I love recreational aviation!), but I am a moderate one.
3.) Even as a child, I didn't like most "junky toys" (my mother's term and influence!). Aside from raising two bookworm children despite the fact that she herself is not an avid reader, I credit this among her parenting successes.
For every rule, there are exceptions ;): I actually like glowsticks, and have purchased them once or twice as an adult at fairs and festivals. Large lots of glowsticks seem to be available fairly inexpensively on eBay, and most children like them. My main concern is that glowsticks are "temporary" toys, and are definitely destined to wind up in the garbage after the glow fades. However, I might be able to justify their purchase because they also help with night visibility/safety on Halloween!

Sorry if I'm blowing this out of proportion. . .brain ricochet sometimes happens to overanalytical people who have anxiety disorders! :unsure:
 
chickenjen

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I, too, am of the belief that Halloween is one of childhood's simple pleasures and I do give candy away. My parents monitored our candy intake after Halloween so we wouldn't eat ALL that candy in one giant gulp. They also made doubly sure that we brushed our teeth afterwards.
I think it's up to the children's parents to monitor how much they eat and if they brush. But I can also see the flip side of the coin so to speak as to not wanting to contribute to cavities or obesity.
I think something the children can use or enjoy would be in order like mini coloring books, or mini packs of crayons or "skull" erasers or something of that sort if you're totally opposed to giving candy.
 
FearfulInMA

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My main concern is that glowsticks are "temporary" toys, and are definitely destined to wind up in the garbage after the glow fades. However, I might be able to justify their purchase because they also help with night visibility/safety on Halloween!

The wrappers on all of the individually wrapped candy also ends up in the trash... I think that the glow sticks are totally justifiable and would not create significantly more trash than individually wrapped candy. I say go for it!
 
S

Sunny78

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In our apartment building the children come round with their parents for trick or treating and only take one piece of candy from the big bowl presented to them. So it seems quite harmless to me. And I figure it's up to their parents to monitor when and how much of the candy they eat. Halloween is once a year, and I like to buy the bags of silly gummy eyeballs or some candy specific to the holiday rather than the usual M&M bags.

I am sorry today's kids don't have the treats I got to have as a child, when we didn't worry about razor blades in apples. We had a neighbor who baked sugar cookies with frosting and gave us one with an apple and somehow the aroma of the apple with the sugar and butter in the cookie smelled wonderful. We carried home-decorated brown grocery store bags for our treats. I can still smell the apple and cookie in the bag. It brings up wonderful memories.

I confess I STILL love candy corn, though a little goes a long way. This year, however, I will not be eating even one corn, due to the current state of my teeth. :cry:
 
F

fireandice1000

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I myself don't celebrate Halloween (I don't like kids) but I'd say go for it if you want. It's a once in a year thing and chances are even if you handed out crackers or something sugar-free, the kids will get loaded up with candy and treats from the neighbors. I don't understand the anti-sugar/anti-carb mentality of today. I'm not trying to be a troublemaker but I can think of things people put into their body that are far more dangerous than carbs (like alcohol!) and to me it seems like a sales pitch. Then again, I am mostly a vegan so I guess my viewpoint is a bit different here.;D
 
Kim

Kim

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Nup - don't like kids and their parents/carers knocking at my door, my doggy going mental and barking like there is no tomorrow, and them still knocking and ringing the bell - she will eat you - I can't and don't want to open the door - go away - baaaaahhhhhh humbug - love crimbo tho' ;)
 
Sparkles

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Not a fan of halloween either. It's people in masks I can't handle. Really really freaks me out. Plus kids just come to the door and stick out their buckets expecting sweets and money. They don't even do anything for it anymore. We used to tell jokes or do a dance or something to earn it! oh dear I sound old...I sound like my mother...oh no...

I love crimbo too though!
 
carole

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Me too, counting the days 54 to go. :jump::jump::jump::cheer::cheer::cheer::cheer::cheer::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::jump::jump::jump:
 
kitkat

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I love crimbo too though!

I looked up "crimbo" as I have never heard of the term and saw that it is British slang for Christmas? I'm confused, why is it called "crimbo"? :confused:

I personally don't love Halloween but I went trick or treating as a kid and think every kid should have their time to enjoy their childhood years. They are gone in a blink! I'm right there with whoever said that they have the mask issues. No haunted houses, scare festivals, or serious costume parties for me! I can't handle it! :giggle:

My dentist and I had a Halloween discussion at my last appointment a couple of days ago and she said that she was going to give out floss/toothpaste/toothbrushes this year for the first time. Not because of damage to the teeth but because of how bad candy is for your health in general. All of that corn syrup puts you at increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, etc.! :rolleyes: Those problems come from an accumulation of years and years of bad habits and poor diet combined with genetics. I think as long as the kids aren't sedentary and keep up good dental habits and practice moderation (with the help of parental guidance) no harm is done for one night. And like someone else said, the kids are going to get loaded up on sugar from the other neighbors anyway. If we went through life trying to prevent all of the terrible things from happening to us we would never really live at all! :p
 
carole

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I don't know why some people call it crimbo, I think it came from Keith Lemon, I don't know if you have ever heard of him but he brought a song out called something crimbo I think.

I don't mind the masks etc... when my son was 5 his school was having a halloween party at the early evening and it was of course fancy dress, well he wanted his face doing as well. I got my make up out as we couldn't get the stuff you can these days, and I made him look gruesome, he was all giddy and excited while I was doing it. When we had finished and got him all dressed up in a torn bloody shirt and pants with a cape etc...

