Image by Ashlee Dawn Photography found [here].
For many parents who are aware of all the chemicals and artificial ingredients lurking in Halloween candy this can be a precarious time of year. Likely you love the harvest time, the beautiful leaves, the pumpkins, the fun decorations and how darn cute your kid looks in their costume – but you are dreading all the junk they will be given. Many of us are also concerned about the type of candy we want to give out to other children in our neighbourhoods.
We have been speaking to lots of natural mommies and they have come up with some great ideas for a healthier Halloween for everyone, which we (of course) wanted to share with you.
Our Number One Tip: Do a swap of the bad stuff for the good! Most of us agree that you can still take part in all the fun – just be prepared to switch the junk food for some healthier alternatives, like organic candy and fruit leathers. Get ready to get creative by making things yourself plus shop at your local health food store or on-line to find some of the best natural candy on the market. This can be fun. Let your older kids know before hand and let them take part. Younger kids won’t even noticed that you did a swap and chances are your kids will be too happy with all the yummy alternatives you come up to notice they aren’t getting exactly what was given to them in their trick-or-treat bags.
Another Tip: Limit the amount your kids eat by letting them know before hand that you will be taking the candy and spreading it out over the next few weeks. This also makes switching out some of the junk for the good stuff a lot easier and drags the fun out over time as well as helps prevent those melt-downs and crashes from too much refined sugar.
Fun With Empty Wrappers: One of our natural moms found a bag of empty (new) candy wrappers – these can be purchased from lots of large retail chains like bulk barn, a regular grocery store or on-line. Her plan is to wrap yogurt covered raisins, almonds and other nuts. This gives kids the fun of unwrapping their treats without eating questionable, unhealthy products. We think it’s a great idea!
Map a Healthy Route: It is important to talk with other moms in your area or a local moms group about your concerns with all the toxic chemicals found in most candy and sweets. If other moms are concerned too you can decide to trick-or treat at each others homes and agree to give each other healthier alternatives. Mapping out a route of homes in your community that are willing to give out some healthier alternatives is a great way to meet some like-minded families and to let your kids eat some of the candy they actually get at someone’s house.
Where To Get The Good Stuff: You can purchase all that you need for a healthier Halloween at your local health food store. Plus you can add nuts, raisins, dried fruit such as apricots and cranberries, fruit leather and granola bars from your grocery store. If you are web savvy and like shopping on-line you might want to check out the Natural Candy Store, found [here]. They even have a section for fair trade natural candy. Another site to check out is organiccandy.com, found [here], which makes natural candy free from GMOs in the US and Canada. You can also check out Surf Sweets found [here], a family company specializing in organically-sweetened gummy candies and jelly beans that are free of high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors or sweeteners. We are also big fans of another company called Yummy Earth, found [here], which was invented by two dads!
Honey sticks are also fun and delicious. You can get flavoured ones, but we prefer the 100% Wildflower honey which can be found [here] or likely in your local health food store.
For the DIYers you can make lots of tasty treats. Consider making them with your kids during the weeks approaching Halloween. This will give you lots of fun Halloween activities and get you in the mood for the season. Your kids will also be excited because they know what goodies they will be getting when the big day arrives.
To make your own honey candy click [here].
For those who want to try making their own fruit leathers, check out this link [here].
Ever tried making your own beet cake? Click [here] to find out how.
Healthy baking is a great way to have fun activities with your kids and they also learn about cooking and measurements. Additionally, it is a great way to get in some healthy ingredients, like ground organic flax seed or organic oats. Baking treats for your kids for Halloween also reduce all that packaging that comes from individualized candies, chips and chocolate – so it’s better for the environment too!
Focus on the Fun Activities of the Harvest Season: Focus on all the fun things in the harvest season – instead of on what Halloween candy you are not giving your kids. Try making lots of harvest crafts, decorate your home with festive items like pumpkins and leaves, visit a pumpkin patch and try making your own pumpkin pie! Kids also love to make roasted pumpkin seeds and are more likely to enjoy eating them if they had a hand in making them. You can even wrap them up in those candy wrappers together. It is also a great time to collect leaves, put them into books and label them! This is so much fun for kids and parents and it’s the perfect time to talk about nature and why leaves and seasons change as well as where the harvest comes from.
Follow these tips and your kids will be having too much fun to worry about not getting the candy that is unhealthy for them.
If you have older kids, now might be a good time to talk about why you don’t want them to eat things that contain unhealthy ingredients. Get them interested in reading labels and look up on the internet some of the nasty ingredients so they can see for themselves your concerns. They might even thank you for it!
Want even more tips? Check out the below video by Mamanatural.com with host Genevieve made in 2011. We especially love her idea for giving away stickers and Halloween rings instead of candy. It is a great way to have some Halloween fun without all the artificial sweeteners, artificial colouring and GMO ingredients.
Happy Healthy Halloween from naturalmommy!