Trunk or Treat

Halloween is fast approaching.  As is very evident by the in-my-face candy displays in stores.

Most years (okay, maybe all years) I have eaten Halloween candy.  Sometimes in moderation; sometimes not. Some years during Halloween I have been on a diet; some years not.  Some years I have been thin; some years… not so much.  Some years I thought about the candy for weeks in advance; some years I just took the holiday in stride as it came.

Once upon a time I used to buy what my kids would define as “good” candy.  You know the kind:  Snickers and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Three Musketeers and Tootsie Rolls and the like.  I bought it early, when the selection was good and when it was on sale.  (Unless my husband beat me to the punch and stocked up at Costco.)  And more often than not, my whole family got into the stash before the holiday and it had to be replenished.

So then I evolved into the “don’t buy it until the last minute” years.  But I still got the good stuff.  Lots of it, because you never want to risk running out:)  And after we shut off the lights on the 31st, there were leftovers.  And when my kids sorted through their haul, they gave whatever candy they didn’t like, coconut for example, to me.  And sometimes I snuck into their plastic pumpkins, sitting for weeks on the pantry shelf, and searched for something I thought might not be missed.  I let me boys eat as much candy as fast as they wanted; the sooner it was gone, the better.

Then came the years when I only bought candy that didn’t tempt me.  Like Nerds and Sweet Tarts.  My boys liked them enough to eat the leftovers, grudgingly, but I didn’t.  That worked pretty well for a while.  But sometimes I called out to my neighbors, as we stood in our doorways watching for little costumed Trick or Treaters, and asked what they were giving out.  And if it was something I wanted, I traded with them and enjoyed a $100,000 Bar (or two) or Malted Milkballs or whatever else it was that I was too smart to buy for my own stash.  But at least it was more moderation than if I had bags of it at home already.

Then my youngest outgrew going door-to-door.  And looked forward to our leftovers as his only Halloween booty.  So it was back to “good” candy, tempting candy, high fat candy.  Like Milky Way Darks and Charleston Chews.  I waited to buy it until the last minute.  That kept me from eating it before the holiday.  But what to do with the leftovers that would sit in my house and call to me!?  Then it hit me – store them in my son’s car trunk.  During the days, the car is gone, sitting in the high school parking lot.  When it is home, I have to make a serious effort to head out to the garage and pop the trunk to indulge.  Sometimes that even made me think twice!  The trunk became the willpower that I didn’t have.

This year I am already thinking ahead to Halloween.  Thanks in part to the candy I just bought for a care package for my son at college.  And thanks to the fact that I am an over-planner and way too focused on my eating right now.  I have not decided what my approach to eating candy will be this year.  I am inclined to commit to eating none.  Zip, zero, nada.

But I can tell you this much – I will buy my candy at the last minute, I will not overbuy, and any leftovers will be immediately handed over to my son to hide away wherever he wants.  Forget about ME putting it in the trunk and knowing it is there.  Let him take it and run with it.  He’ll like that – having it all to himself without his dad or me to stick our grubby little paws into the bag.  And next year, when my youngest is off at college, my “good” candy buying days will be over!  And as the number of Trick or Treaters has dwindled done to almost nothing, maybe the year will come when our outside light will stay off and I won’t buy even one lonely candy bar.  Sorry hubby.

How do you handle Halloween candy?

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62 Comments

Filed under dieting, food, holidays/seasons/weather

62 responses to “Trunk or Treat

  1. I bought Halloween candy on sale this year. We ate the first bag already and are working on the second. Sigh. Then we asked our neighbor how many trick or treaters come to our house. Well no one does. We live in a little alley way and no one wants to brave the walk down there at night I guess. So we will end up eating them all. Next year I’ll know better.

  2. I buy it on the 31st. Nothing that tempts me–no chocolate. Our son opens the bags and doles out the candy. Lights off when it’s gone. If it’s not gone, we toss it in the trash. Son doesn’t eat candy and DH and I don’t need (or want) to eat candy. In days of yore I could go through a batch or two of the “good stuff” before the 31st rolled around. One holiday down, two to go!

    • Karen

      My husband would hate it if I threw it away! Bad enough I threw away that last jar of peanut butter. At least that was “mine” and not something he’d want on top of me wasting it. Sigh. I’m all for making good use of the trash can:)

  3. Those Reeces Peanut Butter Cups are evil, pure delicious evil. Fortunately Halloween is not celebrated here in Australia very much.

  4. Never eat it, never miss it.

  5. We don’t get kids here at all so I don’t have to buy for that but I have bought for the grandkids in the past & maybe them bags with fun toys & some candy.. I tried to buy stuff I did not like or that did not tempt me.. candy corn & smarties tempt me & especially candy corn that adds up fast so I don’t buy it….. I am pretty good about portion control but every so often not so why tempt… if I see it out & about, I will grab a few & why not…. it is when one goes overboard that we have the issue.

