Halloween can be a scary time of the year, and not just because of its spooky nature! While ghosts and ghouls lurk in the shadows, something much worse is closer to home. Candy. Have you looked at the ingredients on popular Halloween candies? It's downright frightening. Let's take a look at the ingredients of Chewy Sprees, for example.
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Dextrose. Corn Syrup. Hydrogenated coconut oil. Maltodextrin. Malic acid. Calcium stearate. Egg albumen. Carnauba wax. Diglycerides. Carmine color. Yellow 6 lake.
I know that I certainly wouldn't want to consume anything full of so many processed and chemically engineered ingredients, let alone feed it to my child. Though eating organically may seem to make things difficult at the holidays, there are many options out there to make Halloween organic, healthy, and fun for your little ones.
One of the easiest ways to ‘go organic’ this Halloween is simply to skip store bought candy all together and opt to make candy or cookies as a family activity. By doing so, you'll be in control of the ingredients, get to spend time doing a fun project as a family, and your child will be able to share something they made themselves with their classmates and friends.
You could also try encouraging fruits in lieu of candy, which may not be the easiest sell, but is definitely the healthier route. You don’t have to serve them plain either. Homemade candied fruits are simple to make, delicious, and a healthy alternative. Most recipes consist of a simple sugar syrup and juice combination to add the desired sweetness. Some usual choices are glazed cherries or pineapples, but mix, match, and make your own!
If your family participates by handing out goodies to trick-or-treaters, you could opt to handle out something like eco-friendly crayons or small trinket toys. Handing out glow sticks is another option for anyone looking to stray away from candy. Dry Pak, for example, provides “environmentally friendly” glow sticks, which (unlike other brands), don’t contain the same marine pollutants. Even though they aren’t recyclable and require energy-intensive production, they are available in small sizes and can help keep trick-or-treaters safe while they roam house to house.
If you would rather purchase candy, there is a variety of healthy options. In fact, there is an entire candy store online that sells natural, organic candies – www.naturalcandystore.com. The site caters to a huge audience of healthy eaters, providing the choice of gluten-free, vegan, or corn-syrup free candy. Above all, the Natural Candy Store proves to eaters that sweets can be both healthy and scrumptious. Then again, even if you'd rather not purchase from their website, browsing around may provide you with some valuable ideas.
The brand GoNaturally also produces a large variety of hard candies that are organic (and gluten free!). There are a few brands of organic lollipops such as Yummy Earth and College Farm Organic. If you'd prefer chocolates, Endangered Species brand of chocolate provides a few bite sized options to hand out that are both organic and downright delicious!
But what do you do with all that non-organic candy that your kid collects when making the trick-or-treating rounds? Well, they can donate it. How cool is that? Teaching them to help others, getting them only to eat the organic goodies, and all while still enjoying the fun of Halloween! Many places accept Halloween candy donations.
Some examples are Operation Gratitude (www.opgratitude.com), Any Soldier (anysoldier.com), and Operation Shoebox (www.operationshoebox.com); plus, there are food pantries, local church groups, and children's hospitals that can benefit from extra candy.
Making it through Halloween and keeping healthy: that wasn't so scary, was it?