Candy Chatter News

Are Your Kids Allowed to Have Candy in their Lunch?

Image courtesy of DumDumPops.com

It’s been a long time since I packed a school lunch, so I understand that I might be a bit behind the times in terms of what goes on inside the learning institutions of today. Many of my younger friends who have little ones in school have shared some surprising stories with me – surprising because in my lunch-packing days there was pretty much nothing off-limits. I could send peanut butter sandwiches; I could include a can of soda. My kids were also allowed to wear whatever they wanted as long as it was appropriately modest, and it was only the youngest one who had any restrictions regarding carrying her backpack all day from class to class. For the most part, it was a basic, common sense rule system that was easily understood without even having to read the handbook. Today, it seems, things are much different!

I understand the nut restrictions, I really do. Many of us were lucky enough to grow up in a time – and raise our children in a time – when the words ‘nut allergy’ were all but never uttered. An allergy is nothing to take lightly, and if I knew a schoolmate of my child’s could get sick from her peanut butter and jelly sandwich I’d have no problem swapping it for something else. I also had no problem ensuring my kids were always clean and tidy, and had gotten enough sleep the night before to focus and participate in class. I think these are things most parents are on-board with as they are part of being a parent. Just like deciding whether or not your kid can have a lollipop or candy bar at lunch is part of being a parent, too. Or… is it?

I came across an article today titled “School Has No Business Banning Candy From My Kid’s Lunch.” At first I thought, “Maybe she sent in something with nuts that another kid could have a reaction to.” After reading the article, I found out the mother had included one Dum Dums lollipop in her kiddo’s lunch – one Dum Dums lollipop that the “lunch monitor” had taken away from the child as it broke the rules. First, I was taken aback by there being a lunch monitor. I certainly don’t remember those from my own or my kids’ days! But the fact that something as small and innocuous as a Dum Dums lollipop was a rule-breaker really got me upset. As the mom notes in the article, they only have 3 grams of sugar and 26 calories. No – they aren’t fruit. They aren’t vegetables, either. But they’re far from being a terrible snack, and I can’t think of how the child eating one could possibly have a negative effect on those around her.

Even if the lollipop were packed with sugar and calories, isn’t it up to her parents to decide if she can have it? Maybe she earned a special treat for any number of reasons, or gets one really sweet snack each week as a reward for eating healthy most of the time. And maybe the reason she has the lollipop is none of the school’s business in any scenario! In fact, the lollipop could be a part of her parents teaching her how to feed herself properly now and in the future, serving as a tasty example of moderation and the dangers of victimizing food. Food was never an enemy in my house and while I might not be the smartest eater I know, I do consider myself fortunate to live a life free of eating disorders or incessant food guilt.

I’m sure there are people who would disagree with me, and you might even be one of them! I just really, truly, honestly feel that if your child’s lunch is primarily made up of healthy, enriching foods, you should have the freedom to include candy if you wish. What do you all think? Do your children’s schools have lunch restrictions?

Sending Some Love and Happy Holidays Your Way

It’s hard to believe that a year ago this blog was little more than a twinkle in the eye of this candy lover, but wow – has this year flown by! As reindeer hooves clatter on your roof and Santa drops some presents through your chimney, I just want to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my wonderful readers! Candy lovers really do see the sweeter side of life, and I just think you’re a great bunch. Hugs!

My Christmas gift to you? Oh, just a humble little collage of Valentine’s Day candy delight ideas – because celebrating one holiday with another is just better.

Some eye candy for my blog-reading loves:

Score a Homerun At Your Concession Candy Stand

Concession Stand CandyWhether you’ve donned a pinstriped baseball uniform yourself or cheered your favorite hitter on from the sidelines, chances are you’ve witnessed a little league game or school sports game and have been within reach of the beautiful thing called a concession candy stand. Filled with delicious novelties like Ring Pops and Pixy Stix, they’re perfect for the sugar fiends among us who either need a break from watching the game or some pep in their step for running around those bases.

