Sunday, October 26, 2008

Don’t let Halloween sour, here’s my three-fold plan to avoid a Montezuma’s Revenge-style Halloween.

I remember a Halloween, sometime during the 80’s. I wore my mother’s pink robe with marabou feather trim, a cardboard crown wrapped in tin foil, and I carried a blue floral pillowcase that I had stripped off the pillow from my bed.

Usually, the kids on our street would just make the loop around our neighborhood on the Redlands. But, if we were lucky enough to talk one of our parents into driving us over to the nearby neighborhood of Panorama, we could collect triple the candy in half the time. We were even luckier still if we could then go to Monument Village, where it was rumored they passed out full-sized candy bars!

By ten o’clock the morning after, I almost couldn’t believe it myself, when I reached down into the bottom of my once heavy laden pillowcase to find it completely empty.

What a pathetic sight I must have been. A pink, fuzzy, rumpled mess with a dented and dilapidated crown, having fallen asleep in my costume, surrounded by wrinkled and empty candy wrappers with half a masticated Tootsie Roll in my mouth and the other half stuck to my hair, turning my pillowcase inside-out just to find one lonely, crumb and lint covered candy corn. I, nine year-old Annie Clark, had eaten my weight in candy.

What happened after that, as I am sure you can imagine, was the worst tummy ache in the history of all tummy aches.

I still cannot look at a piece of candy corn without feeling a twinge of shame and regret for that night of binging and debauchery.

I know there are many of you out there that can recall a Halloween from your own childhood when the sugar rush wore off and the gastrointestinal difficulties began.

Having learned my lesson the hard way, I have created a plan to help kids avoid a Montezuma’s Revenge-style Halloween. The plan is three fold; it’s all about prevention, intervention, and moderation.


The prevention part of my plan consists of pre-trick o’ treating dinner. Make sure your little wizards and witches have their stomachs full of “real food,” before their big night of haunting.

First, start by setting a fit-for-a-ghoul Halloween table. In order to keep the cost low, heaven knows I’ve already blown a wad on costumes and candy, I just use my holiday dishes, Halloween decorations I already have on hand and some skull straws and an orange table liner I purchased from the dollar store.

Now that the table is set, create “mystery menu,” from the meals you were already planning on serving. If you are having spaghetti, change the name to “Worms and Gut Sauce.” Or, if you are having chili, change the name to “Ground Goblin Brains with Beans.” Just be creative with the names. If you have young boys, like me, you’ll score extra “cool mom” points for the gross-out factor.

Adding food coloring is another inexpensive, but fun way to add some creepiness to your Halloween dinner. For instance, Black as a Bat Meat Loaf or Purple People Eater Chicken Pot Pie.

With their stomachs full of a spooky, but square meal, a few pieces of candy before bed shouldn’t be a big deal.


I recommend that all the household candy go into a communal bowl. Then (and this is the best part of my plan) mom and dad go through the bowl and pick out any candy that may be “tainted,” i.e.: Snickers, Peanut M &M’s, or Twix. They can keep the Three Muskeeters, in my opinion.

This ought to whittle the cache down quite a bit. What you do with the “tainted” candy is up to you. (Wink)


This is where the final costume of Halloween is donned, that of “Candy Cop.”

Keep your communal candy bowl in a secure area where you, as the “Candy Cop” can dole out a few pieces of candy at a time over the next few days, weeks, or months.

Last year, our communal candy bowl lasted us until the day before Christmas. All the “good stuff” was gone the first week. By December we almost had to force ourselves to finish off the Bit O’ Honeys, Necco Wafers, and Boston Baked Beans. Who passes that stuff out anyway?

Tis’ true I have rarely met a piece of candy that my stomach didn’t agree with, but as proven by “1980s Annie” without a little prevention, intervention, and moderation, too much of even the best of candies can sour a holiday.

For more ideas and recipes for a Halloween Dinner visit:
· for Worms on a Bun
· for Kitty Litter Cake
· for a Day Old Bath Water Punch
· for Decayed Corpse Chips with Entrails Salsa


  1. One of the best part about having young trick-or-treaters is that we can pick out the candy we want and none of my boys will even notice. The only tricky part is sneaking some and not getting busted by them because they hear the rustle of the wrappers.

  2. We will be having our traditional meal of “Ground Goblin Brains with Beans.” Although the name will gross out my daughter, Mini Me. Tree Monkey will LOVE it.

    This is my tactic, too. Maybe we are related. Which would be good for me.

  3. I love the story about 1980s Annie.

    And I like Bit o Honeys and Boston Baked Beans. Those would make excellent Good Mail.

  4. Ever had Harry Potter Jelly Beans? Flavors like Grass, Earwax, and Vomit?

    Talk about the gross-out factor, I bet your kids would go for that.

  5. Black meatloaf? Sounds good and growdy at the same time.

  6. We haven't actually gone trick or treating for a few years...but this year we are planning to...just a bit though.
    Usually I buy some good candy for just our family and set it aside and we share it on Halloween and for a day or two after, that way we don't have endless candy eating along with all its consequences.

  7. My kid is finally ready to really hit the road for the T-or-Ting and I must say that I cannot wait. We are starting early and ending only after we are all hoarse.

  8. please send all available Bit-o-honey my way they are my favorite and I would Love to save you the embarrassment of having Halloween Candy out during Christmas season

  9. Don't you love the word "masticated"? It's so much more graphic and textbook than "chewed."

    Feeding them before trick-or-treat is an awesome idea. Somehow I always forget to do that.

    I made my Halloween candy last till after Christmas once.... ONCE.

  10. You are such a fun Mom-have fun and have a plan. Works for me! You are so creative. I wish I could see into your brain!

  11. Glittersmama beat me to the punch. I like bit o' honeys and boston baked beans too.

    Love your halloween tips. I remember having a similar experience as a child and am a stickler about this with my kids too. One year I decided to let my kids learn for themselves after their much moaning and grumbling about not letting them eat all their candy in one sitting. They weren't convinced that it was for their own good. Since then I don't have to do much convincing to get them to eat in moderation.

  12. This post was full of great ideas! I'll be doing a Halloween breakfast with spider shaped pancakes and green eggs, etc...

  13. This post was full of great ideas! I'll be doing a Halloween breakfast with spider shaped pancakes and green eggs, etc...

  14. It was such a great post I had to post my comment twice. ;)

  15. I change my mind. I don't wnat to live in Colorado anymore.

    I want to live in Annie's house.

  16. I love your plan. I looked up the kitty litter cake recipe. That is too funny and gross.

    MJ in GJ

  17. Wow...I'm sort of as cool as Annie. At least in our Halloween Candy approaches. Alas, my hair is not as pretty.

  18. If you find that you have too many Bit O’ Honeys and Boston Baked Beans that aren't "tainted" ;) just send them my way.

  19. LOL maybe I should just go visit GM when she gets her good mail? ;)
    Yes I too loved the 1980s Annie story good stuff!

  20. Nothing better than putting the kiddies to bed and raiding the candy!

    Love it

  21. Great ideas--makes me wish I had some little ones here ; ) You are so clever.


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