Halloween just makes me ready for Thanksgiving. As a general rule, I’m just not a fan. I mean, scary costumes + loads of sugar (aka chemicals) + evil (just being honest) does not make for my kind of holiday.
However, I do see Halloween as an opportunity.
I love that our church hosts a Halloween alternative that based on fun & games & run by adults who just want to share the love of Christ with kids and their parents.
I love that our neighborhood kids will knock on our door, and we have a chance to give them a smile, strengthen our relationships with them, and open doors for new ones.
But just like I won’t have creepy music or scary decor at my house, I also won’t hand out candy that I believe contributes to behavior & health problems.
Here are a few options that dentists, nutritionists & KIDS will all approve:
What kid (okay, adult too) is not fascinated by something that glows in the dark? There are lots of options at the link above – from glow sticks & bracelets to necklaces & sunglasses.
Pretzels are not exactly nutrient-filled, but they’re certainly a better option than candy. Plus, after a later night trick-or-treating, parents will be grateful to have something that can go right into their lunch bag for school the next day.
While I realize this may not be the best budget option depending on how many kids will ring your doorbell, if your child does a Halloween party or trick-or-treat exchange at school, this would be a good option to put in the treat bag of your child’s classmates. Still sweet, but not loaded with chemicals.
Take a sharpie & draw jack-o-lantern faces on fruit cups of oranges, mangos or peaches. You could actually do this with a REAL orange as well. It’s still fun, in line with the season, and kids really do like them. (I promise – they will get PLENTY of candy from other houses.)
If you still want to give candy, there are brands beginning to pop up that have good standards, like these lollipops free from artificial colors & flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and gluten.
If you still want your chocolate & caramel, but want to forgo the artificial ingredients, GMO, corn syrup, preservatives & hydrogenated oils, you can buy these. Again, budget wise, these might not be the best option for trick-or-treaters, but if you wanted to have these on hand for your kids in exchange for the candy they collect from the neighbors, they won’t know the difference.
In closing, I am all about balance & moderation in life. Your kids are not going to die if they have a few pieces of candy (and neither are you.) But the amounts of candy kids gather in just a few hours isn’t healthy for anyone. And if your family is working to become healthier, it’s not best to keep that temptation in the house.
I’d invite you to check out the Halloween Candy Buy Back program, run by dentists in local areas. In short, dentists collect candy in exchange for cash or prizes, and then the candy is sent in bulk to our troops. (And with the number of soldiers we have, moderation won’t be an issue!)
Hope that list helps you or gets your healthy wheels turning. Praying for a safe & [truly] happy Halloween for all.