Yes, those are MY children! On one of our "rainy-day specials"—going to the movies and visiting Dylan's Candy Bar to get some junky candy. Now, as far as I am concerned, all candy is junk but it is an absolute "necessity" at times. And my boys know that when it's movie time, it's also time to get a very special junky treat.
I have been called the food "nazi" by many. I take offense to that not just because of what the term "nazi" represents (and I am Jewish), but also because I am not "fanatically dedicated to" keeping my kids away from junkfood. I just think there is a time and a place for it and I want them to be educated accordingly.
Candy is not forbidden in our house, but we opt for healthier choices—without the artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives (I am fairly adamant about keeping this to a minimum). Our favorite picks are Yummy Earth and Candy Tree. While not totally mainstream, you can buy both on line at The Natural Candy Store and keep em stashed in the house for those special occasions.
I often talk to parents who pride themselves on the fact that their children never eat candy, not for Halloween, at birthday parties and the like. The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear this is, "Just you wait. When your kids are out of your clutches, all hell will most likely break loose." My personal and professional experience is that if you make a food or foodstuff forbidden (unless for medical reasons—a whole other discussion) then you are typically setting your children up to always want, in some way, the prohibited treats.
I like to respectfully weave junk foods (candy, cookies, cakes, ice cream, etc.) into my children's lives and talk to them about what they are and why we don't eat them all the time. So for the purpose of my brew, more specifically, this is what I do when it comes to candy:
• Movie-time is junkycandy time (a few times/year)
• Healthier candy is a very special treat (a couple times a week, if that at all)
• For birthday parties and special holidays there are no set rules, but my kids get to do what all the other kids are doing (though inevitably, they choose 1-2 pieces of candy and a spot of another sweet)
One last tid bit—it is not uncommon for a doctor's office to offer a child a lollipop after (and even during) the visit. Bad messaging as far as I am concerned. But, lollipops can be helpful to get the kids to comply with the doctor. So, ask your doc to buy Yummy Earth lollipops as an alternative. Worked for me! They get the pop but not the one with all the artificial ingredients. There are always other options...