Halloween is like most holidays; it changes as you grow, from the activities you participate in, to the costumes you wear. However, there is one constant throughout one’s life for their Halloween experience: candy.

Candy is the centerpiece for kids trick-or-treating and adults hosting parties. Aisles of stores are dedicated to Halloween-themed candies, and shelves overflow with gummies and chocolates in the shapes of skeletons, pumpkins and goblins.

While candy has been a constant, certain candy-related aspects of Halloween have changed. I remember a time in my childhood when I would go trick-or-treating and immediately start devouring the candy. As I got older, my parents began making me wait to eat my candy. I was livid. I could not fathom why my parents — the people who should love me most in this world — would make me wait to eat my candy until they finished rummaging through it.

I soon discovered that my parents were indeed the rational people I had thought them to be and were just making sure my candy was safe. For some reason, people were lacing Halloween candy with drugs. Each year I seem to hear more warnings cautioning parents about dangers that could be hidden within their children’s candy, and each year I try to rationalize why anyone would do such a thing, but I have yet to find an answer.

As a sugar addict, more specifically a chocoholic, I am deeply disheartened at the reality of taking such precautions just to enjoy candy. Halloween is the one day when it is socially acceptable to eat your weight in candy. Parents should not have to tediously examine every “fun-sized” candy before their children can eat it.

Not only is the safety of candy becoming a risk, but some people are attempting to remove candy from the entire Halloween equation. A recent trend has been to provide alternative snacks to trick-or-treaters, such as organic candies and natural fruit leather ropes. While I admire the initiative to promote health, I think health advocates and candy-lovers should come to a compromise because removing candy from Halloween would be a travesty.

In a perfect world, children would still have concerns about their Halloween candy, but these concerns would be whether they want to eat their favorite candy first or save the best for last, which of the chocolate trifecta (Kit-Kat, Reese’s or Hershey’s) to eat first and which candies they want to trade for something better. In this perfect world, candy would also be healthy.

Since a perfect world doesn’t exist, check your children’s Halloween candy, and stock up on backup candy in case they receive more tricks than treats this year. Always remember to keep it spooky and sweet.

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