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Okay, be honest. When you buy Halloween candy for the trick-or-treaters, do you make a beeline for your favorite candy – you know, that Snickers bar you love more than anything else or candy corn (my choice!) or maybe gummies if chocolate is not your thing. Come on, tell the truth. If you said yes, you are in good company or should we say, bad company? 83% of the 500 parents who took our iVillage/TODAY.com exclusive joint poll said they buy their favorite candies for Halloween so they can enjoy the leftovers.
It gets worse. 71% of parents admit to dipping into the stash before October 31st even arrives. My question – where do the other 29% find the discipline not to do the same thing? And nearly one in five eats their kids’ candy after Halloween and hopes they don’t notice (I’m in this group!) or actually lies about it. “Do you ever have the case, ‘Mom, who ate my candy?’ And do you say, ‘I don’t know?,” I asked a mom at Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York City, one of the largest candy stores in the country. “Usually yes, that would be the response,” she told me with a chuckle.
Watch how we grill parents about Halloween candy here:
And the most likely candy to be stolen? No surprise here. A girl’s real best friend – chocolate. “That’s the favorite candy for parents to dip into, which as we now know, that’s what they will be buying,” said Rebecca Dube, TODAY.com Editor. “Kids, I hope you like chocolate because that’s what we’re getting because we like it.”
Less than four percent said they’re giving out healthy treats, and the founder and owner of Dylan’s Candy Bar, which just celebrated its 10th year, says that number should be even lower. “I think that Halloween is the time to give out candy and I think some of the boring stuff like raisins and toothbrushes, that’s not the point,” said Dylan Lauren, Founder and CEO. “The point is to have little bite size candy bars or the fun lollipops, anything that’s a treat, that’s the right thing to do."
Only 12% allow their kids to eat all of their Halloween treasures whenever they want (oh, how they must pay when it comes to dental bills.) And speaking of the dentist, more parents said they worried about the health effects of candy such as cavities and hyperactivity as opposed to their kids getting poisoned treats.
Okay, so what if you forgot to buy the candy or you simply don’t want to deal with trick-or-treaters? Martha Stewart reportedly admitted doing it and so did nearly 10% of the parents who took our poll -- they turn off the lights and pretend they’re not home to keep the trick-or-treaters away. One mom we met never heard of such a thing but said, “No, I’ve never done that, but that’s a good idea.”