Halloween is one of the BIGGEST candy days of the year! Let's be real when you were a kid what were you looking forward to most when Halloween finally came around? For me, it was all the candy I was going to get when I went trick-or-treating. Not to mention, all the treats we had at school for our class parties, the treats my mom had for us when we got home from school, and all the treats we would share with our friends at recess. There was definitely more than enough sugar for one day.
"The average child will eat about 3 cups of sugar on Halloween. For those who aren't on the metric system, that equals roughly 384 grams of sugar — almost 16 times the maximum daily recommendation of 25 grams suggested by the American Heart Association."
"Americans also purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy each year for Halloween. That's equivalent to the weight of 6 Titanic ships!" That's a lot of sugar!
As a parent now of two small children, I don't feel the need to allow my kids to consume that much sugar but on the other hand, I don't want to be one of those party pooper parents who just completely suck all the fun out of holidays. In this article, I am sharing 4 ways to replace candy at Halloween so that you can still help your kids to have a fun and enjoyable holiday.
1. MAKE YOUR OWN
Instead of buying all the regular commercial candy, decide ahead of time to make your own. Use natural sugars instead of highly processed sugars in your homemade treats. The ingredients you use for homemade treats will be far better than the ingredients in all those store-bought candies. You can even make this fun for your kids, have them help you prepare and cook the treats with you. That way you’re getting the best of both worlds.
2. TRICK-OR-TREAT TRADES
For me, I still have small kids so the "not going trick-or-treating" isn't the end of the world, but I have seen parents who go trick-or-treating and then they come home and their kids will TRADE IN their candy for something else that's fun: small toys, books, extra play time, or even money. Find things that could potentially interest your kids more than those sugary treats they are eating. This is a fun idea because you can be creative and it can be tailored to each individual child you have. I like to make pumpkin baskets for my kids and fill them with toys, crayons, coloring books, stickers, clothes, socks, and other fun things that I know they will like. They each receive their basket on Halloween night! It’s a fun tradition!
3. HAVE A PARTY
I know that I can make Halloween night fun for my kids despite not having so many sweets around the house. I always make sure to have fun party games; I've even made a pumpkin pinata before and filled it with toys and games they could play afterward. Eating good food, laughing, and being with family and friends will all set the mood for having a fun holiday.
4. DON'T PASS OUT THE SUGAR
If you are trying to stay away from sugar, think about not passing it out to the trick-or-treaters that are coming to your door. Again, be creative, you could pass out small toys, pens or pencils, glow sticks, or stickers. Kids will be getting tons of candy from other doors but they might think it's cool if you are the door that passes out something else they can play with that night.
Remember, don't feel like you have to implement all of these things in one year. Start small, maybe this year just do one thing to reduce the sugar overload that you've had in the past, remember to have fun, you don't want to feel like you are being deprived or "missing out" but at the same time, you want to feel good about what you are giving your kids while enjoying yourself. Happy Halloween!
Check out this sugar-free carmelized popcorn recipe that would be a great addition to any Halloween night!