Dealing with Halloween Candy as a Low Carber

Low-Carb Halloween Costumes
Photo by Conner Baker on Unsplash

Originally Published on October 20, 2002, Updated on October 16, 2022

With apologies to e. e. cummings………

What Scares You On Halloween?

Hist! Whist! Little ghost things…….The moon is full and hanging low in the sky, but tatters of clouds make it’s glow sporadic and eerie. Ghosts and goblins, witches and warlocks, demons and devils walk the streets, knocking on your door in the dead of night and proclaiming, “Trick or treat! Smell my feet! Give me something good to eat!”

These dime-store ghouls won’t be exorcized with pork chops or strips of flank steak. They turn up their runny little noses at deviled eggs, glower at the thought of tasty hot dogs and broccoli, and gag at the thought of chicken breasts and spinach. THEY WANT CANDY!!! And there, is a nutshell – well, in a candy wrapper – is what scares ME at Halloween.

It’s a common misconception that the origins of our modern-day Halloween lie in ancient history, dating back to the Druids and other early Celtic religions. Not true! Halloween actually sprang forth from the bowels of Hershey, Pennsylvania. It was concocted by a mad chocolatier as part of a nefarious plot to take over the planet by making sugar addicts of the world’s population. It almost worked…if it weren’t for Dr. Atkins, the Hellers, the Eades, and other low carbohydrate advocates, we’d still be a part of the bottom-feeding sugar slaves of the world.

So how do we sidestep the annual sugar-fest, otherwise known as Halloween, and stay out of the Mad Chocolatier’s clutches? It takes fortitude, perseverance, and most of all, planning.

Why Do We Equate Junk Food with Fun
Photo by Behnam Norouzi on Unsplash

Low-Carb Halloween – Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure!

  1. Consider not buying any candy for the trick-or-treaters. This year I got Halloween pencils at Walmart. A few rolls of dimes or quarters will do the trick, too, as will spider rings, stickers, and other such inexpensive novelties.
  2. If you do decide to buy candy for the trick-or-treaters, do not – I repeat DO NOT – buy your Halloween candy early. Ignore the cents-off coupons and the sales. Wait until the very last minute to get whatever you’re going to pass out to the trick-or-treaters.
  3. Do not – I repeat, DO NOT – buy anything that you even remotely like. Last year I got Skittles. I HATE Skittles! I could have a whole bathtub full and never touch one. Nasty little things…..
  4. If you get candy for the trick-or-treaters, make sure that the last one gets a bonanza. Dump EVERYTHING left in the candy bowl into his/her bag.
  5. Have some low-carb treats like sugar-free chocolate bars, cheesecake, pumpkin muffins, and the like prepared and available just in case you feel like you’re going to succumb to the candy monster.

School Halloween Party Strategies

  1. If you get roped into the dreaded class Halloween party at your kids’ school, go armed. Take along a can of diet soda (or the LC beverage of your choice) and a couple of low carb treats so that you won’t be tempted to sample the sugar-laden goodies the other parents provide.
  2. If you are providing one of the treats, consider sending in a nonfood item like the pencils I mentioned before. You could also send in low carb chocolate or pumpkin muffins iced with a cream cheese frosting. If you opt of “normal” fare, send it in to school the day you buy it! What? The teacher doesn’t want it sent in until the day before the party? Tough toenails. Send it in!
Halloween Candy
Photo by Sebbi Strauch on Unsplash

Dealing With Your Kids’ Loot

  1. Consider buying your kids out. Offer them $20 (or whatever you feel is appropriate and will be accepted) for all their candy, then take them to the mall and let them spend it. The allure of a new video-game just might be stronger than the pull of all that sugar.
  2. As soon as your kids hit the door, their cheeks rosy from a sugar-induced high, have them sort through their loot. (You won’t have to strong-arm them; they like doing this.) Have them sort out all the things they don’t like and take them straight to the trash can. Get rid of it!
  3. Find a secure place for them to store their candy, someplace where it won’t be a temptation to you. Last year I had my kids keep their candy in the trunk of my husband’s car, which he drives to work. If you’re afraid you’ll be tempted to sneak down and pillage the candy sacks after the kiddies are in bed, then give your copy of the trunk key to your spouse for the duration.
  4. Do not – I repeat, DO NOT – let your children’s Halloween candy linger on and on until Easter. Give them a week or a month (whatever suits you) to consume what they want and then pitch it. Last year I let my kids pick out 2 or 3 pieces a day until just after Thanksgiving. The last week in November the candy “mysteriously” got bug-infested and had to be thrown away. Little do they know that I went to the pet store and bought a dozen mealworms and a dozen waxworms and dumped the nasty critters in their candy bags!

What’s Your Battle Plan?

The most important thing is to have a battle plan before the first piece of candy corn crosses your threshold. I’ve given you some ideas, and I’m sure that you’ll be able to come up with others for side stepping Halloween. We low carbers are a resourceful lot!

I have no doubt that you’ll stand fast and survive Halloween just fine. If you develop strategies that I haven’t mentioned here, I would love to hear about them. You can send me an email at [email protected]. Have a safe, sugar free, and enjoyable Halloween, everyone.

Return to Life In The Low Carb Lane.

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