Hershey's miniatures and kisses: Have a few, it's good for you!

It it possible there is such a thing?  Healthy Halloween treats?

Over the past few years, I've considered many different healthier options I might give out to those precious little princesses, cowboys, witches, gremlins, and tigers that come round to our door this time of year.  After all, these are the dear children in our ward, Primary, and neighborhood.  We serve alongside their parents in church callings.  We live right next door to some and greatly enjoy interacting with their fresh and exciting spirits.  So while I've contemplated not adding to the toxic overdosing of white sugared confections in their pure systems, the options I have investigated over the years, like pencils, raisins, toys, erasers, etc., always seem cost-prohibitive when compared to the cheaper candy options.

Additionally, as I've made changes to my diet and our income has vastly declined within the past year, I've seriously considered NOT participating in trick-or-treating traditions.  When my children were younger, our ward in Arizona tried to get around the candy-collecting tradition by throwing a party on Halloween night with chili, hamburgers, hot dogs, homemade root beer, hot apple cider, and doughnuts.  No healthy soups or salads in sight, but with those food options in our tummies, we and our children weren't gorging on lots and lots of candy with their accompanying sugar highs.  Then, one year when Halloween was on a Saturday, the party was cancelled.  After the children spent the night collecting and then eating a massive amount of candy, the next morning at Primary, the children were bouncing off the walls!  Literally!!  Being a brand new first-time mother serving in the Primary presidency, I was perplexed at how this could be, as I'd never seen it first hand.  The looks on the Primary teachers' faces as they dragged their exhausted bodies out of their classes spoke volumes.

My spouse is not on board with changing his diet.  The more I adapt, the stronger he goes the other way.  Over the past several years, while I've been willing to forgo the trick-or-treat traditions, he now feels it is a must.  It's hard to understand, as giving out candy was never a priority for him years ago.  He now says we must do it for fear of getting egged as a consequence, even tho we live in a fairly safe neighborhood.  But I also know there's a connection or emotional bonding he receives as he greets the parents and little children of our ward and neighborhood.  (This is important to him since he no longer has that weekly contact, as he is serving in a BYU stake.)  I try to respect his feelings and let him do his thing.

My real issue is with my own self-control.  I find when the candy is in the house, it is too easy to partake.  I've had my husband hide the candy where only he knows where it's at, but just knowing it's in the house drives me crazy.  And those constant commercials on t.v. that remind you of the delectibleness of an almond joy or the crispy break of a Kit Kat bar.  (Hasn't helped being laid up from surgery with not much to do but watch t.v. and Halloween or fast-food commercials)  It can lead one on a sugar-feeding frenzy, if not strongly contained.

So, to help prepare myself for next year with some other viable options, I'm putting out an after-Halloween petition:
  • What suggestions do you have that would enable one to make it thru the Halloween season and still adhere to their diet?
  • If you participate in giving out treats for trick-or-treaters, what healthier, budget-friendly options do you use?
  • How do you retain close relationships with your friends and neighbors, children and grandchildren when you stop catering to trick-or-treating?
Any ideas would be appreciated.

Sharlene (drowning in leftover candy, hoping it doesn't take up permanent residence upon her hips)


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Sharlene, I am totally with you!

First, my very health conscious sister reminds me that it's not a sin to throw candy away. This year, I let my kids (who are very tied to trick or treat) pick 10 of their favorite candies, and we got rid of the rest. I don't want it in the house either! If you have a hard time throwing it away, there are organizations that will collect it to send to soldiers overseas, but I'm afraid I don't have the information for those (although I can get it, if you want). We had our kids come home with pretzels, pencils, silly bands (cheap from Oriental Trading, I'm told), "scarrots," and stickers in addition to the traditional candy. Next year, I think we will order from Oriental Trading Company because there are so many inexpensive options (the pencils and such are cheaper than at the stores where I've seen them). My husband also loves Halloween, and the more I fight it, the more he fights in the opposite direction. But even he can see that the candy is detrimental to our family's health. Maybe even putting a "petition" together for next year to encourage other families in the ward or neighborhood to hand out healthier choices is a reasonable idea. I think most parents want healthier choices for their families, but feel powerless against the very strong pull of tradition, and the even stronger pull of sugar addiction (for themselves AND their kids!).
My kids also got little tubs of play-doh. That's one that could easily be made for a cost-conscious alternative, but I don't know if the effort is worth it!
Thanks for the tips, Robyn. Will have to look for some of those non-candy options when on sale thru-out the year. Otherwise, still not affordable. (Isn't it awful that junk costs less than healthy options?)

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