Halloween is such a fun time of year for kids and adults alike. Costumes, decorations, candy, candy, and more candy. I haveso many fond memories of Trick or Treating when I was a kid, and honestly my favourite memory was at the end of the night, dumping out all of the candy that I had collected, and sorting them into categories. It was like a real life bar graph of sugar. Also, I cannot believe I found this picture! This is me and my crazy cat Suki (I’m not hurting her I promise!), posing with my haul for the night. Holy cow that is a lot of sugar.
All this talk of Halloween has really got me thinking of how I want to handle it with my kids. Halloween is supposed to be fun, and you’re supposed to eat a lot of candy, right? It’s just that it’s so bad for you. Everything in moderation is what I say, and I’m all for a treat here and there, but it just seems like there is SO MUCH these days. Halloween parties in the classroom, trick or treating at malls… it really does go on and on. It’s easy to control and limit when the kids are smaller, but once they get a little older, it becomes more difficult. I don’t want them to miss out on the fun of these occasions but I think we can at least limit the sugar they are ingesting.
We’ve already chatted with our girls about it, and we’ve come up with a loose plan. We will all go trick or treating, we’ll likely allow them to gorge for a day or two on their Halloween candy, then we’ll ‘exchange’ it for a toy. They’ve come around to the idea, which is great because honestly I was anticipating more resistance. We’ll see how it goes when it comes down to it, but we’re hoping it works. Check with local healthcare businesses in your neighbourhood, they’ll often have candy buy-backs. Some people say it takes the fun out of Trick or Treating, but you can’t please everyone really, and you have to do what works for you and your family.
We’ve also got a few ideas for those Halloween parties you may be invited to. We found this link which has a few options for healthy, yet fun snack options. Rather than bringing more sweets, how about a veggie tray? Or cheese and pretzels made to look like broomsticks?
There are so many healthy and cute options, the kids won’t mind the extra nutrients, and neither will you. We’ll likely be bringing the pumpkin carrot tray to Sophie’s Halloween class party next Friday. I have a feeling the kids won’t mind, and the teacher will be pleased as well :)
Last but not least, decor. I’m doing the minimalist thing these days. Lila brings home all sorts of adorable Halloween art from daycare which we happily display and enjoy. Once we’re done with the holiday we can recycle it (after we’ve taken a picture of it of course!). We’ll head to the pumpkin patch in a few days, pick up some pumpkins and carve and display those, but we’ll stay away from most other decorations.
I also really like the ideas in this great blog I’ve recently discovered. She talks about a zero-waste Halloween, and how it’s possible. From buying costumes second hand or borrowing from friends, decorating with branches or leaves, and just regular old pumpkins and squashes that can be made into meals once the holiday is finished. She has a lot of great ideas that we are taking to heart and implementing at home.