Halloween is right around the corner, and some things have changed from when most of us were children.
We remember our days trick-or-treating in good old Canadian culture, with most people of the belief that Halloween is a night to gorge on candy and have fun.
But what about the kids who can’t eat chocolate and candy without getting really sick?
Since my kids were really small, one had a severe intolerance to gluten, and the other to dairy. We had to be very careful to read ingredients and substitute with other ingredients so that they didn’t feel left out all of the time.
The ‘Switch Witch’
So what I did and still do with my girls was tell them about the Switch Witch or the Candy Fairy. They get to go trick-or-treating and then they leave their bag on the doorstep and the Switch Witch takes the candy and leaves them a toy or a book they have been wanting. As they get older, depending on their food tolerance level, and the fictional character not really being cool anymore, I will let them buy an item or an experience (stay up later, watch a movie, etc.) instead of having the candy. It’s all about teaching them to make healthy choices and not completely restrict so that it backfires and they gorge when they’re older.
Depending on the loot exchanged, and your budget, you can come up with all kinds of good swaps! Just look at those happy faces of my little Boss ladies from Halloweens past.
There are some things they CAN eat, and I love love love, when they happen to get a school teacher’s house where they give out Halloween pencils or stickers. I will never forget that special house that did that when I was young. Halloween tattoos are also a great idea to give out, as are goody bag sized Play-Doh containers.
Make sure you prepare a hearty meal before they go out trick-or-treating and always check your child’s bag to see what’s in it. I chuck anything with powdered candy, or anything that looks tampered with.
Remember the experience is what children remember. Make it fun in ways that work for your family and are in the best interest of your children. Make new traditions if current ones don’t work well.
Healthy snacks for Halloween parties?
- Carrots cut up in the shape of a pumpkin with broccoli eyes and stem.
- You can do the same with cantaloupe and honeydew melon.
- “Green monster” smoothies in takeout cups that your kids can decorate. (Just make any smoothie with bananas and berries, and add just a little spinach to make it green – I promise they won’t taste it!)
- Make mini pizzas and have strips of mozza criss-crossed over top so it melts to look like a mummy. Use olives for eyes or something else that works for your kids’ taste buds!
- Make your own apple cider by juicing fresh apples and simmering with cinnamon and honey.
Everything can be substituted to be made healthier. Everything! Sometimes it takes a little thinking out of the box to do so!
The main thing? Have fun!