It’s that time of year again when parents are faced with the decision of what to do with all the Halloween candy that arrives home in a heavy pillowcase. How many pieces of candy “should” your child eat? I don’t have the answer of what works best for your family. I allow my daughter one or two pieces of the healthiest candy choices. The rest disappears via the Candy Fairy who leaves a present in return. My decision is based on the desire to teach my daughter about balance and moderation, as Halloween and most holidays preach indulgence and excess.
For many families whose children that have severe life-threatening food allergies, Halloween is about survival. Food allergies among children have increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011 and 1 in 13 children are impacted. Halloween poses challenges for parents with life-threatening allergies because the shiny wrappers are so appealing to their children. The Teal Pumpkin Project is a national campaign of (FARE) the Food Allergy Research & Education organization to make Halloween safe for all, especially those with food allergies.
Halloween can be both fun and healthy. This Halloween think Trick or Treasure. Non food treasures are safe for all children and protect their teeth and blood sugar levels. You can make receiving a treasure more fun for children by inexpensively wrapping them in tissue or recycled newspaper. Our favorite Paleo-approved treasures are pencils, stickers, erasers, tattoos, beads, foreign coins, etc. Cost Plus World Market, Target and dollar stores offer many seasonal choices for what to hand out instead of candy.
What else can you do with Halloween candy? Use it for science experiments! Check out the Candy Experimentswebsite and book for loads of ideas! Sell your candy through these local dentists.
If you’re still interested in offering candy, seek out the most healthful options, such as organic, non high fructose corn syrup filled treats. Here are my favorite Paleo & Allergy friendly options: