The Halloween Candy Giving Guide

There are generally five food groups of High Fructose Corn Syrup solids at Halloween. For a successful holiday, you should carry a well-rounded supply for different audiences. They are categorized as follows:

Traditional

My shameful Nestle Canadian chocolate. This will not appear familiar to you in America.

This includes your good, classic chocolate bars, chips, and such. May include Tootsie rolls depending on whether you think they’re a form of torture or not. These are your go-to candy and will be the ones that will mysteriously be deemed unacceptable for consumption during parental candy checks but not thrown in the garbage. If giving these at Halloween, make sure they land in the bags of other parents you like. Super extra bonus points for full-sized chocolate bars.

New-fangled

Pomegranate pop-rocks. This is the best I could do. I am never going to find my way into the hip mom category.

This category includes any product that appeared after 1989, which is when I retired from trick or treating at a very advanced age. By that point I was just stocking up on PMS supplies.

New-fangled candies are an acquired taste, and often hit or miss. They might be organic or fair trade. They’re definitely anything that’s got pomegranate or acai berry flavour. Give them to your cool new neighbor that you’re trying to impress with your hipness. Their kid will be dressed in a homemade Etsy owl costume made of hand washed felt and their mom is trailing around behind them in her Toms live tweeting their Halloween adventure for charity. YOU WANT TO BE HER.

Disappointing

Or you could make fake teeth out of them next year.

Caramilks. Jersey Milks. Dairy Milks. Anything with “milks” in the title. Candy corn. Most nondescript hard candy. These will float to the bottom of the pillowcase and be consumed in the desperate weeks before Easter. Give those to the kids who don’t try very hard. They shouldn’t be rewarded for lack of enthusiasm.

Punishment

No explanation required.

Raisins.

And toothbrushes. Reserved for small children whose parents won’t let them eat candy. Hell, just give those kids a $20 bill on the down low. They’re suffering.

Nostalgic, but Possibly unethical

Shade of pink not even found in Pantone.

This is mostly reserved for unruly teenagers and those damn kids who keep hanging around on your lawn. It is nostalgic because they stopped making it because it tastes gross. And might be slightly radioactive. It is definitely made with lead or something.

You risk getting your house egged though, so you’re going to need one of those nondescript goody bags to hide it in and hope they forget which house it came from. Maybe write the wrong address on the bag as a decoy. Maybe write the address of that shitty neighbor who keeps you up all night with the yappy dog and fireworks. I am not admitting that this might happen.

Center is possibly toxic when it comes in contact with sunlight.

Note: If you run out of the New-Fangled category you can always fall back on the nostalgia factor of this category to impress your cool new neighbors.

Where does your favourite candy fit in on the Halloween Candy Pyramid? Do you still hand out Unicef pennies?

64 comments

    1. I am so jealous of the women who are capable of making costumes. Like, infitinely jealous. I made my own costume once and just ended up flashing all of my husband’s coworkers with my poorly sewn toga.

      1. I have a friend who just set up at Etsy shop. She made her daughter a beautiful pea-coat all lined and perfect when the kids was only 2 years old. It makes me feel old and inadequate and hugely jealous.
        I’m having enough trouble just sewing the badges on my daughter’s Guides’ sash correctly.

            1. So true. I was an overachieving girl guide, but I am now terrified of the day that my kids want to develop the same skills…. that stuff does not stick if you spend your teenage years making your parents worry.

  1. Roller Giraffe,
    Admittedly, I am biased for the pink bilingual popcorn. I am indeed. What time should I have my kids pass by for their *ahem* candies?
    Le Clown

      1. Rooler Giraffe,
        I want my clown nose to glow in the dark! My desires for these candies just went from “I want” to “I need”…
        Le Clown

  2. Most of those candies are not familiar to me, except for the Kit Kats in the wrong packaging. As I am a paranoid American (is there another kind?), I throw away anything my daughter gets that’s wrapped in waxed paper, like Tootsie Rolls. Those things are just too easy to dip in arsenic and then rewrap. Hence, I give out miniature candies in those hermetically-sealed wrappers. I generally buy the big-ass bag of assorted candies that my family and I will eat. Snickers. Reese’s. Snickers. Nerds. Snickers. Guess what my favorite candy bar is.

    1. Is it butterfinger? I am so bad at this.
      The idea of rewrapping arsenic laden tootsie rolls sounds like a lot of work, which is why I can assure you that any candy from my house is safe.
      That is the Canadian snack pack. I was always really confused about smarties because what you call smarties, we call rockets. Our smarties are more like flatter M&M’s. And coffee crisps are all ours, back off. You can have all the aeros.

  3. Circus Peanuts. Chock their bag full of those disgusting things and they will never haunt your door again. Either that or you could give them those creepy religious Chick tracts. They actually advertise these as an alternative to evil Halloween candy. Oh, thrill.

    1. I had to look up circus peanuts and realized that I knew exactly what they were but my mind had just blocked out their existence. I mean, seriously, why? Also, hilarious that religion provides an answer to all of life’s ills. Even pagan rituals of candy collecting.

    1. We have a neighbor who is a dentist who gives out toothbrushes and toothpaste WITH a full sized chocolate bar. As a parent I love her because that chocolate bar is all mine and it saves me a trip to the store when they throw their toothbrush in the toilet. I am not sure how the kids feel about it, but I suspect the chocolate bar erases any memory of the toothbrush.

  4. I turn my porch light off.
    Most parents are paranoid or lazy and take them to the downtown parade and rape the store merchants for candy, even though most of the time they are too cheap to shop at the local stores. They complain about the prices but have no problem driving for an hour to buy plastic crap from China at a big box store in another county.

