Am I the only one who finds Halloween weird?
I mean what the heck is it really all about? All I do know is, it’s a strange event entrenched in darkness and crap candy overload.
I know I sound a little Halloween Scrooge-y (at least that’s what my husband tells me), but I do actually have fond childhood memories of Halloween. My mom and I would sit down in September and decide what I wanted to be for Halloween. Once decided, she would buy the pattern and the fabric and get to work. The result was a beautiful handmade costume that I still have. Now, if only I could convince one of my kids to dress up like a witch, a clown or an angel! lol
As kids, our Halloween loot was always moderated. Mom would allow us to choose just a few each day. After about a week, all that was left was the stuff nobody really wanted anyways (*ah-hem Tootsie Rolls) which we would toss. I can’t bring myself to allowing my own children the same experience though. Candy today has changed tremendously with the influx of GMO sugar, soy and other toxic ingredients so there’s NO way I can give it to my kids! The whole moderation argument is lost on me when it comes to this crap.
What’s a real foodie to do?
Here’s what works for our family on Halloween night:
- We always give the kids a big nutritious dinner. This is definitely sneaky, but an important part of curbing their desire for junk. It also works great before sending them to a birthday party!
- We make a big deal of their costumes and take pictures before taking our children out trick or treating around our neighborhood.
- When they return home, they dump out their loot and take about 15-20 mins searching through all the stuff they collected. It really does make for some pretty enlightening conversations when they start to read the ingredients of a candy bar for example.
- When they are ready, they hand over their sac of junk and we trade them for a couple ‘healthier’ treats. Last year they asked us what we were going to do with all their Halloween junk. We promptly told them we are ‘tossing it in the garbage because that’s where it belongs‘. Sound harsh? Not really, because the previous year we were asked the very same question and our reply was that we were ‘donating it to the Food Bank’. One of the boys, with eyes wide asked why we would ‘poison other people’s bodies’ (*gasp*). We really do learn so much from our kids.
- In past years we have also given them each $5 or $10 to do with what they wish.
OK Libby… Give me more
- Throw a Halloween party with like-minded families and make healthy treats to share (see below for a list). These are a lot of fun because you don’t need to worry about what your kids will be eating, plus they get to wear their costume and visit with their friends.
- If you do allow your kids to go out trick or treating and you have small children, you may find the story of the ‘Halloween Fairy‘ helpful. She turns candy into magic fairy dust and in return for leaving her all their candy, she will leave children a small toy/thank you gift (source).
Healthier Food Alternatives
- Homemade Vitamin C Gummies (with or without the Vitamin C)
- DIY Healthy Gourmet Marshmallows with DIY Natural Food Coloring
- Sneaky DIY Fruit Leather
- Mini Lara Bars
- Yum Earth Organic Gummies or Suckers
- Honey Sticks
- Dagoba Dark Chocolate Squares
- Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Annie’s Organic Fruit Gummies
Non Food Alternatives
- Home made Play Dough (individually packaged)
- Halloween themed pencils
- Mini Boxes of crayons
- Mini decks of game cards for kids
- Money (coins)
This year we are handing out Halloween pencils and individually wrapped squares of organic chocolate. When you really sit down and figure out the cost, it’s no more expensive than buying a big sack of crap mini chocolate bars which can run you $15-20 especially because you’d probably end up handing out 3-4 candy bars per kid.
What tricks do you use for Halloween?