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8 Experts: Halloween Candy Policies

When you dedicate your career to fighting obesity, how does that affect the choices you make in your personal life? Welcome to Off the Clock, where we ask bariatric experts a question about their own lives.

Today we ask: “What is the Halloween candy policy in your house?”

“Halloween is definitely cheating time at our house. We only buy what we like, typically baby candy bars and Red Hots. But, the rule is the candy can’t be opened until Halloween. We make sure the kids have eaten a good dinner first, and the candy is allowed in the house for 2 or 3 days and then it’s all thrown out or given away.”
Dr. David Voellinger, North Carolina

“I let my kids eat their Halloween candy and stop when they don’t want anymore. It’s Halloween and kids love it!! Who doesn’t want to dress up and get something for nothing? It is a wonderful ritual. All my leftover candy – and a lot of my kids’ excess – gets sent to the food pantries in NYC. There are certain things to be held sacred: Kids, costumes, Halloween and my favorite… candy corn.”
Dr. Marina Kurian, New York

“We have a great connection with the halloween fairy. if the kids leave out most the their candy, and only keep the stuff they really like, the halloween fairy comes in the middle of the night and leaves a present in place of the candy! It works great to cut down on the huge amounts of candy that they collect.”
Dr. Tom Umbach, Las Vegas

“I always remind my kids – and patients too – that it is a holiday. One day.  My kids are allowed a few pieces that night and then they can save it for our “dessert night” which are only on weekends. I include things in my treat basket like pencils, small notebooks, matchbox cars, or little toys. Often times the trick-or-treaters prefer that over the candy as they have plenty of candy in their bags already.”
Dr. Alana Chock, Washington

“In our home after trick-or-treating, the children select their favorite ten pieces of candy. It is their choice whether to eat them immediately, or savor them over the next several days. The left over candy is brought to the dentist’s office where it is bought back by the pound. It’s a win-win.”
Dr. Valerui Andrei, New Jersey

“The Halloween policy in our house is simple: Wear a great costume, get as much candy as you want, have 2-3 pieces a night and you have to share with dad!!”
Dr. Greg Schroder, Virginia

“Our plan for Halloween is to buy some really great candy, and pass it out to the kids. I look forward to seeing the cute little kids that can barely walk get their best candy from the Simpson house. The hardest candy for most people are the “bite size” chocolate bars. Indulge in some really great candy, and don’t get caught up in tossing one “bite” size candy in your mouth after another.”
Dr. Terry Simpson, Arizona

“Halloween is a once a year family holiday and we try not to ruin the occasion by placing too many restrictions. They key to avoiding temper tantrums is to set expectations prior to trick-or treating. They can eat whatever they want, however we do limit how many treats they have in a day. They can choose to have Halloween candy or another treat like ice cream, but not both. I believe it’s important to give children a choice, to empower them to make decisions on their own, but still maintain some degree of moderation.”
Dr. Dan Davis, Connecticut


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by Emma Squillace