Bauman College Programs

Author Topic: Healthy Halloween Candy?  (Read 6301 times)

Offline PageF

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 39
Healthy Halloween Candy?
« on: October 21, 2008, 10:54:12 AM »
Any suggestions for treats without refined sugars, which kids might find "acceptable?"
Last year, my treat, raisins in small boxes, were left at the end of the driveway...
Thanks, Page

Offline AmyL

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 121
Re: Healthy Halloween Candy?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2008, 12:03:43 PM »
Sorry, I don't really have suggestions for you. I do know one guy who is planning to host a BBQ in his front yard and hand out little sausages. :-) Don't know if it's super healthy, but I thought it was a nice idea. Some folks do non-food treats like stickers or pencils, which can be fun but expensive if you're hosting hundreds of little goblins at your door.

In general, I tend to think in terms of "festival foods." My theory is that if people are generally healthy, then the slice of birthday cake, Christmas cookie, etc., won't hurt them. Festival foods at festival times are not the problem-- it's the daily deluge of sugars, white flours, toxins, etc. that are doing us in. And we human beings are attached to our festival traditions! To be told "no" at that time  can invite a lot of resistance, because it seems to block the 'energy' of the moment. (Plus, there's so much hesitation about homemade treats at Halloween, makes it hard to get creative.)

Despite the festival foods theory, as a parent I find the Halloween haul a bit too much for our kids' mood and health; I admit it's not my favorite holiday as it stands. Some things we do to blunt the sugar impact while trying enrich the festival theme:
* Our school has begun to hold an absolutely magical "fairy walk" for young children ages 2- 8, which is our favorite new tradition. It takes over an hour to wander through (the only treats handed out are a bag of popcorn and a homemade cookie), but it is by FAR the most memorable and favorite part of the night for both children.
* Since most folks don't have access to that, the other option we use is a Halloween party at home with friends, followed -- again -- by a shortened trick-or-treat. My thinking is that community, music, laughter, games, friends, stories-- those make a holiday. Just dressing up and grabbing what you can isn't satisfying enough! :-)
* Eat a big, hearty, nutrient-dense dinner before any trick or treating.
* Halloween Fairy or "Switch Witch": This is optional in our family, but to my surprise both kids have usually chosen it. The idea is they eat some candy while we're out that night, they come home and admire their haul, they eat a little more the next day, and then have the option of saving a few pieces and putting the rest out in a basket for the Halloween Fairy. She comes and leaves a small toy in place of the candy (one year nesting Russian dolls, once a flock of wooden sheep, etc.). Last year my son decided to keep the candy instead of "switch" it, but in fact he forgot about the candy after a few days, whereas his sister still plays with her toys and influenced his mind about this year. :-)

Looking forward to hearing from others on this topic!

Amy   

Offline PageF

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 39
Re: Healthy Halloween Candy?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2008, 05:04:45 PM »
What a great response, Amy! I like the way you put your reply into a larger context- more than candy.
Thank you,
PageF

Offline StephanieS

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 51
Re: Healthy Halloween Candy?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2008, 10:39:27 AM »
This is a really important and timely question and to me speaks to a much broader issue of our society's failure to honor "holidays" in traditional ways. The previous poster's reference to the "fairy walk" is a perfect example of what Halloween should be about...not gross Hershey's crap. Maybe instead of handing out candy you could make a Halloweenish experience for the trick or treaters, i.e. playing scary music, offering them a bowl of "eyeballs" (peeled grapes) or "blood" (cup of fruit juice). I know I'd remember that a lot more than getting a king-size Snickers!
Sorry for the rant; it's my favorite time of year since it's the witchiest, and I am so excited to dress up and dance and honor the ancestors and feast on pumpkin and sweet potato...I am so sad about what Halloween has become!

Offline ConnieL

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 10
Re: Healthy Halloween Candy?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2008, 06:26:49 PM »
I understand your dilemma -- what about mini dark chocolates (Fair-trade or organic)? or single serving bags of raw trail mix with nuts or dried fruit?  just a thought. 

Offline Marlina E

  • Associate Director
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1812
    • Bauman College Online
Re: Healthy Halloween Candy?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2008, 06:10:43 PM »
Emergen-C?  Kids can use them like lik-em-stix......
BA Environmental Studies UCSB
Nutrition Consultant

Offline PearlH

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Healthy Halloween Candy?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2008, 04:17:27 PM »
Ah...  Halloween!!  I have a 2 year old, and this is the first halloween he really got into. I took him trick or treating...  but hid the "regular" candy and replaced it with some organic choices I bought.  While I still wanted him to be able to eat sugar, I wanted it to atleast be clean, and organic.  I went to Wholefoods, and I got him some honey sticks, and some dark chocolate individually wrapped earth balls...  Some organic suckers (his favorite) and also those honey sesame bite sized individually wrapped treats...  I also threw in a couple little halloween toys. He was thrilled to dump out his basket and choose his own treats.  I hope I can keep up this healthy halloween...  It is going to be difficult as he gets older.  I wish there was a local (I live in Boulder, Co.) group of moms who got healthy treats for halloween, and we could trick or treat at one anothers house...  Maybe one day :)
Good luck!!

Offline MiraD

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 648
    • Grains&More
Re: Healthy Halloween Candy?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2009, 07:39:21 PM »
Well here we are at that time of year again.  The concern for healthy Halloween treats seems to be spreading and I've had several friends ask me what to give.  So I wrote the following column, nothing anyone here doesn't already know.  http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2169557/to_trick_or_to_treat.html?cat=25

BTW, I bought a bunch of Halloween-themed hacky sacks this year, figure it's not only non-junk food but it's a toy that encourages them to be modestly active.

Be well,
Mira

Offline RoxanneT

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 6
Re: Healthy Halloween Candy?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2009, 01:35:47 PM »
this is a really great question. i would have had no idea what to do thanks for all the respones you guys gave out. i learned a lot here.

Offline MiraD

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 648
    • Grains&More
Re: Healthy Halloween Candy?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2009, 06:35:20 AM »
Just thought I would share the results of my healthy handout for halloween this year. I did not ask any child for comment, just explained to the littlest ones that it was a hacky sack when they appeared to be a little confused. Most kids thought the hacky sacks were "Coooolll!" we even got a few "awesomes" in there. To be honest there were three negative comments (out of 120, not bad), "you can't eat it", "I didn't want toys for Halloween", and "don't you have any candy?" Pretty successful overall I thought.

 


anything