As the Halloween Holiday is fast approaching I have gone back and forth about the topic of my post because I don’t want to come off in the wrong way. Let me preface this post by saying I LOVE Halloween. I always have. I love to have an “excuse” to dress up and dress my kids up and make costumes and have a “reason” (but honestly, do we really need a reason?) to party and celebrate with friends and family. When hubby and I were newly weds, we would hold a yearly Halloween party in our tiny apartment just because I wanted an excuse to get all dressed up and eat treats with the people we love in our lives (besides the fact that I felt like the bigger holidays belonged to our parents….if you know what I mean). Anyhow, so once I had a kid I was even more excited about Halloween. If you want to know a funny story, I convinced my husband after a couple of years of marriage that if he ever wanted kids, I needed to have a sewing machine specifically so that I could make costumes for them at Halloween. The really funny part about that story is that I actually didn’t know how to sew more than a straight seam at the point that we bought that machine but I figured that if you can read, you can learn any skill. I since learned that the patience to rip out seams is a much more important skill when it comes to sewing than reading….but that’s another story because I digress.
Once I became a mom, I fully embraced the whole concept of making cute costumes for my child and later children to create Halloween memories. Another thing that I embraced along with the dressing up is to “inspect the candy” just as my parents used to (which many parents, myself included, may or may not use as a ruse to get a few of their favorites). It’s funny because before I started educating myself on what gluten free, artificial dyes, GMO’s…exactly were and how they can effect children, the thing that I was most scared of was a wrapper that looked tampered with. I was more afraid of my neighbors than the noxious ingredients that were actually purposefully put inside the candy my children were eating.
So last year, I was so overwhelmed about the whole gluten free thing that I have to admit I kind of freaked out. Luckily, a friend posted the gluten free candy list which basically was a sanity saver. I felt reassured that my daughter could have certain things and be fine. Of course, I had also read this article about sugar so I didn’t want my kids to have too much sugar. Plus with the fact that basically all corn, and beet sugar (which is what most candy is made of) is pretty much GMO, I wasn’t super thrilled to let my kids even have more than a couple of treats period. So I did a couple of things that I never did in recent years, but they worked out so well, I totally plan on doing them again this year.
1. I bought toys and stickers to pass out to the neighborhood kids. I did it for multiple reasons, but the bonus reason is that because it can’t go bad and I still have half of what I bought for last year so guess what kids?! You’re getting the same thing this year if your coming to my house again (cue evil laughter). Another bonus is that this year there is the Teal Pumpkin Project going on to help kids with food allergies so if you have non-food items and have a teal pumpkin out, you could be making some child’s night!
2. I played banker and bought my kids candy from them. We weighed their candy and offered a certain price per pound. I let it be their choice, but when they weighed (no pun intended) the option of eating four pounds each of candy verses having more money then they usually are willing to earn doing extra chores in a month, they were simply delighted with the opportunity to sell us their loot. Hubby took the candy to his work….and then I took my kids on a special shopping trip to spend their cash. This actually worked better than I thought it would. It’s funny because we were in the car the other day and they both were talking about what the price per pound should be this year (my kids think inflation should take place annually apparently) so that they can get certain toys that they have their sights set on. This was also a nice way for my kids to kind of stave off the desire for new toys until Christmas since they have beginning of the year birthdays, they have a loooong wait from their birthdays to Christmas.
3. I bought some “healthy” junk food….if you can call it that. There actually are a few places that you can get a sweet little treat at a reasonable price. Amazon is a good source as well as Sprouts and farmers markets who have honey sticks and organic lollipops, and you can get Unreal Candy that is super yummy and GMO free, or go to the Natural Candy Store to find all kinds of confections.
I’m excited for Halloween this year, because I feel like I know what my game plan is and yes, even though we will all eat a little bit of junk, we will be able to combat that with our knowledge because knowledge is power.