how do you deal with halloween candy? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 45 Old 11-02-2010, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't like having this kind of stuff in my house. There's no way she's trading anything for it. Aside from sneaking a few pieces out when she's not looking, I don't know how to deal with it. When something like this is around she thinks about it all the time, wants it all the time, whines about it way too much...

I've been trying for moderation, but I'm starting to wonder if I should just let her have it all. My thought process is that then it would be gone and forgotten, we wouldn't be making an issue of it and possibly making it even more desirable, maybe an overload would make her lose her taste for it for a while.
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#2 of 45 Old 11-02-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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In our house, Halloween night is a free-for-all - my DS can eat to his heart's (and stomach's) desire until it's time to get ready for bed. After that, it's regulated like any other treat (your tummy has to have good food in it first). My DS self-regulates pretty well, so it's generally not an issue. The rest of the candy goes up in a bowl (that he has access to) and it usually takes him months to get through it all!

My DD will likely be another story. Right now, she's too young to know that she has more candy than what she ate on Halloween night. We combined her candy with DS's and she'll have the same rules as he does later on.

My mom used to hide my Halloween candy (even as an older kid, like 11yo!) and would dole it out rarely as she saw appropriate. It was a game for me to find her hidey-hole and then take out however much I could without it being too obvious. That's NOT the pattern I want to set up for my kids.

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#3 of 45 Old 11-02-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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We let them eat as much as they want on Halloween and then it all goes into a bucket. They'll usually ask everyday for the first week or so, and I do limit it to one piece, and then they kind of forget. I almost always have to dump the bucket before the next Halloween because it never gets completely eaten.
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#4 of 45 Old 11-02-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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I found this on another MDC thread & it's been fun this year!
http://www.candyexperiments.com/

The Switch Witch also comes to our house. Each kid puts candy in a bag on the front porch & the Switch Witch swaps it for a small gift. It didn't work perfectly with my middle child because she would only part with a few Slim Jims & some sour candies but she only rec'd a package of markers in return whereas DD1 also got a book for her 53 pieces! DS chose not to go trick-or-treating so soon we'll be putting all the candy in a big bowl & sharing it....and then it will disappear into pantry & hopefully soon forgotten.

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#5 of 45 Old 11-02-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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We do the candy fairy but I like "switch witch" better. Much more Halloween-y.

I don't have any other ideas. We also let the kids have as much as they want on Halloween but they tire of it pretty quicky. Whenever they get candy, they'll hoard it somewhere but rarely eat it. Even the kids that I know that are more like your dd, normally tire of it or forget about it in a few days. Good luck.

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#6 of 45 Old 11-02-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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I let the boys eat as much as they want on Halloween night. Then it gets packed up and DH takes it into work. His coworkers can got through it all in 1 day.

I have no self control when it comes to chocolate. It's best for me to get it out of the house ASAP.

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#7 of 45 Old 11-02-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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The kids can eat as much as they want on Halloween, up until they brush their teeth. Then they pick out five pieces each to keep and dump the rest in a pile on the dining room table. The Great Pumpkin comes while they're sleeping and gobbles up all the candy and poops out a toy for each of them. (Gross, I know, but dh and the kids thrive on that kind of humor. He even saves some pumpkin goop from carving pumpkins and leaves trails of it on the table, inside an empty candy wrapper, on the toy package, etc.) This year they traded in about 10 pounds of candy (I know! Crazy!) for a ninja Batman for ds and a mystery/deduction game for dd. Totally worth the $15. The candy then goes to our dentist, who pays $1 per pound (thus covering most of the money I spent on the toys) and sends it to troops overseas.
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#8 of 45 Old 11-02-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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I am sitting eating it right now!

I let DD eat a bunch on Halloween night, though not as much as she wanted (think i will do that next year though - this was her first year ToTing and she only did a few houses but got MASSES of sweets) and since then have let her have it so long as she eats something normal first (i.e. no candy FOR breakfast) and so long as she brushes her teeth after if it wasn't part of her meal.

