Just knock it off with that healthy Halloween nonsense.

by Janelle Hanchett


There are times to be healthy.

Halloween is not one of those fucking times.

This is not the time for banana “treats” or berries in cute formations or gluten-free oganic bread in the shape of bats.

Popcorn balls are questionable, people.

Yeah. I said it.

This is the time for high fructose corn syrup.

This is the time for every and all other forms of processed sugar.

This is the time for preservatives. And if you can handle it, this is even the time for Red Dye #40.

This is the time to let your kids swim in the shit you look down on others for feeding their poor kids, who will surely end up obese, depressed, generally weird and probably not that bright. (I mean what chance did they have with such a lack of nourishment?)

I get it. You care about your kid. You don’t want him exposed to the deadly chemicals and additives and non-food “food” substances we all know are killing people, ruining our environment and funneling money into corporations with the morality of that “pastor” who wants to punch kids for acting gay.

Yes. I know. Even though it’s only one day out of 365, you’re such a diligent parent you need 365 out of 365 of good eating and thoughtful consumption.


It’s Halloween.

All people need to let loose sometimes. All people need to get all extreme and radical and shit, sometimes.

Do you really want to raise the person who’s all “Yeah, sorry. I can’t have a shot of tequila on my 21st birthday because hard liquor is excessive.”

Do you really want the daughter who won’t eat the triple-cream brie with her friends, even though it’s a bi-annual red-wine-and-bread-and-cheese event with her girlfriends?

Do you REALLY want the son who asks 97 questions of the poor waitress about every ingredient in the tacos (checking for GMOs, duh) and you’re all DUDE WE’RE AT A FUCKING TACO TRUCK but he’s all “doesn’t matter. I need 365 days of good.”

Do you really want the kid who refuses to do the keg stand?

Okay maybe that was a poor example.

Do you want the kid who only orders salads with dressing on the side no matter WHAT event is on the fucking line, even if it’s an anniversary or holiday party or a damn baby shower and the pregnant woman’s all “But I weigh the same as a small house” and your kid’s all “Yes, but I’m unwavering in my need for health. I need 365. Somebody else can have my cake.”

Nah. You don’t want that kid. You want the kid that knows what’s up. You want the kid that’s all “Oh yeah, ladies, I’m gonna regret this tomorrow but it’s my birthday and we haven’t seen each other in 2 years, SO POUR ME ANOTHER ONE.”

You want the son who’s like “Honey, I’ll be home in the morning cause it’s so-and-so’s bachelor party and I’ll probably have like 2 cases of beer and regret all life tomorrow.”

You want the kid who can live it up, eat it up, party it up when the time arises. A little flexible. A little wild. A little “God damn you people and your Cambozola and baguette. Yeah, I’ll have more.”

You want the kid who isn’t the one always doing the right thing, don’t you? I mean those people make us all want to die.

The mom whose critical eye makes mothers like me squirm. “Why did I grab the plastic rattle on this playdate? Why didn’t I choose the Amish wood one? Oh god help me!”

The mom whose kid is ALWAYS clean and the dad who NEVER feeds questionable foods and looks at you like “I’m struggling to understand your excessive deficiencies as a parent and human.”

The parents who are like “Yeah, sorry. Johnny can’t have a cupcake because we don’t eat food like that.” And you’re like “It’s a birthday party and Johnny is 6 and literally every other kid is having one…”

And then you just hope Johnny doesn’t end up wounding kittens.

I’m kidding. But seriously, you don’t want to grow the human who is just SO DAMN CONTROLLED AND GOOD AND RIGHT she can’t LIVE. Get wild. Live on the fucking edge. Make some mistakes. Regret some decisions. Roll with the day, moment, even if it’s not that bright.

Eat a pillowcase full of Halloween candy, because it’s Halloween, and it’s fun.

Irresponsible. Irrational. Downright fucking stupid.

This is the time for that.

Yeah, I said it: Sometimes life requires stupid. It requires irrational. It requires letting go of our deep way of living and just existing with others in an indulgent, relaxed way. Overeat. Eat shit. Drink too much.

