Posts Tagged ‘candy’

Food Allergies and Halloween

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Navigating food allergies on halloweenAs many as 1 in 13 children in the United States are affected by allergies so the Halloween night of fun for most can turn into something quite serious for others. Even if you do not have people with allergies in your home there are things you can do to make the Halloween experience more accommodating for everyone who might come to your door. It takes little effort on your part but helps all kids enjoy the holiday to its fullest.

Consider joining the Teal Pumpkin Project. You can print a sticker from their website or paint a pumpkin teal to let families with allergies know your home has a treat for them too that won’t lead to any tricky allergies. Think bubbles, stickers, glow sticks, crafts, pencils, kazoos, coins, and more! If you’re unsure what non-food items include wheat, check out these ideas for teal-friendly ideas for treats.

Add your address to the crowd-sourced map of allergy-friendly places so local families know you are available. Of course you can still have your bucket of candy to give out if you’d like. Make sure you keep them separate. You can take a step further by using a scoop, gloved hand, and wash your hands frequently.

If you’re really motivated, carefully choose candy that is less likely to have common irritants like nuts. Candy that contains fewer common irritants include basic Tootsie Rolls, Smarties, Skittles, Starbursts, Dum-Dums and others. Stick with the name-brand products and even keep the bags in case someone needs to verify their safety. Some children may still be allergic to these, but by providing them instead of products that may contain nuts, more kids may be able to participate in the candy part of the holiday.

Here’s to a festive Happy Halloween to us all!

Lynette is a mom of three children from 6 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living

Candy Alternatives for Halloween

Friday, October 10th, 2014
appleHalloween is one holiday that I both hate and love. I love letting my children dress up, and it’s even more exciting to see the look on their faces as they get to get surprise treats.
I am okay with my children having a piece of candy here or there, but we don’t eat anything that is artificially coloured, artificially flavoured, artificially sweetened, or that has high fructose corn syrup, which is pretty much all Halloween candy. Even plain chocolate pieces often have artificial flavourings (usually artificial vanilla). While there are a few places you can find natural candies (even at reasonable prices!), most things available don’t quite fit the bill.

What alternatives are there to candy? Halloween has no written rule that you must give out candy. The saying, after all, is “Trick or treat”… nobody says what that treat has to be! Society is no longer at a place where homemade baked goodies are consumed from strangers, but here are a few ideas for foods and goodies you can give out.

Apples: Apples are a great autumn food, and you can even have fun picking them out. If you have an orchard near by, you could take the children out to pick apples. You get to have a fun family outing and take care of treats at the same time!

Oranges: The peel keeps them nice and safe from all the jostling in the Halloween goody bag/bucket the children have.

Snack packs of Raisins: While fruit seems like a great alternative to candy (give them something healthy to balance all the sweets), it is, admittedly, not nearly as exciting.
If you want something edible that isn’t fruit, try:
  • Goldfish crackers – even the coloured ones are naturally coloured!
  • Graham crackers – tasty, fun shapes, and not candy.
  • Sesame snack sticks
  • Honey Sticks
  • Natural Fruit Snacks (or fruit leathers/strips) – Sweet and not overly healthy.
  • Cookies – Some natural companies make tiny cookie packages for the holidays.
  • Granola or Cereal Bars – from natural companies
  • Juice Boxes – some companies make natural ones
  • Mini-water bottles
  • Individually wrapped cheese sticks (only if it’s not hot out!) 

Looking for something that isn’t edible? Try:

  • Stickers – you can buy a big roll of (large) stickers for as cheap as $3 for 100 stickers. You will have to spend time ripping them apart or cutting them, though.
  • Pencils, character-shaped erasers, Mini notebooks, crayons, or other stationary
  • A colouring sheet (to accompany crayons) – some companies even make colouring pages with seeds pressed into the paper that you can plant in the ground!
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Mini-bubble containers
  • Play Jewelry
  • Fun Stamps
  • Bouncy balls
  • Seed packets
The list goes on! The great thing about using candy alternatives? You can check out the party stores the day after Halloween and stock up cheap for next year!
Obviously, not every child will appreciate all of these items, so it would be a good idea to have a little variety for them to pick from. I know that, as a child,  if I had gone to a house that had no edible treats and choices of stickers, stamps, or flower seeds, I would have picked the seeds. I loved gardening!
Christine Kangas is a crunchy mother of two. She enjoys gardening, music, and nature. She lives in the mid-western U.S. with her husband, two children, and three cats.

What do to with all that Halloween candy?!?

Monday, October 31st, 2011

As fun as trick-or-treating is, the end result is a big pile of unwanted candy! Of course our kids are stoked about all that candy, however parents are often concerned about the amount of sugar, artificial dyes, and hydrogenated oils their child will consume in a relatively short period of time. Here are some ways to approach that mountain of candy:

Invite the “Toy Fairy” to your house

Not familiar with the Toy Fairy? She is in a special class of fairies! The Toy Fairy will pay a visit to your house and exchange the candy for a highly desired toy. This can become a fun tradition in your household and you can make it as extensive as you want. For example your child could plan in advance what type of toy they want. They could write a toy request to the Toy Fairy much like a letter to Santa Claus. Before relinquishing their candy to the Toy Fairy perhaps they could select a small designated amount of pieces to keep.

Now you are probably wondering what the “Toy Fairy” should do with all that candy? Throwing it away hardly seems right? Typically my husband brings the bag of candy into work and puts it in a bowl in the break room for his co-workers to enjoy. I have one friend that freezes the chocolate candies and uses them to make homemade ice cream throughout the year. Another option might be to donate the candy to a church or some type of non-profit that could use the candy for a special event.

Check with local dentists

Some dentist have programs where they will “purchase” Halloween candy from your child and then they send the candy to troops stationed overseas. Your child might appreciate this concept of getting money for their candy. Additionally because it’s a dentist making the exchange it might impress upon them how candy can effect their teeth causing decay and cavities.

Dwindle the stash

This worked well for me when my children were young and didn’t have a basic understanding of quantity just yet. On Halloween night after they fell asleep, I took about 90% of their candy out of their Halloween buckets and bagged it up for my husband to bring to work. The next morning when the kids asked for their candy, I gave them their pumpkin buckets. They did not seem to notice at all that their stash had been drastically reduced. They were young enough that the small amount of remaining candy was exciting. Obviously with older children, you may have to be more gradual about it.

Develop boundaries

Rather than get rid of the candy, you may be able to develop healthy boundaries around candy consumption. For example every morning your child could select the three pieces of candy to eat that day. Or maybe after lunchtime they are allowed to pick out two pieces of candy. Another part of the routine could include brushing their teeth after they eat the candy.

Ask your child for suggestions

Perhaps your child is old enough to discuss the concerns of eating large amounts of candy in such a short time. You could engage them in developing a solution. Ask them what they think you could do to reduce the amount of candy? Often our children surprise us and are highly creative problem-solvers when we encourage them to be a part of the process.

What do you do at your house with Halloween candy? Would love to hear what works for your family!


Tomorrow is our first Tasty Tuesday blog post! Every Tuesday I will share a healthy, kid-friendly recipe that is both easy to prepare and delicious.