I am helping her eat it because she got a few things she doesn't like. For my DD having/opening/tasting is WAY more of a thing than eating. I have thrown a LOT of half-eaten candy away the past few days!
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#9 of 45 Old 11-02-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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Wow, I'd just like to say that there are a lot of great ideas on this thread. I'll have to keep it all in mind for next year. We went with the eat as much as you'd like on Halloween and then it disappears. He has already forgotten about it. I really like the switch witch and great pumpkin ideas.

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#10 of 45 Old 11-02-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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I just finished reading this? Do you think theyd be interested in donating it?

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#11 of 45 Old 11-02-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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My DS is like the OP's...and the whining doesn't end in a couple days. I am already wishing we didn't do Halloween in a way, but I had a lot of fun as a kid, so....

I don't let them eat as much as they want the first night. DS would eat until he's sick, I bet, and I don't have any desire to be cleaning up the aftermath. He had 2 small pieces. Then for the first time we did the Great Pumpkin. He had a hard time trading out candy even with the thought of a toy, so I gently pushed him a bit. There is still much more candy there than I would like, so next year maybe we'll have a "minimum number of pieces" that the Great Pumpkin will accept for a toy. We occasionally will have candy/sweeats in the house throughout the year (my DH is a BIG baker) so it's not like they don't get some at other times.

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#12 of 45 Old 11-02-2010, 09:51 PM
 
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They can eat some on Halloween - this year they ate a ton since they were at a party w/other kids & it was a total candy-fest. The next day, it's gone, period. They know this, and there's no negotiating. I used to just toss it (I hate wasting food, but the stuff is such junk that I sort of feel it's just as wasteful to eat it), but now that my daughter's in kindy, we gave it to the collection they took up. They send the chocolate to a local food bank & ship the other stuff to troops in Afghanistan.

My kids were happy to send it to the soldiers to make them feel better since they're living in tents very far away without their mommies.
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#13 of 45 Old 11-03-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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Dd has free access to all her candy as long as she is eating her regular meals, brushes her teeth and puts the wrappers in the trash.
It works better for us to let her have at it than trying to hide candy and ration it. I also feel like if I don't want her to have the candy I shouldn't have encouraged her go out and ask for it door to door. I could have planned for her to do a non-candy Halloween activity after all or not let her go to so many houses. It'll be gone soon and we'll be candy free until Christmas probably.

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#14 of 45 Old 11-03-2010, 02:04 AM
 
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All but a few pieces of candy where eaten by midday the next day. I let the kids have what they want, take what I want and it is gone fast.

 
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#15 of 45 Old 11-03-2010, 09:13 AM
 
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Subbing to this thread.

My son is only 4 so this year we let him have 5 favorites on Halloween and then the rest stayed in the bag. And then....I've been snacking on it. I just lost 50 lbs I should NOT have a big bag of candy around LOL. So I'm looking forward to more ideas. I don't want to toss it, but having it around is no good for us.

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#16 of 45 Old 11-03-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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I have a 3-fold approach.

1. I let them have a couple pieces on Halloween each while in the car driving home from ToTing. We do it at church, which uses donated candy from the congregation, so I trust that it is okay and safe. (My son would eat the whole bag if we had it available in one sitting. He CANNOT regulate himself. So, it stays in the car overnight)

2. I set aside the candy that I will use for candy bar cakes and pies that I make for holiday desserts, either to eat at home or to take to various holiday potlucks.

