Halloween will soon be upon us but the really scary action is all over the internet. We’re not talking horror movie clips or creepy yard decorations. It’s the fight over Halloween candy on social media and it’s been getting really ugly. Very little escapes controversy anymore, and while Halloween has had its fair share of issues, the latest is over the type of treats to hand out to kids. It’s enough to make people shut their doors, turn off their porch light and give up on the holiday tradition altogether.
Our country is indeed fighting a health crisis and childhood obesity is a serious problem. Many folks argue that Halloween only exacerbates it. Traditionalists don’t see the harm in one night a year of carefully monitored fun.
There’s also a whole other group of families who must contend with serious food allergies and are hoping to educate folks to have non-food alternatives available. They butt heads with those who find the manufacturing of cheap plastic goods just as offensive and wasteful. So what’s a Halloween lover to do?
In my day, it would have been sacrilege to second guess or request a specific trick or treat at a house on Halloween. Certainly, no one celebrating and offering candy or toys to trick-or-treaters wants to be lectured to by parents. Parents need to let the kids have fun and do their own due diligence afterward.
In my humble opinion, I have no problem having a little bit of everything on hand, including candy, healthy alternatives and sensible non-candy items. Glow sticks have always been a win-win at our house and have been a big hit with the kids (not to mention useful while trick or treating).My adorable little neighbor has allergies, so I plan to make sure her family knows we are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project by putting a sign on our door.
And as far as the candy problem, the intake at our house was always carefully monitored and, truth be told, once sorted by preference, there wasn’t that much to worry about. A week later, all of it went to the office reception desk. Still, there are now many more clever alternatives as to what to give out and what to do with leftover candy. Have you heard of the Switch Witch? This clever witch takes unwanted candy and puts it to good use. In exchange, she leaves kids a non-food treat.
Ask kids, and they will say Halloween is all about the candy. But they don’t spend all of their time planning what they’ll eat. They spend more time planning the decorations, the costumes and the fun. Put the emphasis on that everybody can have a good time.
What do you plan to give out on Halloween? Would you consider healthy or non-candy alternatives? 100 Days of Real Food offers some ideas for non-candy alternatives.