Has Halloween gotten too sweet?

By, Sammy Caiola

Native Foods Cafe


Halloween has always been my all-time favorite
holiday. I’ve got so many fond memories of sewing handmade costumes with my
mom, carving jack-o-lanterns with my dad and running around the neighborhood
with my friends in a desperate search for candy.

The only downside is that it isn’t exactly the
healthiest holiday. The average American consumes 1.9 POUNDS of chocolate on
Halloween, which is a huge chunk of the 10-12 pounds of chocolate that the
average American eats in a given year. Now that’s scary. And if you thought the
fast pace of trick-or-treating might balance out the extravagant eating, you’re
living in a fantasy. about 5 miles of walking over the course of two hours
would burn a little over 400 calories- that’s the equivalent of about 5 ½ fun
size bars. Your child will need a lot more physical activity than a brisk
evening stroll to attempt to undo Halloween’s damage.


Native Foods Cafe uses this image courtesy of livestrong.com


The other option is to do less damage in the
first place. While you don’t want to prevent your child from enjoying Halloween
like everyone else (I know if I was the only kid not allowed to have candy I’d
be furious), you can talk to him or her about healthy moderation. Explain to
your child the sugar and fat content of processed candy and what those things
can do to his or her body. Feed your child a full, nutritious, Halloween-themed
meal before the trick-or-treating adventure so they aren’t itching to guzzle
down the sweets before they even hit the collection bag.


Also urge to your child that just because he or
she collected the candy, it does not all have to be eaten. Leftover Halloween
candy can be donated to the troops or to local nursing home or food bank. You
can put out a bowl in the office or encourage your child to save it for the
pinata at his or her next birthday party. You can incorporate it into gifts for
friends or teachers, or use it as decoration in a pretty bowl. Also, there are tons of adorable
you can make with leftover candy, like gumdrop
wreaths or lollipop bouquets. 


Native Foods Cafe uses this image courtesy of Jenni Swenson.


If you’re heading a family of vegans, you’ll
inevitably need to have some cruelty-free candy around the house for your child
and their friends. You could even buy the vegan candy in bulk and hand it out
to trick-or-treaters! Vegnews has a very comprehensive list of vegan candy, but my favorite
vegan candy companies are Sweet & Sara and Allison’s Gourmet. Also there are some commercial, non-organic candies that are
actually vegan too!


-Airheads (select flavors)

-Jolly Ranchers hard candy

-Mary Janes

-Newman’s Own Licorice Twists

-Pez Candy

-Skittles (select flavors)


-Sour Patch

-Swedish Fish


Native Foods uses this image courtesy of staples.com.


Or, if you want to avoid the candy situation
entirely (probably a smart move), there are some healthy alternatives to give
to trick-or-treaters. You and your child can shop for and prepare these
together while learning how dessert can actually be healthy and still taste
great. You may want to stay away from fresh fruit and produce or homemade
treats, as many parents will throw them out. But here’s a short list of
pre-packaged healthy snacks that kids will enjoy:


-single serving pretzels,popcorn or crackers

-dried fruit (mango, banana chips, candied

-granola bars

-sugar free gum

-pumpkin or sunflower seeds

-dark chocolate bites

-juice boxes (look for low sugar, high Vitamin


On another note, I also found lots of ideas for
non-candy Halloween giveaways:

-temporary tattoos

-pencils and other school supplies


-fake fangs or bug rings

-glow sticks

-small toys

-marbles or bouncy balls


Happy Haunting!


2 thoughts on “Has Halloween gotten too sweet?

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