Halloween Candy or Not?

Updated on October 27, 2012
A.B. asks from Albuquerque, NM
19 answers

As you may have seen in some of my earlier questions, I have a 5yo who has Lyme Disease. She is on a dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free diet for now, since the doctor says it might help her recover faster if she stays away from those foods. But since Halloween is coming, she is going to be getting lots of candy. I asked the doctor if it is ok to eat it, since it will have sugar in it, and he basicly just said it is up to me and my husband. He says it would be best if she does not have any candy at all, but she LOVES halloween and trick or treating, (she is going as a princess this year) and she would be in tears if I told her she could not have any candy. So I was thinking, maybe we could limit the amount of candy? or maybe just say a piece or two a day, or should we just let her have it all. I am really stuck, I can't decide what to do. Any advice or ideas would be very helpful.
Thanks so much!!!
Mom of 5

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the ideas moms!! I decided I am going to let Juliet have candy, but maybe just try to limit it. I am also taking her to a halloween party on Tuesday, which is at her friends house, and all her friends will be there. I talked to her friends mom, and she said that they are going to have some halloween games where they will give out candy for prizes. I told her thatI didn't want Juliet to have too much sugar, because of the diet. She was very understandable, and she offered to get some other prizes too, like notepads and pens, glow sticks, crayons, sitckers, and mini stuffed animals, so the kids can pick between that or candy for prizes. I am going to try to convince Juliet to get another prize instead of candy, so we will see how that goes. Thanks again for the ideas moms, they were very helpful! I would still love to hear any other suggestions!!!

Featured Answers


answers from Norfolk on

My son loved collecting the candy (we use to go to a Halloween parade - PLENTY of candy was thrown from the floats), but once he got it home it was quickly forgotten.
He didn't actually eat that much of it.
My husband would take the leftovers (which was most of it) for feeding to co-workers at his office.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

My kids are both sugar sensitive and when they were younger they couldn't handle sugar at all. It made them crabby and mean for days after they had it, and my son's behavior would go off the charts from the dyes. We let them have a little candy and then told them if they left the rest out on Halloween night the Great Pumpkin would come and bring them a toy. They loved toys more than candy, so it worked for us.
I know, I know... (eye roll) creating ANOTHER fictional being to trick the kids...

Some dental offices will actually pay kids for their candy too. Depending on how motivated she is by money and being able to buy stuff with her own money, she might be into that.

Good luck~ you're good parents to look at it from all sides and try to find a good compromise :)

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answers from Minneapolis on

You've been working so hard to provide her with this diet, don't ruin all your efforts by giving her pure sugar! Have her trade it in for something she really wants, a toy ,book or game. Try to focus hAlloween more on costumes and pumpkins and less on the actual candy. Could u go to a party or something that focuses less on candy, trick or treat at the zoo or something different than usual? Keep it up mama, her health is worth it!

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answers from Austin on

Poor baby. Let her participate in all activities, but explain that she is ill and you want her to get better. She can have a few pieces and then if she will give the rest away, you will purchase a treat of non candy for her.

Maybe a video, a game, a toy, go to a movie of her choice.

replace the candy with whatever she can have.,
Can she have raisins, dried fruits?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Sugar is horrible for the immune system. Period. Even if you don't have Lyme.

My kids have no issues with their health, but we still allow them to pick out 5 pieces of candy and THEY throw the rest in the trash, so they understand that it where it actually belongs. I buy the stuff they throw out in the trash. They get ONE piece periodically. That being said, we still have candy from last year. :) Obviously, we also do very little sugar and junk.

Not that you asked, but there is a great Lyme doc in Pocatello, Idaho. Dr. West. When the movie/documentary "Doctored" comes out on DVD early next month, you may want to watch it. It has some info about Lyme. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

We have a child in our neighborhood who is diabetic, and we have a number of parents concerned about sugar and fat overall. We don't give candy - we give toys and games, and they are so popular! Spider rings, slap bracelets, pencils and erasers, plastic airplane things, finger puppets (all Halloween-themed) -- all kinds of things from the party store. I had kids coming from across the street on 3 separate occasions AFTER Halloween last year, wondering if I had any leftovers! And I do - so I gave out a couple, and the rest I packed away, so this year I don't have to buy much at all.

You might see if your neighbors can have some things like that to give out to her - or even sneak them a few things ahead of time to hand out when she comes (tell them what her costume will be and make sure they recognize whatever adult or older kid who's accompanying her). They shouldn't make a big deal of it ("Oh, you're the little girl who can't have any candy" would NOT be a cool thing to say!) They can just put her treats/toys in her bag, and then she'll be thrilled with what she opens up at home. You could also give some sugar free candy to them to give to her?

Remember there's also gluten in some candy bars, so you're going to have to study up on the labels anyway.

We also used to give away a lot of candy - our neighbors pooled their excess and one of us either took it to the food pantry (not ideal - those families need real food) or to a dentist who liked getting all that candy out of the hands of kids and who made arrangements to send it to soldiers in Afghanistan and other deployments. We figured the servicemen and women deserved the treats and also knew how to brush their teeth! It was a great way to get the candy out of the house and really benefit someone else.

