This year, I wanted to do Halloween differently. After seeing how food was so nourishing for Noah and reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston A. Price, I didn’t feel comfortable participating in trick-o-treating in the traditional fashion by passing out candy to kids. Food is medicine and nutrients, and I couldn’t pretend that eating nutrient poor calories and processed ingredients should be the norm. Even if kids go around to tens of houses getting candy, I couldn’t stand by my principles by purchasing and giving a displacing, nutrient lacking, poor food like candy. I was convicted that I have to support nutrient dense foods and health, especially for children.
So, I went to the store on a hunt for a better option. I saw packages of nuts and healthy trail mixes that seemed like good options, but I landed on these fruit strips.
These are made from 100% fruit and fruit juices, are organic and non-gmo. I saw some organic candy options at the store, but I still wasn’t a fan of those because they still contained cane sugar, sugar syrups, and some had artificial colors. Another benefit of these fruit strips is they still look and taste like candy.
I would be willing to bet parents will watch their kids dump out their candy bags, see the fruit strips, and be thankful there is something in there that they don’t have to feel bad about their kid having. I say this because right when a kid gets home from trick-o-treating, these are a few of the slightly stressful family dynamics that might happen:
- Kids want to eat the candy right away and want as much as they can.
- Parents have to hold their kids back and manage the candy and may feel like their kids are too focused on that
- Parents might be stressed about eating more of the candy themselves than they want
- Parents may want to get rid of some of the candy by throwing it away, giving it to co-workers, etc.
I hope as more of us continue to participate in Halloween in healthier ways, we can find more nourishing ways to celebrate our cultures traditions instead of perpetuating our health problems.
As our kids get older, here is my idea of how I would like to handle trick-o-treating in our house. First I think it is important to have kids participate in trick-o-treating and not feel like they are missing out. When kids feel like they are deprived, they typically end up rebelling in some way or compensating by eating a ton of junk food at friends houses, hiding food, or having eating issues later in life. So, my kids will go trick-o-treating, sort through their candy, and decide what their favorites are to have as treats. Giving kids control and choices is very important in these situations! This enhances the idea of not feeling deprived.
Then, the following incentives for giving up the candy will be offered. The pieces of candy they hand into us will be exchanged for prizes. This is similar to going to an arcade and still incentivizes the children to get as much candy as they can.
- 5 pieces = $1
- 20 pieces = special movie night of choice including meal/snacks (our options are healthy alternatives to junk food like homemade ice cream sweetened with dates)
- 50 pieces = special outing of choice or going to the store and picking a toy/game/etc.
In any holiday situation, we all have the opportunity to deviate from the conventional to make healthier choices for our families, while still participating in the fun and make memories. Just use a little creativity, and you may find that your memories become even more special!