Oct. 25, 2011 at 7:00 AM ET
Have you bought your Halloween candy yet? Perhaps a better question is, do you still have any of it left?
Dipping into the Halloween stash before Oct. 31 is a parent's perogative -- and if you're guilty of pre-Halloween snacking, you're not alone. An exclusive TODAY Moms-iVillage poll of nearly 500 parents showed that most of us are thinking of our own sweet tooth, not the kids, when we shop for Halloween candy: 83 percent of parents polled say they buy their own favorite candy, so they can enjoy it too (17 percent say they buy the cheapest kind because they're giving it away). And 71 percent admit to eating some of the candy before the trick-or-treaters arrive.
Full disclosure: There's a bag of mini-Snickers in my freezer right now that is so not going to make it until Halloween.
In other candy news, three-quarters of the parents in our survey say they ration out their children's candy, letting them have a little bit at a time. But one in eight say all bets are off on Halloween -- they let their kids eat all the candy they want, whenever they want it. Kids aren't the only ones up to Halloween mischief: One in five parents admits to eating their kids' candy and either lying about it or just keeping quiet and hoping their child won't notice! "Candy missing? Why, I wouldn't know anything about that, little Johnny...." Pretty sneaky, parents.
When it comes to getting into the Halloween spirit, 15 percent of parents say they give more candy to kids with better costumes. Most parents, 82 percent, don't make their children's costumes (though some feel guilty about it). And one in 10 admits to being a Halloween grinch: They'd rather turn the lights off and pretend they're not home!
How do you feel about Halloween? Have you dipped into your candy stash yet? (Just to test it, of course... have to make sure it's OK before you give it to the kids, right?!)