Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the fifth film based on JK Rowling's books, has just opened around the UK.
If you have a child who's mad for the boy wizard, you may have already booked your seats. And if you have a particularly persuasive child, you may have done as I did and read the books as well.
One aspect of the books that I loved was the description of sweets that Harry Potter and his friends enjoyed. They relished their trips to Honeydukes Sweet Shop, in the magical village of Hogsmeade, and stocked up on chocolate frogs and fizzing whizzbees.
Here's what was in ours:
The box is called Frogs Snails and Puppy Dogs Tails - Every Boy's Favourite Wooden Box of Sweets, though my daughter would like me to point out that it goes down very well with girls too. At least I think that's what she said - I had to translate from the original "Mmgth mmmm shwgsh" as she was getting stuck into some Jelly Brains at the time.
The box also includes: Scary Spiders, Giant Rats, Devil's Fireballs Gobstoppers, Fruity Frogs and Jelly Filled Snails. And you can alarm passers-by with a green, red or blue tongue courtesy of Tongue Painter Lollies or Colour Changing Space Dust.
You also get some water bombs and whoopee cushions, to help your little Harry Potter indulge in some Horrid Henry behaviour on the side.
I know as parents we can get concerned that our children are eating too many sweets. But occasional sweets, in the context of a generally healthy diet, regular activity and daily teeth brushing, isn't so bad. In fact, I believe that if you make sweets a big deal then they will become more attractive to your children. If you forbid them entirely then you are probably storing up more future problems than you're solving now.
It's been interesting to observe that having a big box of sweets around the house hasn't turned my children into sugar crazed monsters. If anything, they are much more relaxed when they know there's an abundance available. They ask if they can have one or two sweets, then put the rest back - they're learning self-control. I think this is a good lesson to learn.
This box would make a nice present if you've got a little Harry Potter fan who's done well in their exams, or if you want a gift for a group of children. Prices start at £18.97, and it's available here. It's absolutely wizard.Suggest a correction