And enjoy the rest of your days of moderation.

God knows we’ve got plenty of those bastards.

Sometimes it’s just about humanity: Stupid, glorious humanity.

And candy.

Am I the only one around here (Angry Walter)


  • Leslie

    You must ooze awesomeness. Seriously, this post made my day.

  • Savanna

    I agree! It’s candy time! I will be inspecting her candy… My favorite kind my be contaminated, and so I’ll have to dispose of it for her 😉

    I have to ask what you think of the lady handing out letters to the overweight kids…

  • Sarah

    Hahaha! There’s a movie called Our Stupid Brother, where when asked if her son could have a cupcake the mother responds,”Oh no, no he had sugar yesterday.”

    I almost died of laughter reading this.

    Obesity is a real thing and all but don’t the food nazis get that if you make it all off limits and taboo it just drives the compulsion to have it and turns the crap you don’t want them to eat into rare and coveted vittles? It’s really all about control, not food…like ONE cupcake will send a kid on a slippery slope of self degradation and abuse. Poor Timmy ate that sweet at the birthday party and that was the gateway confection that lead to his untimely death.

  • Michael Ann

    Amen! Thank you!!! Some guy on our neighborhood email group thing actually posted that he wanted to hand out MONEY instead of Candy and this whole discussion ensued about healthy stuff for Halloween. I wanted to bomb that thread so bad with something like what you just said, but I held my tongue. It’s Davis, after all. Seriously gets me riled up though. Loved this post!

    • mbwestwest

      “It’s Davis, after all.” Nailed it! Hah hah hah!!!

    • melissa

      We do not have neighborhood email group things in east Davis. There are perks to living in the “poor” part of town.

  • Kateri Von Steal

    Ok. I am with you ALL THE WAY.. but I like popcorn balls. 🙁

    But, I make them with marshmallows and caramel.. and chocolate chips… so.. they are kind of kick ass.. just saying.

    You will be pleased to know that I plan on bringing an extra pillow case so Emry can go APESHIT CRAZY trick or treating.

    And so I can get some too…

    Already started the sweet consumption here at work… I’ll run it off.. eventually…. It’s halloween… TIME TO EAT SOME CRAP!

    • KatieBeans

      ME TOO! For me, its a way to remember my one Grandma, she made them every Halloween and only for Halloween so its this strange tasting but necessary Halloween treat!

  • SummerLily

    I totally agree with this! I have to check myself sometimes…I’m all about healthy foods for my kids….but I grew up in a household that was very limiting in food choices and we hardly ever had candy and whatnot…I really believe it has lead me to have very disfunctional eating habits. Moderation is key! 🙂

  • Ana F.

    “All people need to let loose sometimes. All people need to get all extreme and radical and shit, sometimes.”

    I am tempted to quote you ALL DAY LONG.

    Yeah and why do the clean kids make me feel like an a-hole?

  • Julia

    My friend said other moms keep asking her how they get rid of their candy and she says “um, we eat it.”

    I’m torn tho because at the current rate of diabetes half our country’s population will be diabetic in 7 years. And it causes an unholy Halloween worthy host of horrifying health problems along with it. And every flippin day is get wild day because it’s someone’s birthday or regular or made up holiday that we celebrate with candy cookies cake or donuts so my kids ability to “let loose” is not a worry for me. So I’m with u on eating the damn candy but geez already my 44 year old mind and body cannot take the constant deluge of junk food opportunities.

    • melissa

      Yeah… personally I’m much more concerned about establishing those moderation days. Go Wild days are all too easy. And frequent.

  • Jennifer

    WORD to ya motha.

  • Julie

    AMEN SISTER! As a health-conscious mom who tends to pal around with other “crunchy” parents, there are far too many of these people on my newsfeed right now, fretting about HCFS-free snacks, re-posting the Switch Witch poem (no, I am NOT buying you a toy to compensate for your junky candy) and offering candy buy-back stores on Saturday as long as we bring a grain-free, non-GMO dish to share at their playdate. Meanwhile my girls and I are sneaking candy from the stash and getting our sugar buzz on. Because that’s what Halloween is all about.