I lifted him up so he could see what he looked like, wellllllllllllllllllllllllllll he screamed blue murder and was shaking so much, I never thought about the impact it would have on him when he saw it, as I had been describing to him what I was doing and he was laughing saying yes do this and that. But I think I should have made him up in front of a mirror.

He was terrified and I got it off as quick as I could, but it really shook him up. I am laughing now thinking about it, but at the time it was horrible. He has grown up never the less not afraid of horror films or the dark or anything but it could have scared him for life. So if anyone does make kids up do it in front of a mirror because they don't always understand that it is just them they are seeing with make up on.
I got it off and he did want some on but I put it on with a mirror and not as much, and he enjoyed the evening.
 
kitkat

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I don't know why some people call it crimbo, I think it came from Keith Lemon, I don't know if you have ever heard of him but he brought a song out called something crimbo I think.

Nope, never heard of him.

I don't mind the masks etc... when my son was 5 his school was having a halloween party at the early evening and it was of course fancy dress, well he wanted his face doing as well. I got my make up out as we couldn't get the stuff you can these days, and I made him look gruesome, he was all giddy and excited while I was doing it. When we had finished and got him all dressed up in a torn bloody shirt and pants with a cape etc...

I lifted him up so he could see what he looked like, wellllllllllllllllllllllllllll he screamed blue murder and was shaking so much, I never thought about the impact it would have on him when he saw it, as I had been describing to him what I was doing and he was laughing saying yes do this and that. But I think I should have made him up in front of a mirror.

He was terrified and I got it off as quick as I could, but it really shook him up. I am laughing now thinking about it, but at the time it was horrible. He has grown up never the less not afraid of horror films or the dark or anything but it could have scared him for life. So if anyone does make kids up do it in front of a mirror because they don't always understand that it is just them they are seeing with make up on.
I got it off and he did want some on but I put it on with a mirror and not as much, and he enjoyed the evening.

Funny story! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: Poor kid! I have a memory from when I was about 4 or 5 where some guy in a scary costume was posing on a porch and jumped out at me when I went up to get candy and I ran down the driveway for dear life! I don't remember if I cried but I know the other guy handing out the candy felt bad and apologized for scaring me so much because I would not even come back up to him to get the candy afterward. He had to walk down the driveway to me. After that, I never really could shake my negative impression of the holiday. I still went trick-or-treating but steered clear of any "scary" houses. I also HATE scary movies but I do have a keen interest in ghost stuff. Not over the top, dramatic scary ghost stuff...I'm more into the analytical, reality show, documentary stuff (like Ghost Hunters if you get that show? where they investigate places and try to gather evidence to prove a place is haunted or debunk what is actually happening). I also like reality shows about mediums. The most I watch that is fictional is Ghost Whisperer (not sure if you get that show in the UK but it's a fictional show about a medium that helps ghosts with their unfinished business so they can cross over).
 
H

Harperista

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Not a fan of halloween either. It's people in masks I can't handle. Really really freaks me out. Plus kids just come to the door and stick out their buckets expecting sweets and money. They don't even do anything for it anymore. We used to tell jokes or do a dance or something to earn it! oh dear I sound old...I sound like my mother...oh no...

I love crimbo too though!

Money? What?! Man, if some kid came to my door wanting money I'd kick a parent! I'm just not a fan of people knocking on my door while my dog goes insane. Fortunately, around here if your porch light is off no one knocks. But I do love seeing the kids in the cute costumes (though I admit, I am in the "I don't care for children" camp). I'm bad...I go the next day and buy candy on sale. :)
 
Pianimo

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I looked up "crimbo" as I have never heard of the term and saw that it is British slang for Christmas? I'm confused, why is it called "crimbo"? :confused:
I don't know why some people call it crimbo, I think it came from Keith Lemon, I don't know if you have ever heard of him but he brought a song out called something crimbo I think.
Not exactly the main point of the thread - :offtopic: sorry! - but the word Crimbo has been around longer than Keith Lemon (who, for kitkat's info, is a character played by comedian - he's of those ones who aways appears in character. He's quite popular, although I'm not a fan!). Anyway, the word has been used since the 60s at least, maybe earlier - more info here: [out-of-date link removed]

Slighty more on topic...
Money? What?! Man, if some kid came to my door wanting money I'd kick a parent!
My UK experience is that it used to be more common to ask for money than sweets. When I was growing up (not overly long ago!), kids would come round saying "Penny for Hallowe'en". It wasn't that common though - I didn't know many friends who went round doing it, although the idea of dressing up was there and there were Halloween parties etc. The "Trick or treat" concept filtered through from the US, as did all the hype that surrounds it over there, and it's become bigger and bigger since.

I'd now go fully on topic to the OP, but seeing as its 3rd November now I reckon I've missed the boat on that one...oh well, on to the next holiday! (Well, over here, anyway!):fireworks:
 
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F

franklinm

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I wonder if any dentists do this?! :) Funny story, one time I was at the dentist right around Halloween (I think just after) and they had a ton of candy in the office. While I was in the waiting room (stressing about my appointment) my dentist walked out with a big pumpkin bowl of candy and set it in the waiting room. I asked her if she was trying to drum up more business and she playfully put a finger to her mouth and said "Shh! It wasn't me! ;)" And then said that if the candy stayed in the back with her she'd eat it all and had to get it out of sight and out of mind! :p

Well actually, there is a dentist in our neighborhood and that house hands out floss or toothpaste, I can't remember.:p But I think it is floss. I'm quite surprised I've never skipped this house but I haven't had my "special condition" with dentists long enough since I've gone trick or treating.
 
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