The New York Times couldn't have picked a better time to introduce us to Samira Kawash aka Candy Professor than Halloween. She's not a nutritionist scolding us for indulging our sweet tooths, but she has become rather obsessed in examining our complicated and fascinating relationship with candy.
Much of what interests Kawash, a former Rutgers professor, is candy's history and she loves to find and analyze old candy advertisements for clues to candy's changing place in our lives over time (like how candy and Halloween became so inextricably linked.) I think parenting and candy is a particularly tricky minefield to walk and Kawash agrees. She describes an uncomfortable playdate moment involving jellybeans that most parents can probably relate to from one side or the other.
Julia Moskin who wrote the Times piece ("Is Candy Evil or Just Misunderstood") also spoke with a nutrition professor, Rachel Johnson who, seemingly radically, stated: "I don't think candy is bad for you." Instead, she warns against foods like juice and granola bars whose "health halo" disguises their sugary makeup.
I highly recommend checking out Moskin's thought-provoking Times article and also perusing Candy Professor. I'll probably be hunkering down with it this weekend over a bag of candy corn.
(Image by Flickr member Chris van Dyck licensed for use under Creative Commons)