3. The remainder is brought in in little handfuls and put into a small candy bowl. Once it is gone, that is all they get for the day. If one kid eats it all (I have 3 kids), the others are SOL. If they abuse that, then it WILL DISAPPEAR altogether, ie, I take it to work and put it in a bowl in the conference room.
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#17 of 45 Old 11-03-2010, 03:12 PM
 
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We allow free binging on Halloween night. Afterwards, we put the bags on a shelf, and take them down after each lunch and dinner, and each child can choose one item to eat. I don't put any restrictions on this-- you aren't required to eat a certain amount of your dinner, or anything like that. I'm not using the candy to bribe them to eat. Although the other night, DD1 declared that her stomach hurt, and refused to even come to the table for the meal, and then turned up a half hour later looking for her Halloween treat, and I refused her.

After about a week of this, we'll stop offering after lunch, and just offer after dinner, until the stuff is gone. In my experience, with the quantity they get (TOO MUCH), it lasts until right before Christmas, just in time for my mother to load them down with MORE CANDY.

I do go through the bags while they're sleeping, Halloween night, and remove the really objectionable stuff-- gum, for instance. And I remove from DS's bag anything with soy in it. I buy a few bags of stuff ahead of time that don't have soy, so that I can trade with him piece for piece so he doesn't feel like he's being robbed. Although this year, the girls mostly traded with stuff from their own bags, and the stuff I bought wound up in the back of the pantry.

It totally makes me cringe every time I see them eat the stuff. I work so hard the rest of the year to keep sugar out of the house. But I'm learning that I have to compromise with the culture a bit-- that its' fun, and that the tiny bit of candy each day is not the nutritional end of the world, with the rest of their diet being so healthy.


(This is the first year we haven't had a candy buyback program at our church. I miss it-- it was awesome. The kids brought in their candy, and the committee doing the project paid for it, 25 cents a piece, and the money went into the kids' UNICEF boxes, and the candy itself was used in a pinata at a party we throw for kids in a local homeless shelter.)

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#18 of 45 Old 11-03-2010, 03:18 PM
 
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one or two pieces per day as dessert (as in, after you have eaten a decent sized lunch or dinner) until it's gone. the day of halloween have three or four pieces, no more. plus, it is nice to invite other people to share in your halloween candy (like, share with me please). that's what we did last year when DS was 4. halloween candy lasted definitely into december! we skipped halloween this year because it's not celebrated here in peru.

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#19 of 45 Old 11-03-2010, 03:22 PM
 
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We only take the kids around one neighborhood, so that way they don't get a ton of candy. We let them binge the first night until I start getting sick watching them, lol. My 4 yo has already finished her and her siblings are sharing (she didn't get nearly as much as they did, though). My kids regulate themselves, so I don't really have to worry about it (except the littlest one, lol).

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#20 of 45 Old 11-04-2010, 02:03 AM
 
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I forgot about this earlier.....

Another thing I do with leftover Halloween candy is use it for Christmas! We have a Santa House that we use every year. It's a big, wooden house with little doors and windows (24 of them....) that open up to little compartments. It's a type of Advent calendar, except we don't celebrate Advent, so it's a countdown house for us. I use the candy from past holidays that's still there in December to fill those little compartments in this house! It works great to get rid of it and DS loves getting a little treat every day from the house.

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#21 of 45 Old 11-04-2010, 02:22 AM
 
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Dd has free access to all her candy as long as she is eating her regular meals, brushes her teeth and puts the wrappers in the trash.
It works better for us to let her have at it than trying to hide candy and ration it. I also feel like if I don't want her to have the candy I shouldn't have encouraged her go out and ask for it door to door. I could have planned for her to do a non-candy Halloween activity after all or not let her go to so many houses. It'll be gone soon and we'll be candy free until Christmas probably.
This is us, too. It works out fine. I don't have to get into power struggles about how much they can have or have to put it up/hide it, or make it disappear. It's their candy, and they can regulate it as they wish. It works out for us. We don't get an obscene amount of candy, though, as we only go around to a small amount of houses. When people talk about pounds and pounds of candy, that doesn't apply to us - even with 4 kids. It's really not that much, and they don't seem to gorge on it since they know they can have some whenever they want... until it's gone.