    For me, best thing is just to not bring anything that tempts me too much in the house period, Halloween candy or otherwise… 🙂

    PS: I also think what eating too much of this will do to my fitness goals & honestly, I know that just a few pounds for me has my pants too tight & I don’t like the thought of over tight pants so that stops me too! Plus I hate the sugar high & then crash…. screws with my mind & bod!

    • Karen

      Smarties do nothing for me. Candy corn I could pass up and not crave, unless it is sitting out in a dish. I like to eat it in pieces, biting off each colored layer. I’m strange, I know. My older son loves it and I sent him a bag just today. At least you like the the low-fat stuff:)

  6. I like the trunk idea! We’re lucky, we go to my sister’s to walk around the neighborhood with the kids. So we don’t buy Halloween candy! 🙂

  7. Sounds like a great plan Karen!

    Luckily, Halloween candy doesn’t tempt me. Now, if they were handing out steak, or mac and cheese – it would be a different story!

  8. I’ve already eaten a bag of the candy pumkins. So far that’s been enough. I think I’ll make it through the rest of the holiday without candy.

  9. I never buy halloween candy since I never have the chance to give it out. I usually grab a few pieces from my sons bag once halloween is over.

    My only halloween candy I absolutely love is candy corn. I usually buy myself a bag and ration it out according to serving size to stop myself from eating an entire bag in one sitting.

    • Karen

      Sounds like a very reasonable approach to a holiday treat:) Of course now you can buy that all year long! And not just the traditional white/yellow/orange.

  10. Kim

    Sad that we have bags of candy in the house right now and the kids don’t know about it. Sad because there is a little hole punched in the Twix bag (my favorite!) that I have been noshing on for the last 2 weeks! Who the heck am I fooling? I used to wait until later to purchase it. At least it wasn’t in the house. And, I used to buy the stuff I hated so I wouldn’t be so tempted. Not working for me this year as I bought all the stuff I love. Rrrrggghh!!!

  11. I live in a neighborhood without a lot of kids — so very rarely do kids come by on Halloween. Last year — I bought the three kids in the neighborhood glow in the dark glasses and hand delivered them pre-trick-or-treating and then turned off the light 🙂

    For those following Weight Watchers — here is a Halloween Candy with the points figured out:

    http://blog.jenniferbarley.com/2009/10/the-fun-sized-snickers-is-not-that-fun.html

    • Karen

      I distinctly remember the one Halloween I was on WW and counting points. I remember that our neighbors were still throwing their annual “pre-trick-or-treating-dinner-party” with pizza and I figured I could have one slice of plain. I don’t remember what candy, if any, I ate that year. But I remember that pizza!

  12. Ewa

    My comment got lost somewhere so I will try again.
    Just wanted to say that several years ago we decided that it is not worth it, that our health is way more important so no candy in our house, Halloween or not.

    • Karen

      Wow! Good for you. My plan when my nest empties next fall is to not have any crap in our house at all. Neither hubby or I needs it:)

  13. I send the leftovers to work with my husband. Or leave them outside in the plastic tub; let the high schoolers take them, I don’t care. 🙂

  14. I live on a 3rd floor apt, so no trick or treaters – makes it nice since we then have to buy no candy! BUt it’s still in the stores and EVERYWHERE which makes shopping very difficult.

  15. Our wedding anniversary is October 31st. We always take the kids to the in-laws that night so that we can go out to dinner. It works well for us. We don’t buy candy, they don’t come to the house, everyone wins. 😀

  16. I agree. Every Sunday my SS teacher passes a BIG bag filled with tons of candy (chocolate to hard) around for us to eat during class. For the last year I pass on that offer. BUT I hate the fact I have to smell the chocolate candy bars from peanut butter to coconut being ate all around me. I hate it I tell yeah! EVIL CANDY!!! smile.

  17. I’m going to write a post on this because I have a new plan. 🙂

  18. This is a great post Karen, to make us think about how we are going to handle Halloween before it arrives!

    Your story describes me to a “T”. But the last few years I have decided that the candy belongs to my kids, and not to me, so I can’t touch any. This year is going to be good because I haven’t eaten a chocolate bar since December 31, 2009 and I’m not about to start now!!!

  19. Pingback: the candy dilemma

  20. Thank heavens, candy is just about the ONLY edible thing on this earth (ok, so I exagerate) that I’m not tempted by! I buy candy that I don’t like that much though…because I know that if it’s in front of me, I’ll eat eat just because it’s there!

  21. We don’t “do” Halloween so this isn’t an issue for me. It’s partly because we don’t have kids, partly because we live in an area that isn’t conducive to trick or treating, but mainly because I really don’t like Halloween…I stopped trick or treating when I was about 10 and never really liked costume parties or anything like that.

