Opinion

Halloween candy: It's never the right amount!

When it comes to Halloween candy, is it even possible for parents to purchase the right amount?

halloween-candy-right-amount

Photo: iStockphoto

When trick-or-treaters start ringing your doorbell on Friday, you will likely start the night with a bowl full of candy by the front door.

You will probably have some reserve bags on standby as well—just to make sure you have enough to hand out when the poorly dressed teenagers start showing up around 8:45 p.m.

But the truth of the matter is that no matter how hard you try and plan, you will never end up buying the right amount of candy to hand out. For us, we seem to have wild fluctuations in the number of kids that come to our door on Halloween night. One year we will give out 250 candy treats, but the next year we will only hand out only 75. And I can never remember how much candy we gave out the previous year, so the best thing we can do is make an educated guess.

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Buying too much candy is usually never a problem, because it will get eaten eventually in our house. I think I still have some mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the freezer from 2011.

But when you run out of candy too early, there is a sense of panic that envelopes you. In this situation, you have two options:

1. Shut off all your lights and pretend nobody is home.

2. Start scrounging around the house to find other things to hand out to trick-or-treaters. Apples, raisin boxes and any small items can usually work in a pinch. (It should be noted that the Canadian government took the penny out of circulation last year mainly because everybody was tired of weirdos giving them out on Halloween night.)

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The worst part of running out of candy is that the whole situation was probably avoidable in the first place. Chances are, you actually bought the correct amount of candy, but you just didn’t distribute it in a proper manner. Early on in the process, I’m very lax about my candy distribution—often letting the kids reach into our candy bowl and grab as many mini-chocolates as they like.

I don’t mind if little SpongeBob grabs four mini Kit Kats early in the night. Heck, at that point I’m even doling out fistfuls of Jolly Ranchers to 18-month-olds who aren’t allowed to eat them. But then, when the candy bowl starts getting lower and you start doing the math in your head, you realize that you are going to come up short.

Here is the timeline that often happens with us on Halloween night:

6:45 p.m.—Kids receive 3 to 4 mini-chocolates

7:00 p.m.—Kids receive 2 to 3 mini-chocolates

7:15 p.m.—Kids receive 1 to 2 mini-chocolates

7:30 p.m.—”Dear God, either somebody better find me some raisin boxes or we’re going to be shutting off the lights!”

Follow along as Ottawa-based sports radio host Ian Mendes gets candid about raising daughters, Elissa and Lily, with his wife, Sonia. Read all of Ian’s The Good Sport posts and follow him on Twitter @ian_mendes.

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