Call me a bad mom, but this is the second year that I've tried to convince my son who is almost 11 that he's too old to go trick or treating.
The costume stuff I can handle. I've never been one to sew my kids costumes myself, though my mom did make some pretty cute stuff in her day! This year my son decided to be a banana. I'm not sure why, but we actually found him a banana costume at Value Village. At least he's going out trick or treating as a healthy snack.
Did you know that approximately 598 million pounds or 1.9 billion dollars worth of candy is sold during the Halloween season? We spend weeks looking at it stacked prominently in grocery stores, offered up in bowls in our offices. Do we really need another holiday that centers around the consumption of refined sugars and processed fats? As it is over 1 in 3 of us are overweight and nearly 1 in 4 of us can be classified as obese.
What does this holiday teach our children? The schools are finally trying to promote healthy lunches, this seems to fly in the face of what we are trying to do.
It's not easy to break with tradition. Believe me, I know! I remember one year going trick-or-treating with a friend of mine and her kids. We went to one house in our neighbourhood (we live in a small town) and the lady had gone through the trouble of making home-made cookies and cupcakes for the kids and was giving them out. The kids came back gobbling up these goodies, lovingly prepared and my friend screamed and literally smacked the treats out of her kids hands.
I understand her concerns... this was a stranger, she was from the city. These things were just not safe! But what is safe about letting our kids eat 150 pounds of sugar per year (the average annual consumption according to Dr. Oz)?
I don't have all the answers, but I do have some healthier Halloween treat alternatives. Don't worry there is still chocolate involved!
Store them in the fridge.
Or for a more spooktacular version add some pretzels for legs and make some Halloween bug candies....
Combine 7 fresh Medjool dates (pit removed), 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, 3/4 cup of raw almonds and 2 Tbsp. of water in the bowl of a food processor. Process until it forms a paste. Shape the paste into balls and roll in unsweetened coconut.
Voila! Store these in the fridge too.