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#22 of 45 Old 11-04-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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do other people's kids get over 100 pieces? cause my kids did and i think it would be insane to let them have access to all that! i offered a substantial amount of cash for candy and threw it in the garbage. some kids this is a good reward, some not. find the right reward and trade! even if only one piece is given a day, i think 1 piece of candy every. single. day for 120 days is a bit much.
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#23 of 45 Old 11-04-2010, 12:22 PM
 
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do other people's kids get over 100 pieces? cause my kids did and i think it would be insane to let them have access to all that! i offered a substantial amount of cash for candy and threw it in the garbage. some kids this is a good reward, some not. find the right reward and trade! even if only one piece is given a day, i think 1 piece of candy every. single. day for 120 days is a bit much.

Not mine - we went to maybe 20 houses, if that... probably closer to 15 which was more than enough fun for my kids. The houses aren't very close together around here (big lots, long driveways so we out for over an hour), and while some people give out more than one piece of candy, many just hand out a small candy bar or a sucker. So, no, my kids didn't get more than 100 pieces. And we even went to an event before trick or treating but the games they played there gave out mostly non-candy prizes (with a little candy here and there - but not much).

Maybe I'm just too lazy to police candy that is theirs - but they seem to do just fine managing it on their own (and bartering and trading it amongst each other). They eat healthy foods the majority of the time, so a week or two of tons of sugar b/c of Halloween doesn't even faze me. I do remind them to brush their teeth more often, though,

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#24 of 45 Old 11-04-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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I forgot about this earlier.....

Another thing I do with leftover Halloween candy is use it for Christmas! We have a Santa House that we use every year. It's a big, wooden house with little doors and windows (24 of them....) that open up to little compartments. It's a type of Advent calendar, except we don't celebrate Advent, so it's a countdown house for us. I use the candy from past holidays that's still there in December to fill those little compartments in this house! It works great to get rid of it and DS loves getting a little treat every day from the house.
This is a cute idea, and reminded me of something I wanted to do. We have tons of leftover candy (ds loves trick or treating, but hates candy. LOL! He eats plain m&m's and plain hershey's milk chocolate and that's it).

We'll make gingerbread houses (maybe even a village... lol) and decorate it with the halloween candy. Woo!

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#25 of 45 Old 11-04-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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Maybe I'm just too lazy to police candy that is theirs - but they seem to do just fine managing it on their own (and bartering and trading it amongst each other). They eat healthy foods the majority of the time, so a week or two of tons of sugar b/c of Halloween doesn't even faze me. I do remind them to brush their teeth more often, though,
I'm thinking that once mine are a bit older (my oldest is six), this will be my way of handling it. It almost seems to me like having them binge for a week or two, and eat far too much, would get it over with. Then we could all go back to our normal ways of eating more quickly, instead of dragging the candy out for a month or two like we do now. The reason I've been holding back, and doling it out slowly, is because DD1 has intestinal issues sometimes, when her diet deteriorates, and frankly I don't feel like dealing with her the way she is when her belly is bothering her. But I think in a year or two, maybe she'll be more able to connect the cause and effect of the situation, and that letting her self-regulate will help that happen more quickly. Like if I'm always in control of it, how is she ever going to learn from experience that too much sugar makes her sick?

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#26 of 45 Old 11-04-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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Growing up, after trick or treating we'd spread all our candy out together as a family at the table. We'd get to pick 10 pieces, and the rest we'd sell to our parents. 5 cents for the little stuff, 10 cents for the big stuff. And it was a big deal to take our earnings and go buy a toy with it. I don't know how old I was when that started, but I don't remember anything different.

