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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Culinary no-no #189

Culinary no-no's

Since a holiday is right around the corner, I thought I’d open with talk about Christmas.

Beginning November 8, on selected nights throughout the Christmas season, the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida hosts Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

The special ticketed event features live shows, fireworks, parades, meet and greets with characters, and snowfall on Main Street.

Throughout the park, there are special spots where boys and girls can get free hot cocoa and cookies. That is, if Mommy and Daddy let little Joey and Josie have some cocoa and cookies.

You see, some Mommies and Daddies are more health-conscious than other Mommies and Daddies. They're also killjoy party-poopers.

So, when they walk up to the counter, their kids don't get hot cocoa. Their kids don't get cookies.
They get apple juice and apple slices instead.

C'mon, Mom and Dad!

You travel thousands of miles.

You settle in at a Disney hotel.

You've got your theme park passes.

You've got your special Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party tickets.


You're now in the most magical destination in the entire universe!

Sign at entrance to the Magic Kingdom - Here You Leave Today and Enter the World of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Fantasy

Mickey and Friends are everywhere!  Jingle Bells! Mistletoe and Holly! Ho ho ho!

It's Christmastime.

And you won't allow Joey to have some cocoa? Josie leaves the party without her cookies?

If you ask me, that's just plain........


For many reasons, and in many ways, many folks are trying to ruin Christmas. So, it’s no surprise the fuddy-duddies have set their fun-crushing sights on Halloween, too.

Halloween is supposed to be a candy extravaganza, a sugar smorgasbord, a dentist’s dream. The goody two shoes of the world are trying their damndest to turn it into a green, calorie-counting, healthier than healthy nightmare.

One of the great joys of childhood is donning that favorite costume, feeling really cool about it, pillaging through the neighborhood (or, in this day and age, someone else’s neighborhood), and when the witching hour ends, dumping the haul onto a table and reveling in all that gooey, chewy goodness.

As kids all across creation say:


Enter Roberta Anding, registered dietitian at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital.

The Baylor School of Medicine website
writes this about dietician Roberta Anding:

"She advises letting children enjoy a few of their favorites after a night of trick-or-treating, and then putting the rest out of sight, such as in the freezer. ‘It is true that out of sight is out of mind,' Anding said.

All food encounters can serve as teaching moments for parents, she said. Parents should not refer to candy as 'bad' food, but rather label it 'once-in-a-while' food and serve it as a dessert after a meal, not as a snack."

Take the kid’s candy and stuff it in the freezer?

Give the kid a piece for dessert but not as a snack?

I’ll bet this dietician’s idol is W.C. Fields.

She's not alone. Take a look at this friendly face.

Kenda Williams - Kenda Williams

That's freelance writer Kenda Williams, a regular contributor to

Don't be fooled by that innocent looking smile.

Williams writes:

"Along with giving out candy, or as a substitute for candy, choose to give out packets of seeds for growing flowers and other plants. Kids will be able to literally make the Earth a little greener with seed packets as a replacement or alongside the traditional candy handouts."

OK. Kenda could be a nice young lady. But she's off her rocker on this one. You toss seeds in some poor kid's bag in many neighborhoods in America and you'll have flaming poo through your window in minutes.

Look, don’t be a pompous know-it-all during Trick or Treat. Think like a kid and listen to the kids. Again, from, a far better perspective than Kenda “Let them plant seeds” Williams comes from Cyndi Allison, described as “Southern born and fed.” Allison writes:

"In a recent survey, several kids noted that licorice was not a great treat. Others that topped the lists of least liked trick or treat candies were peppermint patties and candy corn. The blobs of sticky peanut butter taffy wrapped in Halloween orange and black papers also were noted by several kids as being less than appealing.

Shannon from North Carolina said, ‘My worst Halloween treat was Tootsie Rolls. I don’t like the way they taste, and they look like brown chalk.’

Other kids found non-candy foods to be strange. Brett was not excited when he got a bag of Ruffles Nacho Chips at one house, while Brandon was turned off by a bag of popcorn. ‘The reason why it was the worst was it wasn’t even buttered popcorn,’ he explained.

It's a Trick or Treat Bag - Not a Fruit Basket.

ost kids do not get excited about fruit for Halloween. One kid said a pear was her worst treat ever and another (who certainly had a point) did not find a rotten banana to be a good treat.

‘My worst Halloween treat had to be when I was about five or six, and I got an apple,’ said Jonathan. ‘All I wanted was candy, and I got an apple from an old lady down the street.’

Yes. Kids are expecting candy for Halloween. While adults may enjoy getting more creative, most kids are not thrilled with those free drink coupons for fast food restaurants or with pencils or toothbrushes.

‘The worse ever Halloween treat I’ve ever received was a toothbrush from someone in my neighborhood,’ said Bethany. ‘He was a dentist and gave out toothbrushes for treats.’

Dana noted that her least favorite trick or treat gift was a pencil. ‘What kid wants a pencil? You’re supposed to give out treats – not things like that, since it dealt with school. Those people were weird.’

The topper for bad treats was probably shared by Crystal. ‘I once got carrot sticks in my basket for Halloween?’ Most adults would even consider that a tad odd. Who hands out baggies of raw carrots?”

Another yummy morsel from and Aimee Larsen Stoddard:

"When mulling over a particular Halloween treat choice, do this simple litmus test: Ask yourself, 'Would 87-year-old Aunt Mildred approve of this choice?' If the answer is affirmative – that she would indeed give a nod of approval to the hard candies, taffy, raisins, or Dots you have in your white-knuckled grip – it’s time to reconsider your choice.

Better bets for the Halloween treat pail this year include mini candy bars, funky sugary candies like Nerds or Sour Patch Kids, or oldies but goodies like M&Ms or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups."

Stoddard says Dum Dums, those really cheap suckers they give out at the banks…..the worst Halloween treat.  And Stoddard provides this clincher from

“Little boxes of stuck-together shriveled globs are not what little kids schlep around the neighborhood for all night. When they say trick-or-treat, they want candy that will rot their teeth, not wrinkled grapes.”

There are times you have to let a kid be a kid. Capiche?

Let's keep Halloween happy.

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