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Halloween : To Treat or Not to Treat?

And so, with Halloween begins the season of crazy candy Holidays. I hear a lot of people argue that it’s just one day, what does it matter? But it’s not just one day really. Halloween is just one day, but then come the rest of the candy holidays all the way up until Easter. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter – that’s a lot of candy, especially for someone who doesn’t particularly want their child eating any corn syrup, GMOs, processed, chemicalized, food dyed filled junk. I’m all for indulging in moderation and teaching not depriving kids of a little candy but I think there are healthier ways to do it.

How about a piece of dark chocolate instead of a GMO filled candy bar? Or a homemade cupcake made with real ingredients instead of something made in a factory? Justins Organic Chocolate Peanut Butter cups instead of Peanut Butter Cups? Or if you’re really desperate for candy you can try Unreal Candy which is made to resemble popular candy but contains to artificial ingredients or food dyes. I think you need to establish flavors from an early age and if you create taste buds that are used to foods filled with junk that’s what they’ll learn to crave in the future. Instead create cravings for dark chocolate – at least it has some health benefits.

With Halloween just around the corner and my daughter being 2 1/2 I am debating wether or not she’ll go trick or treating for the first time. I know she won’t be eating any of the candy she gets so I wonder if it’s even worth it, after all she’s never done it so she doesn’t know what she’s missing. To be honest, I don’t really see the appeal in it, but maybe that’s because I didn’t grow up trick or treating like children do in the U.S. We had halloween parties, when we were older, and there was no candy, only alcohol (I grew up in the Dominican Republic where the legal drinking age is 16? 18? who knows?). So I have no emotional attachment to taking Annabelle trick or treating, or really even dressing up, but of course I’ll let her dress up, I’m not that much of a party pooper.

The best way to avoid Halloween candy is not to go trick or treating at all. Have a party instead. Invite over a few of your childrens friends and let them dress up, if they’re toddlers you can create some great sensory boxes for them to play in with slime and plastic eye balls, let them decorate some pumpkins or pain on giant paper pumpkins, let them go bobbing for apples and fill them with fun, healthy snacks. This website  has some fantastic, creative ideas on making healthy, halloween themed snacks for a party, most of them are kid and adult friendly and simple enough to make with your toddler.

What about trick-or-treaters that come to your house? You could always go to Sams Club, buy a huge bag of gross candy and leave it in a bucket outside your door. Or you could go with a healthy option. I’ll be explaining to Annabelle why we don’t want to eat yucky Halloween candy so the last thing I want is for her to see me being a hypocrite and not letting her have the yucky candy but giving it to other kids ( I must admit it is tempting though because it is so cheap and if their parents don’t care why should I? but I do care).

The good news is that there are healthy alternatives out there that wont break the bank. Hopefully you’ve waited until the weekend before Halloween to do your shopping and haven’t stocked up on candy yet.

Check out my blog post on my 10 favorite healthy alternatives to Halloween candy on Moms Milk Boutique Blog.  As of publishing this post the link hasn’t gone live yet – so make sure to keep checking back to Moms Milk Boutique and I’ll be sure to update the link and post to my Facebook page once I notice it’s up too!

There are also tons of options on what to do with your leftover halloween candy, like writing a letter to the candy fairy and asking her to exchange the candy for a book, toy or maybe even some home made cookies. If we ever do trick-or-treat I plan on making a big to-do with Annabelle about looking at the ingredients on what she gets, looking to see if anyone gave out anything healthy, talking about why some of them are unhealthy and having some healthy alternatives that she can have on hand. Talking about why food is yucky and why we need to eat nourishing foods is a pretty common conversation in my house though, Annabelle talks about throwing daddys soda in the trash so he can be healthier and we often discuss that some people don’t care about eating healthy food and that others just don’t know that what they’re eating isn’t healthy but if we know something’s yucky we probably shouldn’t eat it. You have to find what feels comfortable for you, and what your child will understand, there’s no point in having a deep conversation with a one year old. Choose your battles wisely.

What are you planning on giving out the Halloween? What are some of your favorite Halloween treats that you just can’t live without? My favorite has got to be Swedish fish- loaded with red food dye. ugh.

If you do go trick or treating and want to eat a few pieces and get rid of the rest before it sucks you in be sure to check back here for my tips on what to do with all the leftover candy before it ends up on your lips!

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