If I remember correctly, even as ambitious teenage kids, I think it would add up to $15 at most. And in my parent's mind, well worth the investment, it was a win-win situation.
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#27 of 45 Old 11-04-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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our kids trade most of their candy to us for a present. i like the 'switch-witch' idea, i'll have to incorporate that for next year.

they each get to keep a small bag (think about the size of a sandwich baggie), mostly chocolate and a couple of lollipops. my oldest has had a lot of dental issues and she's not allowed any 'chewy' candy and even though the other kids could eat it, it's not good for their teeth either so we have a no chewy candy rule. so all the chewy stuff goes in the pile, and then we let them pick a small pile of their favorites to save and they get one piece each day for dessert after a meal until it's gone - usually a few weeks. they know they aren't going to get any candy any other time, so it minimizes the whining.

we did institute this from the very first halloween with our oldest, which has made it easier. it's just what we do. and she loves getting something she can enjoy for a long time vs. extra candy that's a fleeting thrill. since she is into it, the other two are too.
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#28 of 45 Old 11-04-2010, 08:10 PM
 
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Here's the Halloween tradition we started with DS started trick or treating. He gets all dressed up, goes out and does the trick or treat thing, we come home and dump out the loot on the table. He loves looking at it all (he's almost 7 now), and he gets to choose one thing to eat that night.
Then he goes off to bed.
While kids are sleeping, the "Great Pumpkin" comes to visit our house. The Great Pumpkin takes away all the candy and trades it for a fun toy (this year my kids got floor scooters so they can scoot themselves around all over the flooor and get some exercise on cold rainy days like today). Usually the Great Pumpkin leaves a few of the less-toxic seeming candies for the kids to enjoy, a few chocolates or something they really like. The rest of the candy I just dump in the trash. They seem totally cool with this tradition and it works for me too.

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#29 of 45 Old 11-04-2010, 08:25 PM
 
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My kids Toted for about 90 minutes - it was so much fun. About 2/3 or more of the candy disappeared right off the top and the rest is eaten over the next week or so (two or three pieces a day). It's more than I'm comfortable with, but I've decided to add this to the long list of things to let go of.

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#30 of 45 Old 11-05-2010, 05:41 PM
 
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When DD was 4 and younger, we only went around to people we know who wanted to see her all dressed up. It was a social event and DD didn't really know or care about the candy aspect. We'd hand out candy to the few kids who came to our door with any candy she might have gotten and I usually had one bag of something. Seeing the costumes and dressing up was the big deal of Halloween.

Once DD started school, we did trick-or-treating with school friends in a small group. Since she is an only child, I work on social skills and encourage social interactions a lot. There are unintended "side effects" (such as learning about things we'd prefer she didn't), but ultimately those things will come about at some point in her life and we'd rather she learn how to handle situations with us around while she is young. At that point, slowly, t-o-t became a bit more and more about the candy collected.

Our tradition has been we come home and dump the candy out on the living room floor and we all gather around. We go around the circle (DD, DH, me) and chose 1-2 items each (our favorites) until no one is interested in what is left. We then have a two minute bartering session, which is fun, where we attempt to get what we want from someone else. Effectively, her "loot" is divided in quarters and becomes a very reasonable amount.

If anyone comes to our door, we use the "unwanted" pile of candy. Other kids love this stuff, so I don't feel bad at all. The rest is either given to grandpa (he usually only chooses a few pieces) or taken to DH's office or put in the teacher's lunge at DD's school or thrown out. We didn't have any kids come to our door this year and my dad is out of town and DH said they already had a bowl of candy at work and I saw a large bowl in the teacher's lounge, so I pitched it into the trash.

DD can eat a few pieces on Halloween and then can eat whatever she wants until it is gone (for the most part, like not right before dinner or in place of a meal). We did let her eat as much as she wanted twice when she was 5-6 years old (once at Halloween and once at a family movie night). She has learned for herself that too much candy at one time makes her feel AWFUL! At her current age, 9, I would not encourage that again for several reasons, but the two most important to me are 1) Her tolerance is higher now and I don't want to point that out to her; and 2) Binging can more easily become a habit-forming eating pattern now.

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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