I also work with a lot of people (many in NH like you) who have dealt with Lyme in other ways and have not had to give up everything. You even say the doctor said it "might" help her recover faster, so it sounds like some guesswork going on. There are other ways to strengthen her immune system in a less punitive way.

Of course, you're assuming that we will actually HAVE trick or treating this year even with a storm coming! Last year, ours was postponed 5 days due to the snowstorm and power outages. Let's hope that doesn't happen!

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answers from Philadelphia on

Do what we do: Candy Buy Back. I give my kids $0.10 for each piece of candy (for the little fun size ones) and up to $1.00 for each of the bigger, full sized ones. They usually end up with around $10 - $15 each. Then we go to Target or something, and they pick out a toy. The candy goes with my husband to the office - get it OUT of the house (otherwise, *I'D* eat it all).

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answers from Kansas City on

This is really hard. I kind of agree with the thought of saying that you should just let her binge for like a day or two and then take it all away. I know that sugar is bad and I understand that sugar can impede her recovery, but it's a long recovery and I seriously doubt that one or two days of sugar is going to majorly throw off any progress she's made. It's Halloween, she's 5, I say go for it, but let her know of your plan before she starts collecting candy and trick or treating. I know my 5 y/o would need to know ahead of time what to expect. Good luck, this is hard decision.

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answers from Washington DC on

Research dentists in your area who buy kids Halloween candy. I'd let her have a small (and I do mean SMALL, a couple of pieces or so) amount after trick or treating but then I'd find a dentist or some other organization that buys the candy or whatever.

Maybe find a women's shelter where they might not have been able to go trick or treating and donate the candy she can't have there.

Found this link ... they "buy" back the candy then send it overseas to the troops. Hope this helps. Might help her feel good about not getting much candy. You can search by zip code for dentists in your area who are participating.


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answers from Cleveland on

i wouldnt' do a piece or two a day, I would give her 2 days of a horrible belly ache and tell her she can maybe pick her 10 fav pieces and eat them in those two days and be done,

If you have really been doing this special diet expect her to get sick.
that would be a big shock to her system

You really owe it to her to get the leftover candy OUT of your house, give it away or throw it out. I have a hard time wasting but in your case, after 2 says i would consider it poinson and get rid of it.

and i think you probably know that the answer is to keep her healthy, there should be no candy. but it shoulds like you also reall love halloween.

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answers from New York on

I would probably let her have a little candy (like a piece a day for a week) and then offer her something else. Buy the candy back, trade it for treats that fit into her diet or trade for an outing, so that while the other siblings are at home eating their candy, she's out seeing a movie that they aren't or making a new friend at Build a Bear :)

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answers from Dallas on

Let he go trick or treating.

I have a special selection set aside for children I know who have allergies, etc and those treats include glow bracelets, pencils, erasers, notepads, and small toys.

I know I am not the only one, especially in my neighborhood, to have an option to candy.

Have fun!

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answers from Lynchburg on

Hi A.-

Why not get some different kinds of sugar free candy and have her trade in her trick or treat goodies for those? I would explain to her about her 'special' diet...and since she has not had sugar in a while, it is likely to make her sick.

Then, as someone suggested, freeze her 'bounty', and when you wean her back on sugar, then she has treats to look forward to.

Best Luck!

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answers from Kansas City on

What we do is put it all in a bucket (we only have the 1 five year old) and every night if she eats her dinner she can have 1 or 2 pieces. I think it's not fair to not let her have any, but doling it out a piece or 2 a day won't be terrible. You can store some in the freezer if you're worried about it going bad.

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answers from Seattle on

My kids trick or treat every year. They get to have a couple of pieces on the night they trick or treat and then after that they get to pick ONE piece every night after dinner.
Would you be able to do that?



answers from Savannah on

could you let her go trick or treating and replace her candy with candy she can eat and stickers and crayons and stuff that she would love in place of all the stuff she can't have.



answers from Washington DC on

You could also try buying it from her. say a penny or nickel a piece.



answers from Albuquerque on

No Lyme disease here, but we still limit candy to one piece a day (and usually only for about a week and then I give the rest away). I'm sure your daughter loves candy like any other five year old... but if it's better for her health, then you should limit her intake.



answers from Dallas on

I didn't read the other answers, but I would hit the internet, Sprouts, Whole Foods, Central Market, Trader Joes - whatever you have in your area and see if they carry halloween candy with the dairy/gluten/sugar free stuff. If there's any way to get samples, see if you can do that. Then buy a bunch of the stuff that she likes.


Take her trick or treating, and donate the candy she gets to the troops (http://seattle.cbslocal.com/2011/10/27/best-ways-to-donat...)

Maybe pick out her favorites from the regular ingredient candy, but if you can find tasty alternatives, it may not be an issue. Good luck!

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