    1. I don’t understand the Halloween paranoia myself. A lot of kids here go to malls to trick or treat which seems totally insane to me. And that is coming from someone who is going to have to dress her kids in 19 layers of warm clothes to get them to 3 houses before they’re too cold and want to come home. It’s a neighborhood event!

  5. I have forever been indifferent to tootsie rolls. Is it chocolate? What the hell is it?!

    My favorite Halloween candy was the wax lips chewing gum that tasted like crayon, but it was gum in the shape of lips and they were rare therefore a definite Halloween jackpot item!

    This sparked a post idea for me. Hope that’s ghoul with you.

    1. All spooktacular to me!

      We never had the wax lips up here in Canadaland, that I remember anyway. I don’t like tootsie rolls much either, but I would rather them than the weird toffee sort of flavoured generic companion.

    1. I am so with you on the black licorice. I once happened upon a store on a deserted road in an Indian Reservation in Idaho that had the most delightful selection of fresh licorice; it was nirvana.

  6. Purim is our Halloween (minus the scary stuff). Kids dress up they get candy etc. I’m definitely a Traditional giver. My goodie bags are filled with the types of chocolates mums will steal.

    1. That is the best mail ever! How cool. We don’t get many trick or treaters on our block either (might be the menacing church right across from us) so I am very generous with those who do show up.

  7. Reese’s Peanut butter cups are the best. We used to have a house here in town (maybe still do) that handed out oranges. I think next door gave out homemade popcorn balls. I don’t remember going to those houses more than once.

    1. Yeah, the homemade stuff definitely went in the disappointing category. Not only because it can’t compete with delicious HFCS, but because my mom would usually throw them out even though we knew every single person in our town personally.

  8. One year a neighbor gave away tips on being healthy during the holidays. Seriously, printed pieces of paper geared towards children’s health. I would have given anything to get a box of raisins.

    1. I am not sure that he’s the guy to be giving advice on self-preservation, you know? Just turn your porch light off, buddy, and draft a bill for healthy school lunches or something.

  9. “Mysteriously deemed inappropriate.” Too bad for my dad, sister and I would not allow that and he got all the grossest candy. I always buy those big boxes of chocolate bars to give away to my students (with leftovers for me of course) but then generally go back to the store and buy the school-forbidden boxes with Wunderbar and Reese and all that nutty goodness. OH HALLOWEEEEEEEN. Doesn’t really happen here in Australia. Great candy post!

    1. What? No Halloween in Australia? I suppose it’s fun enough there without all the costumes and stuff, but it really is one of my favourite holidays. I would miss it. And leftover candy is the best. And low fat/zero calorie from what I hear.

      1. I made Halloween happen in my classroom! It was my favourite year so far since the kids were SOOOO excited. It was cool to see a very few trick or treaters out – withOUT snow suits under their costumes. haha

  10. I just do “Chocolate” – I refer to them as such, since they don’t actually use chocolate in them any more, and labels state “candy bar” or just “bar” now.

    The bonus is that only a few kids come around each year. Oh dear I guess I will have to eat the rest.

    1. I usually just do chocolate too, in the candy bar sense. I suspect the cocoa content is almost nil, but I justify eating all the leftovers because of the potential for heart-healthy polyphenols anyway.

  11. Chiclets suck. Unless you’re in Mexico, then something about the combination of saliva, putrid water, and a neon green piece of rubberized sugar makes them taste AWESOME.

    Favorite Halloween candy? It’s a tie between Heath bars and Milk Duds, which for me, sit squarely at the top.

    Happy belated Halloween, RG!

    1. I somehow missed a bunch of comments in here. At any rate, I see you guys might have scared all the neighbors away at your house, so here’s hoping that the rest of the year is peaceful and they keep a wide radius.
      We don’t have Heath Bars here, but I think their closest approximation is a Skor bar, which are pretty awesome, but don’t come in fun sized.

  12. I got peanuts from a house one year. Then, at a different house, the man giving out candy looked in my bag and said, “Peanuts?? Who gave you peanuts?!” And I answered, “I don’t know; flight attendant?” The guy started cracking up and I felt all special and warm inside because I made a grown up laugh.

    That said, peanuts are still just as shitty as raisins, and I approve this very thorough breakdown of trick-or-treatery.

  13. I was eating a pilfered Jersey milk as I read. No joke. I love them. I also love the fizz candies. I sort of thought that generic lollipops are the bottom of the candy barrel. Oh, and those weird toffee candies that come in black and orange wrappers and remove your fillings when chewed.
    I would push my kid over to get to a full sized chocolate bar.
    I was super impressed that somebody was giving out candy bags contained in BRAND NAME ziplock baggies. I’m reusing that baby.

    1. Someone was organized enough to put candy in ziploc baggies? Holy crap. I just let the children have a free for all so we don’t have any leftover candy.
      And I am with you on those weird hard toffees. Those were strictly for emergencies when I was a kid, otherwise I would have used them to make cement shoes for my Barbies.

  14. My boy got white chocolate and was pretty disappointed. But really, there is nothing “chocolate” in white chocolate. It should be called “white wax”.

    1. Your boy was right to be disappointed, white chocolate is almost as bad as getting a package of splenda. Theoretically it’s all cocoa butter, but I am sure the modern day reality is closer to white wax.

    1. Coffee Crisp. I doubt there is much to do with actual coffee in it, but it is quite possibly the most delightful chocolate bar to ever exist in the history of human kind. There, I said it.

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