  • Cherrie

    I do agree to an extent, but you mustn’t forget the kids with severe food allergies that can’t enjoy all the crap candy that’s given out. Some can’t even touch said candy if it’s mixed with things they can have. Many parents of kids with food allergies choose not to let their kids trick or treat at all because of the chances of reaction, and anaphylactic shock. Just something to think about.

  • Heather in Oregon

    I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about this one. If it really was only Halloween I’d be all “gorge yourself silly kids” but my kids are given or at least offered candy and baked good every damn day around here. I can’t even go to the post office or the gas station without someone handing them candy. However, my son is allergic to corn and really more than a tiny bit gives him a days long stomach ache so much of this argument is simply an academic exercise in our house. There is hardly a mainstream candy out there that doesn’t contain corn. My solution is to buy the kids’ candy from them for $5 for the whole bag and they can use the money to buy candy they know won’t make either of them sick. They have really good taste in chocolate.

    • Becky

      My husband has the corn issue as well. He has discovered (and hopefully your kid will, too, because it’s great!) that organic corn is okay. Organic candy generally has sugar anyway instead of the corn.
      But as someone who has to do the corn search…. I’m just with you. It sucks.

  • One Funny Motha

    Love: “DUDE WE’RE AT A FUCKING TACO TRUCK.” And you’re right. This is the time for THAT! Also, love the picture w/ caption.

  • Lorna

    Man, I needed this today. We are a “health-conscious” family with a two year-old who only drinks only water (no juice, cola or even milk) and whose snacks are apples, carrot sticks etc. I am perfectly happy with this being the way of life and my son seems happy with the food he is given on a day-today basis. In fact, he LOVES apples and begs for them as a snack all the time!

    BUT… I have been so concerned about letting him have even a small piece of chocolate at Halloween and he has started getting upset because I wouldn’t let him have this “candy” that all the other kids are having and I have started to question a few things. I feel like this article was just the perfect slap upside the head that I needed.

    It’s ONE FREAKING DAY!!!! If I can’t let me son have some crappy chocolate and candy just one day of the year, then what the hell is wrong with me!!??? He’s not going to die or get an eating disorder or become obese due to eating candy ONE DAY OF THE YEAR!

    So yes, today we will be going trick-or-treating, collecting candy and eating it, and I am not going to feel guilty about it. Thank you!

  • lisaeggs

    I do agree. One exception is this little old lady that lives in our neighborhood who always gives out apples. Our neighborhood is from the 40’s and the houses are all close together and we get so many trick-or-treaters. This lady has barrels of apples at her door and she gives one out to each kid, it’s so cute and all the kids go around munching their apples. One year we went there and she had candy, and we were like, Where’s the apples??? And she said, Oh I thought maybe people were starting to think I was a party-pooper, so I decided to give candy this year, but now everyone is complaining and wants the apples back! She must be 90 years old, and she’s completely adorable. So from her, I’m happy to take an apple, I actually look forward to it. Otherwise, I’m with John Goodman 🙂

    And p.s….My little guy turns 1 today! He was born right in the middle of trick-or-treating so my kids came to see him in their costumes 🙂 It was cute. That part was cute, anyway. The five hours leading up to it were something else entirely… .

    Happy Halloween!!!!! xoxoxo

  • Lyndsey

    Oh man, I totally agree, but I feel kind of like a jerk for doing so. I’ve given out comic books the last couple years because we will go through six boxes of candy ourselves before it even gets to Halloween. At least with comics if I get into them I can still give them out afterwards. Kids tend to get crispy when I give them half eaten chocolate bars.

