Should Kids Be Given Candy on Halloween? What’s Your Opinion?

Image: YouTube screen grab

A headline at U.S. News and World Report reading “Here’s What 8 Nutritionists Will Be Passing Out This Halloween” touched off an internal debate among the staff at AppleEats.

Without even glimpsing the article, we had a pretty good idea of what to expect. Sure enough, one of the experts favors non-candy (and for that matter non-food) treats and plans to hand out “funky pencils.”

Along the same vein, another said she will be giving out Halloween-themed water bottles, which drew a fake cheer of enthusiasm from nearly all of us.

Halloween is a special event that comes just once a year. When kids shout “Trick or treat,” they clearly have something more holiday-oriented in mind than a water bottle.

As the article introduction notes — and all of us are aware — the decision of what to hand out is more complicated now than it has been in the past by the rise in childhood obesity and the awareness of food allergies, which can be potentially deadly.

So what’s your take? Should children be allowed to splurge every Oct. 31 and come home with a bagful of goodies that to their parents are “baddies” in disguise? Is there a balance between allowing children to participate in a unique childhood ritual and perpetuating the growing menace of childhood obesity?

One nutritionist in the article advocates leaving the decision to the trick-or-treaters themselves:

I offer options for the kids and let them choose! I always have mini peanut butter cups and mini candy bars (because I love the leftovers), but I also always have non-food items (such as bubbles, spider rings and glow sticks) for kiddos with food allergies or who would just rather have that than the candy.

But can young children be trusted to make the responsible choice — or should they even be asked to?

Let us know what you think and what treat, if any, you plan to hand out this coming Halloween.