I get that Halloween is not a nutritious holiday. We’re not aiming to get our fill of nutritive value in our trick or treat bag, but we do want to make sure the treats are safe for our children and don’t make them feel left behind on the big day. Here are 5 tricks I have up my sleeve for my child’s holiday treats!
- Wrap apples like ghosts! I polled my IG audience and learned that 50% of you felt it was safe to grab this ghost apple in a Halloween treat basket. I’m with you! That said, it’s a great treat for a school snack or holiday party where the parents or children know you and can ask you. “What’s inside?” You could also wrap bouncy balls like this!
- Count your treats for money! I’m going to let our son trick or treat like all the other kids. I’m not going to put huge restrictions on what he selects, but I may ask him to practice agency and his “bravery muscle” by asking each home which treats are peanut and tree nut-free. I have a hard time even thinking about giving my 3-year-old a bag full of Halloween candy (I remember when I used to trick or treat and eating handfuls of candy at a time. I cringe!). If you’re child is diabetic or you prefer to keep the candies to a fun minimum, you can have your child count the candy they got, and you can give them a dollar or .50 cents for each piece. They can put it in their savings account for something big, or spend it at a toy store the next day. Up to them! Again, practicing agency is so important to them. Make it their decision.
- Offer toys, too! 1 in 12 children in the US have food allergies. You can set up a separate Halloween bowl of toys like bouncy balls, light-up spooky rings, glow-in-the-dark beetles, mini playdough etc, for kids who aren’t candy motivated or have food allergies. I offered light-up spooky rings for kids at a recent playgroup and the kids went nuts for them! Very novel.
- Organic and dye-free. This one seems like the more obvious wellness choice for Halloween. If you’re going to offer candy, you can do it consciously. Many children are allergic to food dyes. When shop your local supermarket aisle, look for organic sweets. The FDA regulates anything that’s labeled organic much more closely than treats marketed as conventional or natural and has not undergone more rigorous standards.
- Parade day! With a three-year-old, we likely won’t be able to make the neighborhood rounds before our neighbors are finished with dinner. And I mean an early dinner. If we keep our son up past his 7 PM bedtime, everyone just loses their minds. It’s like he’s the Wicked Witch, “I’m melllllltiiiiing.” We tried it with July 4 fireworks and it was a nightmare to remember. Look for a local parade your child can participate in–and even local businesses who are participating in trick-or-treating. It’s easier to get a daylight photo of your kid in that cute outfit!
Photo: Genuine Joy Photography