Halloween can both be a joyous and stressful time for parents. One the one hand you love to see your child’s excitement of the festivities of halloween, you love to see them dress up in fun costumes, but on the other hand, you hate to throw out all of the healthy principals you’ve taught your child by letting them binge on halloween candy that is laden with preservatives, GMOs, fillers and other ingredients that have been shown to harm children in a number of ways. Read more about the dangers of GMOs here.
It’s also tough to deal with a child that is on a sugar high or crash, it’s almost like dealing with someone on drugs!
Halloween is an especially tough time for kids with food allergies. You never know what exactly is in the candy that people give out and you don’t want your child to feel left out of the festivities. The options below will help you if you have kids with food allergies.
Each family has a different way of dealing with halloween and I want to first say that I don’t want to pass judgement on any family. The way you raise your child is a deeply personal choice that is dealt with great care. This article is simply here to present a few different healthy halloween options to help health conscious families make their own decision. As always, do what you think is best for your family.
1. Get organic, non-GMO candy to pass out and to replace your child’s trick or treat stash.
Parents often feel bad about not letting their kid enjoy halloween at all because of the unhealthy aspect of it. Who could blame them? It’s hard not to spoil your kid with gifts and treats. Seeing your child happy and excited is such a wonderful feeling.
Getting organic non-GMO candy is a great way to still let your child participate in the festivities of halloween–the costumes, trick or treating and the sweets–without the downside of the unhealthy candies with dangerous additives, fillers, dyes and GMOs.
If you give out candy to other children on halloween and don’t want to support GMO companies who put dangerous ingredients in their foods marketed to children, below is a great list of organic non-gmo candies. You can buy bulk bags of these candies online so you can have them on hand when halloween rolls around.
The other great thing about these candies is that they are all individually wrapped. Although a lot of people suggest making your own halloween treats to pass out, the sad fact is that unless you live in a tight-knit community where everyone knows each other, most people won’t let their child accept unwrapped candies because of issues of contamination in the past.
Non-GMO Candy Options (All individually wrapped):
- Endangered Species Bug Bites– Organic/non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten-free mini dark chocolates. Pack of 64 mini chocolates. 10% of company profits donated to endangered species.
- Yummy Earth Organic Pops & Drops– Organic/non-GMO. 12 different flavored bags of hard candies and lollipops. Each bag contains about 15 lollipops or about 3 oz. of hard candies. Total of 75 lollipops and 23 oz. of hard candies.
- SunCup Dark Chocolate Sunflower Butter Cups– Organic/non-GMO, gluten-free, nut-free. Pack of 24 individually wrapped cups.
- Annie’s Bunny Snack Cookie Variety Pack– Made with organic wheat flour. 36 pack.
- Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops– Organic/non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, nut-free. 5 pound bag–about 325 pops.
- OCHO Mini Candy Bars– Organic/non-GMO. About 15-18 bars per pack.
- Sea Snax Roasted Seaweed Packs– Non-GMO, MSG-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free. Made with olive oil. 12 pack.
- Unreal Mini Candy Bars– Non-GMO, no hydrogenated oils.
- YumEarth Organic Gummy Bears– Organic/non-GMO, soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free. 5 size options from 4-pack to 72-pack. *NOTE: not vegetarian, contains gelatin.
2. The Halloween Fairy
Like the tooth fairy, the halloween fairy brings a gift for your child in exchange for his/her halloween candy during the night.
I love this option because it’s a win/win. If you don’t want your child to binge on a bunch of halloween candy, they can give it up to the halloween fairy and still get to participate in trick-or-treating and get a cool present in exchange. Your child still gets to do all of the fun of halloween activities and they can even have a few pieces of candy that night, but instead of having a huge bag of candy to work on for the following week, they give it up and get a present.
I don’t know about you or your kids, but when I was young, my sister and I would spend hours trick or treating, like it was a challenge to see who could get the most candy. We would bring pillow cases instead of halloween pails, so we could get as much candy as possible. I even remember one year my sister weighed her pillow case full of candy and it came in at a whopping 8 POUNDS!
My mom used to do the halloween fairy when I was little and I was happy with it. I never felt deprived of the fun of halloween. She told me to write a list of presents that I would want from the halloween fairy and that the halloween fairy would pick one present to give me. Then, I had to leave my bag of candy out on the desk or table in my room before I go to bed. In the morning, the candy would be gone and a present would be in it’s place.
You can even personalize it to whatever you think is fair. You could let your child trick or treat, but not have any candy and then have them turn it into the halloween fairy. You can let your child pick 2 or 5 or how ever many pieces of candy to have on halloween and then have them turn the rest into the halloween fairy. You can even give your child a choice to either keep their candy or to give it to the halloween fairy.
3. Practice the 80/20 rule
In my opinion, the 80/20 rule is good balanced way to live life. It means that for 80% of the time you and your family eat a natural, nutritious diet that will keep you healthy and 20% of the time you have your occasional not-so-healthy treat. This leaves the door open for you to indulge on special occasions, birthday parties or holidays and not feel left out or deprived.
One really tough aspect of trying to eat a real food diet is the pressure to be perfect all the time. Many different kinds of foods are often so demonized, that the guilt attached with eating them can be incredibly stressful, which is not good for your health either. Sometimes restricting yourself so intensely can backfire, making that forbidden food all the more desirable. So, even though I do think that white flour and white sugar are bad for you, I don’t sweat it or beat myself up if I have a piece of store-bought sheet cake at a birthday party or a piece of pizza every once in a while. Nobody’s perfect! And I feel like it’s those occasional treats that make it easier for me to eat a really good diet the rest of the time.
So, if you practice the 80/20 rule, halloween can be one of those special occasions that you allow your kid to just have fun. Let your child enjoy this special occasion. He/she is healthy 80% of the time, and this holiday along with a few others like birthday parties, easter, etc. are the exceptions.
Do have any other ideas for having a healthy halloween? What does your family do? I’d love to hear your responses in the comment section below!
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