Trick, treat, or toy: children are just as likely to choose toys as candy on halloween

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2003 Jul-Aug;35(4):207-9. doi: 10.1016/s1499-4046(06)60335-7.


This study investigated whether children would choose toys over candy when offered both on Halloween. Seven households gave trick-or-treaters a choice between comparably sized toys and candies. The subjects (N = 284) were between 3 and 14 years of age. Children were just as likely to choose toys as candy. There were no gender differences. The implication of this study is that children will not be disappointed by toy treats on Halloween. In practice, nutrition professionals should encourage adults to create holiday traditions that do not rely on unhealthful foods.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Candy*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Child, Preschool
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Play and Playthings* / psychology
  • Psychology, Child