Halloween. It’s a magical time for our kids, many who have started planning their costume choices since November 1st of last year. Until recently, I took full advantage of having a child so young that I got to pick out the most non-gruesome and perfectly adorable costumes for him: Baby monkey. Pumpkin. Owl. Sock Monkey. Olaf from “Frozen.” I’m just the worst. But I have many years of gory body limbs and fake-bloody faces to look forward to while I hopelessly suggest “Bunny Rabbit” or “Ghandi” to my future teen-aged boy. Poor kid.
Regardless, one of the scariest things about Halloween is the candy. First of all, candy can become an obsession (I was actually beaten up once by a gang of middle-school kids who were determined to steal my giant pillowcase full of candy. What’s worse, despite being bruised and battered, I DIDN’T LET THEM HAVE IT!) Furthermore, sugar-overload aside, some of the ingredients allowed in many of the most popular brands we buy are down right horrible. Here are a couple of examples you will see out there:
I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade here. We want Halloween to be a fun and special time, and who really wants to be the lady who hands out raisins on Halloween? I couldn’t stand that lady! So we came up with a few alternatives.
I have found a couple of ideas for replacing some of the total YUCK out there with better options. But remember, everything in moderation! Sara has some ideas for parents looking for a less candy-centered way to celebrate, and they will still keep everyone in the spirit of the holiday!
1. Unreal Candy – This awesome company has created non-GMO, fair trade, gluten-free candy with no soy or corn. They use less sugar and no artificial colors or flavors. I met this company at a conference recently and personally tasted it. SO good. Can I just say that their Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Peanut Butter Cups taste SO much better than a Hershey’s Krackle or Nestle Crunch. And their Candy Coated Milk Chocolates really give M&Ms a run for their money. They have come out with Halloween buckets and bags that are terrifyingly yummy.
However, it is more expensive than the traditional Halloween Candy out there. If you get 500+ trick-or-treaters at your home like I do, it could break the bank a bit. I’m going to buy some just to replace whatever creepy treats my little one brings home.
2. TruJoy Sweets – Another brand that offers non-GMO, corn syrup free, gluten-free and kosher candy, with no artificial colors or flavors. Plus, their candy is made with USDA organic ingredients. They have organic lollipops, candy canes and fruit chews I have sampled myself and they are really tasty.
3. In our home, we look forward to the arrival of the Switch Witch! On the night of Halloween, our children delight in dressing up and trick-or-treating with their friends in our neighborhood. Upon returning home, our kids sort their candy (gotta throw in some math!) by color, size, etc. and then put their candy back in their bucket. (Some families choose a few pieces to keep!) They then leave their buckets on the doorstep awaiting the arrival of the “Switch Witch” while they are sleeping. The witch switches out all of the candy for some nice toys and/or books. This year my son will be getting a police man costume and my daughter will be getting a mini pony set along with a few books for each of them.
We have found that the lasting joy of these gifts outweighs the sugar and artificial ingredients of traditional Halloween candy. Our kids love it and even begin making a list for the Switch Witch starting in the summer time! The extra candy can be sent to Treats for Troops which gets sent to troops abroad!
4. Kangaroo’s Flashing LED Light Up Bumpy Rings are great! Kids love wearing these cool hand ornaments while out and about on Halloween night. You just press the ring for on and off, and batteries are included. Isn’t that nice? And your child will tucker out long before these lights do…they last for hours and hours!
5. Of course, this blog post wouldn’t be complete without stating the obvious…you can give your kids organic hydrating refreshment with zero-sugar on Halloween or any day of the year with Leaf & Love Organic Lemonade. Had to say it.
Do you have any ideas you would like to share? Please let us know in the comments below! We are always looking for creative things for our own children.
Remember, we’re just a couple of moms, doing the best we can. None of us has all the answers. In the end, YOU get to decide what matters most. Guess what? You know what you’re doing. We promise.