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An Open Letter To Schools About Halloween Parties


By Vicki Little

I’m going to share a little secret with you that I would never divulge during school hours. Sometimes I “forget” how much screen time my kids have left so that they will leave me alone for an extra half hour when I need it. When days are really hectic, I act like I am the best mom in the world and declare “breakfast for dinner, ” which really means grab a bowl of cereal and fend for yourself. The reason I am telling you this is so you know that I understand how crazy kids can be, and how when we are at the end of our ropes, we will do anything to get some peace.

That having been said, I now have to ask this: Why in the world are our children eating candy and junk food at school on Halloween? I get the idea of having a party (many schools have to disguise it as a “fall party”), but the idea is still the same. The kids are excited, it is a great time to have a little fun, they aren’t paying attention anyway, and hey, they are going home, so who cares if they get all sugared up, right? WRONG!

This year, Halloween falls on a weekday. That means trick-or-treating will need to happen just a bit earlier to get the kids to bed at a reasonable hour. (And there’s NO way we can avoid this tradition of collecting candy, even though it’s a school night.) The kids will come home from school covered in a caramel-ly, chocolate-y, sticky mess. They will be hyped up on sugar after the Halloween party. Then the sugar crash hits right around dinner time, leaving me with cranky kids who don’t want to eat and a night that has yet to begin.

I don’t want to be the mean mom. I don’t want to tell them that they can’t have any candy from their loot at the end of the night because they already ate too much, and their bellies will be upset. After two blocks, my defenses are down (I enjoy candy myself and I am a bit winded at this point) and I just can’t say “no” to those puppy-dog eyes that are BEGGING me to let them eat their favorite piece of candy. And truth be told, I don’t want to tell them “no.” That is what Halloween is all about. But I also don’t want a kid to throw up on me in the middle of the night.

So I was thinking that maybe we could help each other out a bit this year. Can you please limit the amount of junk the kids eat during school parties? There are plenty of healthy alternatives — in fact, you ask for those alternatives as birthday treats. If the kids get candy, that’s fine. Tell them they can’t eat it at school and have to bring it home. If you could do that for me, I promise I will pass over the extra-frosted cupcakes and serve a healthy birthday treat this year. And I won’t add those extra 5 pieces of candy in their lunch for the next two weeks just to get rid of it. Do we have a deal?


Vicki Little is a work-at-home mom with two young kids. A Colorado native, she is the Publisher and Editor of Macaroni Kid Aurora and Downtown Denver. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, reading, camping, or enjoying a bottle of wine with friends.


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  1. Colleen
    October 25, 2016 @ 6:44 pm

    My Daughters class is having donuts, oranges, string cheese and popcorn.
    No candy is allowed for parties 🙂


    • Vicki
      October 26, 2016 @ 8:52 am

      We could forgive the donut since there are so many other good treats. As long as it is a small donut, not one with fruit loops or something on top 🙂


  2. Yolande Free
    October 25, 2016 @ 9:41 pm

    Hi Vickie,
    A number of years ago I introduced a “party menu” at the school my grandkids attend in Lityleton, CO. At Leawood Elementary the students are limited to one sweet. The menu is as follows:
    Salami, turkey, and/or ham
    Fresh fruit
    Light Ranch dressing
    A reduced sugar drink
    And a cookie, brownie, small cupcake or another sweet
    This menu was put together by a nutritionist and dietician many years ago for schools. It limits sugar thus avoiding the sugar high and subsequent crash. Surprisingly the meat, cheese, and fruit are the first to be eaten. The kids live the menu as do the teachers. There is something for the pickiest eater, no one is left out.


    • Vicki
      October 26, 2016 @ 8:51 am

      This is a great idea!


  3. Theresa
    October 26, 2016 @ 3:04 am

    We don’t get to celebrate Halloween at all at school!! No party, no dressing up and parading, nothing!!
    They are doing a trunk a treat on the evening before.


    • Vicki
      October 26, 2016 @ 8:50 am

      I have fond memories of dressing up and parading around the school! It was so much fun! We used to have parties with dry ice for the “witches brew” and bobbed for apples and all sorts of fun (and potentially dangerous or unsanitary) things. Now more things have to be done after school. It is a bummer.


  4. Rose; 14yrs old
    October 31, 2017 @ 11:31 am

    Isn’t Halloween the ONE day of the year when we could overdose on free junk food and sweets? Myself, my parents and grandparents always overdid it on Halloween and it didn’t affect our health since we ate well the rest of the year. None of us are obese or have diabetes or other health issues. Obesity and diabetes epidemic didn’t start back then when Halloween or candy was invented, only recently, so it couldn’t be the reason for it.
    Also practically everything is dangerous and unsanitary, that is life. Getting germs once in awhile are good for strengthening the immune system.


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