Can Halloween Be Healthier? October 29, 2015 06:39 1 Comment

With Halloween Coming up this weekend it got me thinking about all the excitement for the kiddies and also gave me time to reflect on my childhood Halloween fun. Seriously though I don't think it gets any better than dressing up in your favourite characters costume and going door to door to collect all the candy and chocolate you can handle sifting through the pillow case or themed reusable bag or tub at the end of the night! 

I have such fond memories of halloween. My dad would always come home early on halloween night to take my brother and I trick or treating. A busy entrepreneur himself and literally always working, we knew that this night dad would be home early to take us to the best subdivision to trick or treat; always encouraging us to go back to those awesome houses that gave out the large chocolate bars LOL. One year my dad drove us 20 minutes to take us to where the mansions were, I mean the logic here was: bigger house= bigger candy and chocolate-sometimes the case but not always! 

My mom was the costume coordinator as she never really believed halloween to be a great occasion, saying "halloween is like begging for candy" lol My brother and I would rifle through her closet where she had some amazing clothing items stashed away from her hip and happening days circa 70's of pre-children times. Don't worry mom if you're reading this you still have great style! My mom's closet adorned long leather coats, pretty little costume jewelry and brooches, rad heels that I really wanted to fit into but rather stumbled over attempting to walk in them graciously!

Halloween as a child seems so much easier than being the NOW parent, perhaps they had less to worry about right? We made sure that our parents checked the candy, listened to the "just one more rule" and off we were on our sugar high. 

With so much genetically modified candy and chocolate on the market it kind of freaks me out what our kids are ingesting. One thing I know for sure is that all candy that is coloured my kids are prepared to give away. They have been taught that Tartrazine, and all the numbered ingredients on a label is the "bad ingredient" and that we will either give it away to the food bank to those that may not have had a chance to trick or treat or throw it away. I know throwing it out seems so wasteful however, I also feel that by giving away coloured candy that has such horrible effects on children and adults, it's better off in the garbage.

So I send out this question: Can halloween be healthier?

My simple answer is: Yes. I mean some would say "why take the fun out of halloween?" However, we are not taking the fun out of halloween but rather cleaning it up, staying informed and choosing healthier options. 

So here are my healthy swaps:

  • Candy can be switched to dye free candy, Surf Sweets is a great brand as is Yummy Earth Organics
  • Milk Chocolate GMO laden chocolate bars can be switched out to dark chocolate pieces, try Lindt in and around the Toronto area there are many factory outlet stores that you can buy in bulk at reasonable prices.
  • Quaker Granola Bars or Bear Paws can be swapped out for Made Good Granola bites or bars 
  • Raisins are a great dried fruit option and great for putting in kids lunches a few days later.

Alternatively, you can always hand out fun pens, pencils, erasers, stickers, tattoos, colouring books or fun dollar store items.

In our house we went for the sticker, pencil and dye free lollipop option to give out to class friends.

On halloween day we will start our day on a healthy foot and continue until it's time to go trick-or-treating. Having fresh fruits and vegetables on hand to snack on post trick-or-treating may help to fuel your little goblins and limit the amount of candy and chocolate they eat before winding down before bed. Eat balanced meals through out the day and ensure your littles have eaten well prior to venturing out. If you are attending a halloween party and want to stay clear of the tempting treats bring a dark chocolate bar with you or snack on the healthier choices (if available) if not bring a party platter of veggies to ensure you have something to snack on.  

Whatever your choice is this halloween may it be a safe, happy and a healthier halloween.

 

 

xo Nadia 

 

PS. don't forget to check your little's candy!