The season of Halloween is approaching with its dreaded Halloween candy in tow. These sugary treats are in stores everywhere and set to arrive in our homes on Tuesday, October 31st. I have heard moms discussing how their children’s Halloween candy goes inadvertently missing the next day or what they do to get rid of it as soon as possible.
The concern is that this beloved holiday’s outpouring of fun wreaks havoc on our family’s health. These days, it’s not just the excessive sugar content in the candy, but also the artificial food colorings, preservatives and chemical processing that are causing childhood healthy concerns.
To us moms, an excess of sugar and chemicals in our children’s system can disrupt our attempt at keeping a calm household, but at the same time we don’t want to take the fun right out of trick-or-treating. So what can we do?
Are there alternatives to sugary treats in our children’s Halloween bags?
Start with giving the types of candy or play items that you would want your child to receive in their trick-or-treat bags. I saw at Costco that they have Halloween themed containers of Play-Doh. I have a neighbor who gives Honest juice boxes. There are also Halloween themed pencils, art supplies, glow sticks, stickers, jewelry, rubber ducks, fidget spinners, bubbles and more. If you are candy committed, look for those brands that offer chemical free, dye free and organic sugar options. I have seen dye and chemical free gummy bears and worms, suckers and candy corn.
I will admit to being the mom that cringes over chemical dyes in the suckers at the bank and having to turn the other cheek while Helena enjoys a sucker from the nice lady. Is that sucker going to destroy Helena’s health? No, its unlikely. However, at 4 years old, she knows that dyes are chemicals and our bodies were not designed to digest chemicals. We are what we consume and for my family chemicals don’t have a place in our diet.
How We Do Halloween in Our Home
Controlling what we give to other children is easy. Controlling what our children get when they are out in the neighborhood is not as simple. This is how I manage Halloween night with my 4-year-old. I make a healthier Halloween bag for her at home that she will receive as soon as she is home from trick-or-treating. While she is out in the neighborhood, I tell her she is out collecting candy for others. When she arrives home, we trade.
The days following Halloween, I donate the candy she collected to non-profit organizations that will receive it, send it to the office, or save some of it for holiday baking.