    But I applaud your forward thinking 🙂

  22. Most years we don’t have many (or any) trick or treaters, so I don’t buy candy for home. When I worked, I had to buy it for my office, because the staff came around for treats. Don’t have to worry about that anymore. 🙂 I do miss it, though, because I could have a candy pumpkin or two, and/or maybe some candy corn, without having to buy a whole bag of it.

  23. Amy

    Can honestly say I don’t even think about it. But then again candy is not my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I like snickers, twix but put those up next to a red velvet cupcake or hot buttered sourdough it’s not what I would go for.

    Since my kids are little, we go out as a family so I usually don’t pass out candy. I might need to pre-plan for the holiday. Esp since I need to get my HOT 100 goals in drive mode.

  24. We give away the big, traditional size candy bars. We get major brownie points from the kids and I can’t rationalize eating one. Denial just charges across the room like a hippo on fire and slaps me hard in the face. That hurts.

    • Karen

      You are the second person who is going with the big candy bar technique. I never thought of that. My husband would love the idea because he’d enjoy the kids’ appreciation. Hmm.

  25. sunnydaze

    Iused to use Halloween as an excuse to have a 2 week pig out o candy till I got nauseous. Now I steer clear of the candy aisle coz I know I could easily get sucked right back in.

  26. I am lucky because most of the candy people really like, I don’t. Plus we don’t get many kids at our house. I buy at the last minute, candy that I don’t like but my husband does, and he enjoys having sweets in the house as long as they last.

    In the old days I did rifle through the kid’s bags for my favorites (mmm coconut!) but my daughter at home is 17 and not out trick or treating anymore.

  27. I got on a plane and flew to France and decided to live in Paris and so I never have to deal with Halloween candy stockpiles again….

    But I always did the ‘buy the stuff you don’t like’ routine before and always brought it to work or a group after – never kept it in my house.

    In your shoes i’d still do that and give my teenage son a ten dollar bill to buy candy out of my sight…

  28. I’ve done all of the same things that you have…

    Only now I don’t buy candy at all. We live in a high-rise downtown loft that doesn’t make it easy for kids to come in and trick-or-treat.

    So we’re relieved of that duty.

    And honestly? It’s so awesome.

  29. I haven’t bought Halloween candy in years. The first year I stopped buying it, I bought little individual packs of cookies instead — the kids love Oreos. Then we joined Sam’s Club, and I was able to get little individual bags of microwave popcorn — those were a BIG hit with the kids. I did that until we left Sam’s a couple of years ago. Now I buy the little snack packs of chips, pretzels, Doritos, cheese puffs, etc. If there are leftovers, I pack one in my husbands lunch every day.

    • Karen

      See those little packs would be just as hard on me. Oreos. Chips. Popcorn I never thought of. I can’t eat it because of my many crowns. Hmmm. Maybe that’s my plan this year… I can just give it out from my husband’s Costco sized supply in our pantry.

  30. Ah, Karen, I would like to point out that your good candy days are not over: ever heard of grandbabies??

    Halloween has always been a time of candy indulgences for me. Butterfingers, M & M’s and caramels. This year, I will abstain from candy, as I do everyday, except for on the holiday itself. I have given myself permission to include an extra 1000 calories for this holiday. So that would be a pumpkin cookie, three candy bars, a small piece of carrot cake, or what ever we have or a fun combination of other things. I think I can do it. We’ll soon see!!!!

    • Karen

      My sons have been coached for years that I am looking forward to being a grandmom:) Just not yet!! (I’d go for now but they are too young to be dads.)

      I think you have a very wise approach. An approach that let’s you enjoy and not be deprived. I actually had originally written in my blog that I might allow a treat of a small candy bar or two but with the great week I have had I decided that I should not tempt fate and risk derailing myself since I have not handled moderation well in the past months. But Thanksgiving is another story altogether!

  31. Great post and one I was just thinking about posting myself. Now I don’t need to! I use to be like you when my kids were little. Some years no problem, other years I ate more than my share. Then I started buying those little packs of pretzels,pop corn balls or little gold fish crackers to pass out.

    When my kids both had braces and the dentist said “no sticky candy” we decided to give them each $5 to go get their favorite candy. On Halloween we treated them to a movie instead of trick or treating.It worked for us.

    Now that they are in college we don’t have too many kids in the neighborhood so we don’t buy candy to pass out. We usually get together with friends for dinner instead.

    I usually buy myself one bag of the snack size M&M’s to have on hand during the rest of the year for an occasional treat. Since I have been staying away from lots of sugar I don’t know if I will do that this year. They might taste too sweet to me now! I prefer high quality dark chocolate these days.

