Halloween is often about being silly, pretending to be scared and running from house to house collecting candy in a pillowcase. However, more parents these days are questioning the value and meaning of traditional holidays, and looking for ways to celebrate that are in alignment with their values of healthy living, environmental sustainability and corporate responsibility. Here are a few ideas to help parents plan a healthy Halloween for their kids.
The Many Reasons to Avoid Halloween Candy
One of the biggest sticking points many parents experience with Halloween is the extreme abundance of candy that most trick-or-treaters come home with. Halloween candy is not exactly healthy food, with artificial colors and flavors that can cause hyperactivity in some children. Even those who are not sensitive to the dyes can be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of sugar. Other parents wish to avoid consuming Nestle products because of their dishonest and illegal behavior in marketing infant formula and unhealthy toddler meals.
Fun Alternatives to Candy Overload
Parents can get quite creative when it comes to finding solutions to the problem of too much Halloween candy. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Restrict the number of houses your child trick-or-treats at. This works best for young children who can’t walk far anyway.
- Trick-or-treat at known houses, where you can ask your friends in advance to provide a non-candy treat for your child.
- Instead of letting children keep all their candy and eat as much of it as they want, allow them a limited time to eat what they want and then hand out one or two candies a day for the next few weeks.
- Offer to let your children trade in their candy for a desirable toy when they get home. Some parents like to let their child pick a small number of candies to keep before trading up the rest.
- Throw a Halloween party instead of going trick or treating. With music, games, healthy treats and lots of friends, most kids won’t notice the lack of candy.
What About Handing Out Treats at the Door?
It can feel like the only two choices are to either have a bowl of candy by the door or turn off your porch light, but there are many creative solutions to finding treats for children who come trick-or-treating.
- Have a bowl full of cheap penny toys, like spider rings, pencils, bouncy balls, plastic animals or erasers to give out instead of candy.
- Buy good quality individually wrapped chocolates instead of cheap treats.
- Dress up as a fortune teller and tell the fortunes of the kids who come to your door.
Whether a child is going trick-or-treating for the first time or wants to cover as many houses as possible, it’s possible to find a way to celebrate Halloween together that isn’t too unhealthy or unethical. Get together with your neighbors and plan a healthy, green Halloween!