Why Candy Tastes Better When It’s Free (or Stolen From Your Kids)

There is only one thing that tastes better than free candy. And that is free candy you steal from your children. Candy you take out of your child’s Halloween stash somehow tastes sweeter, lasts longer, and seems less caloric than candy begotten from other means. I rationalize stealing my kids candy in two ways:

1. I think of it as a luxury tax. I bought the costume. I took them around from house to house. And I will most certainly have to deal with the consequences of their massive bellyaches once they’ve snarfed down eleven pounds of candy in half an hour. The way I see it, I deserve a percentage of net sales.

2. I tell myself I’m doing it for them. No responsible parent would allow their children to eat triple their body weight in sugar, would they?. By dipping into their supply, I am actually protecting them. I am being a good parent. I am acting righteously. (Refer to earlier post on How to Feel Righteous Everyday: A Cheater’s Guide).

But beware: Once children reach the age of four (or possibly a precocious three) they will protect their candy with their lives. If you are going to be successful in your quest, you must have a game plan. You must shut out all thoughts of selflessness and altruism. You must come prepared for battle. Here are a few bits of advice to help you along the way:

  • When they dump their candy out on the floor to bask in its gluttonous glory, take note of any doubles and triples. Start with these items first. The earlier you can extract them, the better.
  • Never, ever make the mistake of asking or worse, saying something like, “Let’s see, what do we have here…” This causes instant foodstress in kids and puts them on the defensive. You want them unaware.
  • Tell them you have to check the candy for razor blades or other forms of tampering. The only way to know for sure is to test it out yourself. That’ll buy you at least a couple of pieces – but won’t work forever. Most kids I know would rather risk being poisoned than give away their Halloween candy.
  • You can always pull the classic, “Look over there! Is that The Great Pumpkin?” and while their sweet little heads are turned, you swipe a bag of M&Ms or a Payday (if you roll with peanuts).
  • Don’t be greedy. Never take the King Size Twix or the cute little homemade marshmallow pops the Martha-wanna-be down the street gave out. You’ll get busted for sure. Stick to the common stuff – your Hershey’s mini’s, your individually wrapped licorice, your Tootsie rolls, etc.
  • Obviously, when they are at school and/or asleep, you have free reign to pillage at will. But be aware that some children take inventory and will know when something goes missing. You will pay the price in shame if you get caught. And possibly in actual candy as well. I’ll admit I had to do some re-stocking during the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup binge of ’08.
  • Kids fear the unknown food. Play upon their natural pickiness. You can pull out the lesser-known Skor bar and say, “You don’t like this, do you?” and before they even know what hit them you’re enjoying that rich toffee goodness.

Best of luck in your efforts tonight… Happy hunting and Happy Halloween!



7 Comments on “Why Candy Tastes Better When It’s Free (or Stolen From Your Kids)”

  1. LOL…I was already an adult before I ever tasted a Bit O Honey. My sister and I always thought that only Mom’s were allowed to eat the ‘Bits so we’ve just handed them over in surrender. Glad that at 41, I am old enough to steal my own.
    Thanks for the smile

  2. Stacia says:

    Awesome advice. I can still be pretty sneaky, but will refer to these notes when they are bit older and wiser…..

  3. Scott Orr says:

    Oh gosh…..been there too many times…..at your house! Darn the candy basket anyway. I liked the same ones they did so I had to clean it out before they finished dinner and hide the wrappers. Oh well, caught again! Papa

  4. rockitalian says:

    Very cute! I”m a “get up in the middle of the night eater” so I very rarely get caught except when I leave a few wrappers on the kitchen floor.

  5. My friend always instigates a tax. The rate can change on a yearly basis as the “economy” changes. “Ahh…once again this year, I must take advantage of the opportunity to teach my children about how taxation works. Which candy tax bracket should they fall into? They had a pretty large haul of candy…I’m saying 30%…” Someone commented to here that maybe a flat tax and some unexplained banking fees might also be a good lesson.

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