This Halloween, parents across the country might try to limit their kids' intake of candy from their Halloween haul, forcing them to limit themselves to one or two pieces a day. But does this teach children the wrong lesson about food? Some experts say that it does. This practice raises up the candies above the level of normal foods and they become something special, something coveted, something to sneak pieces of and hide the evidence. Such habits can set a precedence that will last for the rest of kids' lives and lead to problems with compulsive eating in the future.
Instead of making candy into this exotic and much-desired item, some parents let their kids eat as much candy as they want on holidays like Halloween. They eat fairly balanced meals the rest of the time, but on those few special occasions the kids can go all-out if they want to. This teaches kids to regulate their own intake (especially if they accidentally eat themselves sick once) because they know that indulgence isn't something to constantly be sought out. The kids aren't focused for the whole day on that one piece they will be permitted after dinner and are much less likely to binge eat when they actually do have free-access to treats.