Halloween candy and kids: When do you say when?

Halloween candy and kids: When do you say when?

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ATLANTA -

If you've got kids, you don't need a reminder that it's almost Halloween.  For them, it's a candy-filled night, but for parents, it's hard to know when to say, "No more sugar!"  We went searching answers from parents on how they handle the candy question.

The website www.kidshealth.org polled about 1,200 kids and asked them how much candy they get each year-- and how much of it they eat.  Most said they get at least 50 pieces of candy when they go trick-or-treating, but about 44 percent of them said they get at least 100 pieces.  So, do you let your kids go crazy, or do you try to ration it out and only use it as a reward? 

Paul Whiting says fortunately for him, his 3-year-old twin boys, Nathan and Mitchell, didn't seem to get the "treat" part of trick-or-treating last Halloween.  Instead, they were busy running around ringing doorbells, and looking for anything but candy.  

But for Cristin Meeker, it's a different story.  Her girls are 6 and 2, and both of them are very candy-centric.  

"The first night, I have to say, it's kind of a little bit of a free for all, not too crazy," Meeker explained.  "The days to follow I definitely limit it.  I tell her she can pick out three pieces, or something like that.  And eventually she'll forget about it, actually, you know?"

Courtney Goetzel takes the same approach with 3-year-old Miles.  She says it's the one night of the year he's able to just go for it, and he usually eats as he goes.  But the next day, the sugarfest is over.

"And then we parcel it out," his mom says.  "If he's being good, we let him have a special treat."

So what's the good news?  Only 20 percent of the kids in the www.kidshealth.org survey say they eat all of their candy, and those who do usually spread it out over several days.  Safety experts say you should tell your kids to wait until they get home to start eating, and let you help them look it over to make sure it's safe to eat.

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