Self-serve Halloween candy for trick-or-treaters: yes or no?

Halloween candy bowl. Photo credit: GinRobot via Flickr/Creative Commons

For those with sleeping babies, sensitive pets, or for those out trick-or-treating with their own kids, the self-serve candy bowl is often the answer. You put a big bowl of candy on your doorstep with a polite little sign encouraging trick-or-treaters to "Take one," and hope for the best.

But there's often a kid who empties the entire bowl into his bag (or takes the bowl and the candy) leaving everyone else feeling deflated…except that kid, who feels like he's won the lottery.

@goldentwig asks:

I retweeted her question and got some creative responses, including a fascinating data point from Ashley Merryman, coauthor of NurtureShock (a favorite book among ParentHackers):

Some fabulous responses on the Parent Hacks Facebook page as well.

How do you "treat" trick-or-treaters when nobody's home to hand out candy? Self-serve or lights out?

Halloween candy bowl photo credit: GinneRobot via Flickr/Creative Commons. The caption read "…we weren't home to give out candy, so I left candy on the porch. When we got home, the chocolate and the bowl were gone. They left the sign." Sigh.

Want more? We've got a big collection of Halloween hacks right here.