For parents living a holistic or natural health lifestyle, finding healthy Halloween snacks for kids can be quite a challenge. The two traditionally just don’t go together.
Even with all the ghosts, witches and goblins floating around, the most frightening aspect of Halloween is the poison (sugar) the children will bring home and put into their bodies.
Sugar is a leading contributor to obesity, hyperactivity, nutritional deficiencies, type II diabetes, candida overgrowth, addiction, anxiety disorders and depression, just to name a few. Although it may seem a little harsh, because it goes counter to the masses of society, the truth of the matter is that you are not doing your children any justice by allowing them to ingest something that destroys their health. It is teaching them unhealthy behavior that will only harm them in the long run and set them up for a pattern that is extremely difficult to change later in life.
On the other hand, you don’t want your child to feel deprived or to miss out on the spirit of this ghoulish holiday completely. So, finding alternatives for some healthier Halloween treats and activities is essential.
One of the first and most crucial steps to take is to teach your child different values and expectations. Teach them to value the experience of the holiday, not the sugar. Educate them, from day one if possible, about the dangers of sugar. Teach them to value their body and treat it with respect by filling it only with the healthiest choices.
When my son was a child here are a few of the ways that we celebrated Halloween:
- Sometimes I would buy a “small” plastic pumpkin and fill it with healthier candy from the health food store that was sweetened with sugar alternatives. Such as trail mix, gluten-free and fruit juice sweetened cookies, chewing gum sweetened with xylitol or date cookies. Alternatively, some times we would go to the health food store and I would let him pick out the healthy treats he would like to have. We kept the number of items to around 5 or 6, not an entire bag, and he had to save a couple of them for the following day. I would probably throw in a couple of non-food items like a hot wheels car and a new book as well.
- Once treats were in hand, then we would go do something special like go to the movies, the arcade or the mall. He would have his choice.
- Alternatively, we may visit the local haunted house or take a haunted hay ride.
- Of course, we also participated in the traditional pumpkin carving and sometimes we roasted pumpkin seeds.
- Another alternative is to let your child go trick or treating, so they can participate with the other children, but then throw the candy away. We tried this option once or twice, and although the garbage is where sugar belongs, I didn’t feel very comfortable with this choice, because it seemed cruel to let him collect the candy and then take it away from him. However, there were a couple times that this was what he wanted to do, so I allowed it.
Now on the other side of the coin, in addition to taking care of our own children, we also don’t want to participate in filling up the trick or treaters that arrive at our door with unhealthy treats. There are a variety of healthier Halloween snacks for kids that we can choose from that will still put a smile on their face.
Here are few healthier Halloween treats you can hand out at the door:
- fruit leather made of 100% juice
- small boxes of raisins
- trail mix
- roasted pumpkin seeds
Finding some healthy Halloween snacks for our kids not only allows those of us living a holistic life to participate in this fun holiday in a manner that makes us feel good about ourselves, but ensures we will be instilling our children with natural health values that will protect their health now and in the future and teaches them to exercise self-control in the face of sugar and other unhealthy foods.