    Wishing you well with your plan Karen!

    • Karen

      I wish I liked that dark chocolate. I mean really – healthy candy:) But the stuff that is dark enough to be good for you does not taste good to me. Sigh.

  32. We’re so lucky that our street is so dark, we never get trick or treaters! Our daughter is only 3, but we may take her to a couple of selected friends houses. I want to buy some more “natural” candy…. but, really it’s all sugar. She doesn’t know what Halloween is yet. Maybe we’ll define it for one more year. “treats” can still mean anything.

  33. We don’t really celebrate Halloween here and I have yet to see anyone trick or treat on Halloween so we don’t have that issue here. With the Christmas candy I try not to buy any till Christmas, then enjoy it for a few days and that’s it.

  34. Like you, some years I do better than others. I have to say one of the funniest things happened with the last kid who knocked on the door one year – I dumped the entire bowl of “good” candy into his bowl – it was all there, right alongside the temptation. Good luck.

  35. I think you’ve got it right, Karen! My problem is, I may buy it at the last minute, but I’ll dig into it in between the trick or treaters!

  36. I haven’t thought too much about what I will do. Most years in the past, I would take the extra candy to work. I guess I should start planning.

  37. One piece of candy can lead to a slippery slope all down hill. Give it all away!!
    You will have a few good years before those grandkids!!!

  38. My kids don’t go door to door, they just go to a church harvest party, the candy is given out there, they bring home a good stash. We live in too rural of an area for there to be any trick-or-treaters at out house, so any candy I buy is contributed unopened to the harvest party. I help out at the party, and sometimes I eat a little while I’m helping, but I’m limited to that one night, because I have no leftovers at home.

    My kids bring home their stash, but I rarely eat any of it, because if I take from one and not the others, they complain!

  39. I liked reading how your approach to Halloween candy has evolved over the years. We don’t pass out candy every year b/c some years we have plans but on the years we do, I either buy full-size candy bars in advance if I can find them 4 for $1 (amazingly, these are somehow easy to resist–I guess knowing there’s only one candy bar for each trick-or-treater keeps me out of the stash) or buy the minis last minute and we never ever have leftovers b/c of all the kids going through our neighborhood. But if we had leftovers, the easy way for me to get rid of unwanted caloric treats is to take them to work. Of course, I always end up eating some of it and although some isn’t bad, it’s usually more than I would like. This year we won’t be passing out candy since we’ll be at our Church’s evening service around the time the kids start knocking on doors so it won’t be a problem for me.

  40. AFG

    How do I handle Halloween candy? LOL….

    I am a sugar and sweets addict. I have to be very careful. I don’t trust myself around it. I will allow myself just a tiny bit and walk away. I have to do this or all hell breaks loose! 🙂

  41. I can relate, Karen! When Halloween’s your favorite “holiday” there’s a problem! I was never as saintly as you, I always bought all the candy I loved (coconut too!) and ate it all a few times over. For the last ten years, ironically, I’ve been the “safe” parent. Now the kids hide their candy from my husband with me since they know I won’t eat it. That just seems really strange to me!

  42. Vee

    I usually buy candy that I don’t like, then take my Kid trick-or-treating and once home, would sort through on the pretense that I was checking for safety. Actually, I was making a pile for him and a pile for me. He never ate much anyway. My pile would be gone in just a couple of days.

    This year, we’ll be gone for Halloween, so we won’t buy any at all. I do have a couple large bags of suckers in our pantry, but I don’t care for suckers so they remain untouched.

    I’m having a little craving problem right now so the least temptation, the better.

    Vee at http://veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com (a hot 100)

    • Karen

      My husband is a big Tootsie Roll fan and used to buy Tootsie Pops at Costco. Which is a lot of suckers! I actually did not have much of a problem with those since too many made the roof of my mouth hurt. Regular lollipops, with nothing in the center, do nothing for me:)

  43. Halloween candy is so tough! I used to just allow myself a couple pieces and then move on. Now I’m just one of those bah-humbuggers who doesn’t even turn the light on, plus we don’t have a lot of kids in my neighborhood. Works even better!

  44. I know I’m chiming in late but usually the kid who I am sure is last (specially if I’m about to go to bed) gets the rest of the candy or I take it to work the next day. Usually the kid who gets the last candy LOVES me lol. I’m sure his parents hate me though but OH WELL. :p

    I also buy at the last minute- haven’t bought my candy yet!

  45. Amy

    Fortunately (for myself)…I don’t buy any. Not ONE bag! Of course, the fact that we live way out in the country and don’t have any T.O.T’ers has everything to do with it. My little ones are 4-1/2 and 2…so the candy after the TOT years has just begun. I love your idea about putting it in the car trunk! Good thinking! Of course…I have a few years before mine are driving…but an idea to hold onto!

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