Yet, not every concession stand lacks that sweet spark that I so wonderfully experienced as a child (hmm, I wonder where my sweet tooth started). It’s C.C. to the rescue – here’s my tips for livening up your candy stand, based on that keen sweet tooth of mine!

Pump up the volume! I know that girls just wanna have fun, but so do sports players and their fans! Major sports games have the loudspeakers cranked up full blast, so do the same at your concession candy stand (within reason – don’t upset the neighbors!). Have fun back there in the stand – laugh and joke with each other. The more approachable you are, the more people will approach and buy from you!

Get out there and advertise. You might be surprised to know that lil ol’ candy chattin’ me has some business sense in her! Just as small businesses fail if they don’t do marketing, same goes for your candy stand. Try to make your candy stand as colorful as possible with bright flyers highlighting certain candies and goodies and their prices, and even have a “mobile candy stand” walking around (a few trusted parents or school members) selling candy!

Candy is dandy, but cupcakes are…divine. We both know cupcakes are all the rage these days, so along with having the usual candy stand suspects like Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish, bake some sports-themed cupcakes. Funfetti is always a win with both kids and parents, and decorate the top of them as if they were a baseball. I bet they’ll sell like the cuphotcakes!

But have the usual concession candy, too. It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, but hear me out – sure, you need to have candy alternatives, but make sure you have all the concession candy faves, too! Here’s my list:

  • Ring Pops
  • Pixy Stix
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Swedish Fish
  • Now and Later Taffy
  • Gummy Bears
  • Gummy Peach Rings
  • Gummy Hot Dogs and ‘Burgs
  • Tootsie Pops
  • Tootsie Frooties

Okay, now I’ve gots to her from you – how would you take a concession candy stand from so-so to totes fab?

The Sweetest Event All Year: The 2012 Sweets & Snacks Expo

So you can probably guess the annual National Confectioners Association’s Sweets & Snacks Expo is just about the most radical event that can happen to this chiclet all year long. It’s 3 days of tons of new candy and snack exhibitors and tasty new releases…not to mention lotsa candy sampling!

Here’s just a taste of what you can expect:

  • The Exhibitors: Quick, name your favorite candies. You probably rattled off a list of about five, right? Wellll now image being in the midst of 550, yes five-hundred-and-fifty, candy and snack exhibitors. All wanting you to taste their wares. Oh me oh my!
  • The Attendees: I’m a talker, so you can bet chatting up fellow candy-loving attendees about sweets for three days is pretty much a dream come true, except it’s totally reality!!
  • The Venue: I’m a sunshine and waves girl to the max, but I’d never pass up a trip to the windy city! This year’s Sweets & Snacks Expo is based in Chicago, so I’ll be packing a scarf to protect that blonde coif of mine!

It’s going to be a gnarly three days! I’ve got my trusty gummy bear countdown going on, where I set aside one gummy bear for each day till the show. This is the one and only time where I can say I can’t wait till I have no gummies left!

Candy Dreams and Shopping Sweeps

Remember that old game show Supermarket Sweep, where contestants were given a specific amount of time to race through a supermarket (with no shoppers, of course) filling cart after cart with as many items as they could grab, but no more than 5 of each? I loved that show more than I can ever possibly express. And it’s exactly what I would dream of doing in several of my favorite stores, with Target nearing the top of the list.

Image courtesy of SFGate.com

Well, for as much as I already loved Target, after reading a sweet little article I’m about to love it more. SFGate.com reports – Pop-up shops at Target sweet deal for Candy Store. The article focuses on a San Francisco duo whose Vallejo Street the Candy Store has been chosen as “one of five specialty stores selected to be part of the Minneapolis chain’s Shops at Target program, debuting in May.” For six sweet weeks, their candies will be included at “temporary stores-within-Target-stores and online at Target.com.” In other words, Yay!!! I can shop at another store – a candy store, at that – without ever even leaving my beloved Target? That’s Inception-style dream-within-a-dream business right there!