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Does Halloween candy spook us more than ghosts and goblins?

Halloween is upon us and those of us with small children have undoubtedly been talking with them excitedly for the last few months getting them ready for the big day. And for little ones, it really is a BIG day!

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding who or what they’ll be for Halloween. Costume shopping has become analogous to Christmas shopping. You know how the ultra-cool, wildly popular toy sells out of the major retail outlets about six weeks before Christmas? If you didn’t shop early, your kid might just be out of luck on Christmas morning. The same can now be said for Halloween costumes. If your child has his or her heart set on mimicking the main character from this year’s most popular movie, you’ll want to know about that a few months in advance so you can actually make that happen.

Halloween can be a stressful holiday for parents. The costume, the weather, the candy …. oh, that’s right … let’s not forget about the candy.

This has been a big parenting question for decades now, and we’re no closer to answering it today than we used to be. Do we allow our children to eat their candy haul, or do we: hide it, throw it away, donate it, sell it … or anything else we can think of that does not allow it to enter their mouths?

For generations the question has been addressed by separate factions – the “it’s only once a year, what harm can it do?” folks vs. the “It’s nothing but sugar. It has no nutritional value. It’s terrible for teeth. The kids collect pounds of it in one day and it’s unhealthy to eat that much candy – even if it takes a month to consume all of it” folks.

These separate divisions get a little louder each year. This year, the “No Candy Camp” includes a number of different Candy Buyback Campaigns sponsored by dentists. They’ll actually pay you for your candy and send it out to the troops overseas (who we guess must be immune to tooth decay???).

On the other side of the issue, there are plenty of people who have vivid memories of combining their “loot” with their siblings’ and divvying it up between themselves. It was a great way of making sure you got all your favorite candy and they got theirs. Many people remember that there was never a Halloween where they managed to eat all their candy – even by Thanksgiving. It was just a lot of fun and an opportunity to eat “contraband” legally for a short time, at least.

It’s a pretty personal issue and different families tackle it in different ways. And while it would be difficult to establish absolute rights and wrongs in this complex food situation that is both a sentimental and nutritional issue, we think it might be important to offer a little food for thought to everyone making their decision for the first time. Here are the nutritional “highlights” from the top 10 Halloween Candies of 2013.

Candy Corn:
http://www.foodfacts.com/NutritionFacts/Chewy/Brachs-Candy- Corn-1100-oz/86948

Skittles:

http://www.foodfacts.com/NutritionFacts/Chewy/Skittles-Original-Fruit-Candies-2-oz/4326

Butterfinger:
http://www.foodfacts.com/NutritionFacts/Peanut-Butter/Nestle-Butterfinger-Candy-2-oz/4457

Twizzlers:
http://www.foodfacts.com/NutritionFacts/Chewy/Twizzlers-Strawberry-Twists-24-oz/51634

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups:

http://www.foodfacts.com/NutritionFacts/Peanut-Butter/Reeses-Peanut-Butter-Cups-Minis-8-oz/66136

M&Ms

http://www.foodfacts.com/NutritionFacts/Chocolate/M-Ms-Milk-Chocolate-Candies-213-oz/8817

Life Savers
http://www.foodfacts.com/NutritionFacts/Hard/Life-Savers-5-Flavors-Hard-Candy-6-oz/4400

Tootsie Rolls
http://www.foodfacts.com/NutritionFacts/Chewy/Tootsie-Roll-Midgees-Chocolate-Candy-12-oz/10095

Wonka Nerds
http://www.foodfacts.com/NutritionFacts/Bite-Size/Wonka-Nerds-Rainbow-of-Flavors-7-oz/4632

Snickers:
http://www.foodfacts.com/NutritionFacts/Chocolate/Snickers-Minis-Candies-13-oz/10476

Whatever you decide, FoodFacts.com wishes you and yours a happy, spooky and safe Halloween!

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