  • mm

    I disagree. High fructose corn syrup is not a so-called guilty pleasure. Its manufacture and comsumption damages land and people. There is no reason to encourage children of any age to believe it’s secretly awesome and worth waiting a year for…

    Why don’t we feed this to our kids in the first place? Right. It’s poison. Poison is no more secret fun than crack is. Slow-killing poisons are already hard to identify and hard to control. Why make it more so… It’s not as if factory-farmed candy-filled Halloween wrapped in a nylon disguise is a human expression or ceremony. Halloween has been hijacked by mass-producers of the very stuff that takes us further from the intimate (and someimtes hysterically funny) knowledge of death, decay and the great mysteries. How does high fructose corn syrup fit in with this? Might as well say that once a year we can burn through as many gallons of gasoline as we want tearing up the desert on our atvs. Why not reclaim Halloween for humans and our neighbors rahter than yearly yield to the manufactured desires of the machine.

    • melissa

      Your body can actually metabolize a fair amount of poison just fine, e.g. alcohol and tobacco, plus a variety of outright poisons in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes — goitrogens, lectins, saponins, heavy metals, oxalic acid, aflatoxin, a rainbow of alkaloids… Some of the chemicals that make plant foods so good for us could easily kill us in higher doses. Assuming insulin sensitivity and healthy glucose tolerance, a rare dose of HFCS should be no more than a small metabolic challenge. I don’t recommend it — especially if you’re already sick or stressed — but you will recover from a candy binge; it’s the daily intake that gets you. And ironically, HFCS actually has less fructose in it than some hippie dippie sweeteners. I laugh every time I see a product bragging about using agave nectar. Yeeeees… highly processed and 90% fructose… that is ever so much better… So I will take a Snickers bar over a lot of raw organic candy substitute crap, because when it’s crap or crap, you take the crap with fewer carbs, more protein, and better fats.

    • CrystalsJoy

      And, CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You are that person!

  • Sara

    “Sometimes life requires stupid. It requires irrational. It requires letting go of our deep way of living and just existing with others in an indulgent, relaxed way.” Hell yeah! I couldn’t agree more! 😀

  • Emily @ DavenportDIY

    Did you see the story about the woman handing out notes to “obese” children instead of candy…? Crazy

  • Kim

    Amen Janelle!
    I’m sick to death of this controversy surrounding Halloween
    You know the whole Halloween thing was gonna get ridiculous when the schools couldn’t have Halloween parties anymore….Now they are Harvest Festivals..whatever the hell that means..
    Are we in the 1600’s?!
    Eat some candy and shut it.

  • Heather

    I totally appreciate this but especially the mention of trick or treating with a pillowcase. That’s how it was done at my house growing up.

  • Cath

    I agree mostly, but my hatred of HFCS is pretty strong. If my kids eat it I’m not going to freak out, we let loose for halloween, but I won’t support with my money the corporations that use it. So yes, I’m that mum that gives toys instead of sweets.

    Yes having a day off from the usual healthy eating is fine and I totally agree Janelle that we need to say ‘fuck it let’s have another shot’ now and then. The big thing that bothers me is they get so much that even one day of binge eating doesn’t make a dent in the amount they get. They are encouraged to grab handfuls, some people even give out bags they have filled up. Everyone says to give it out slowly, bullshit. We don’t keep junk in the house and one treat a day of the HFCS crap is too much.

    So yes, the party poopers can buggar off, but I’m happy about the buy backs for the leftovers.

  • Stella

    My kids went to bed last night with raging belly aches…and I was ok with it, really. They had a blast and this morning when moderation is alive and well in our house again, they say yesterday was the best! So amen, kids should have the opportunity to let loose!

  • Breezy

    I love you.

  • Laura

    Just discovered your blog through a GOMI thread. You are hilarious, just added you to my reader…while I eat a Twix.

  • Lauri

    You are FUNNY!
    Thanks for blogging.

  • Julie C

    So agree!!! I take it one step further and let them eat all they want when they want for 3-4 days….I know they might just keel over! But then the Great Pumpkin (because we have to bring in something classic from our childhood and for me it was watching Charlie Brown and eating my candy) comes and they put out their candy for him and the eating is over because he needs it to grow big for the next year. He leave a little something for them and we are all happy but better yet…we have a tradition that goes along with the fun of eating candy/Halloween and everyone needs a few traditions that haven’t been spoiled.