Cooking For Crowds For Dummies
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It's Halloween. Either you're getting your kids ready to go trick-or-treating or you're preparing for the onslaught of little candy hounds at your door. Hopefully, you've read the following ten tips beforehand so you'll have a fun, triumphant trick-or-treating night!

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  1. Stock up: You don't want to be known among the neighborhood kids as the people who ran out of candy early in the evening. It doesn't bode well for you next year. Need a formula? Divide the average number of trick-or-treaters you typically get by the servings in each bag of candy. Then, take into account how many pieces of candy you like to give per child and adjust your bag count accordingly.
  2. If you do run out of candy earlier than expected, follow these instructions carefully: Immediately turn out the lights and TV. Stay low and retreat to the back of the house.
  3. You might think that handing out toothbrushes or granola bars rather than candy is doing what's best for the kids, but they will hate you for it. They want candy.
  4. Determine ahead of Halloween night what your parent candy tax will be. This might take some calculation, depending on the number of children you have and whether you intend to levy the tax based on the volume of pieces overall, or perhaps, different values for different types of candy.
  5. And now just a tad of seriousness about safety: Before your kids go out trick-or-treating, make sure they will be visible in the dark. Pick bright costumes or add reflective accessories and glow sticks to their ghoulish garb.
  6. Also on the safety side, make sure your kids' costumes fit properly and don't restrict their mobility or hamper their vision or hearing.
  7. Know the basic Halloween etiquette: Only approach homes that have their outside lights on.
  8. Add the color teal to your Halloween decor and help kids who have food allergies enjoy the holiday. A teal-colored pumpkin placed outside your door signifies that you'll have non-food treats (stickers, small bouncy balls, art supplies, etc.) available for kids with food allergies. Also, a child carrying a teal bucket signifies food allergies. Check out the Teal Pumpkin Project for more information.
  9. While you're considering the color teal, also consider blue — watch for trick-or-treaters with blue buckets, which can signify that they are autistic individuals. These trick-or-treaters (and some could be older than you'd expect) might seem hesitant and may not be able to say "trick-or-treat!" So, hand out some candy, and give them a warm Happy Halloween greeting.
  10. Want to have some fun with the older teenagers you know in your neighborhood who still go trick-or-treating? (This does not go for the trick-or-treaters with the blue buckets in the last tip.) Ask them to answer a quiz question before they get a treat, like "What's the square root of 49" or "How do you spell intelligence?"

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