• Erin Akey, FNC + KNS

Halloween: Alternatives to Candy

For those of you who want to try and make Halloween a little bit healthier for the kids coming to your door, or at that school or neighborhood party, here are some fun ideas that wont be harmful to their health!  Remember that while many see the day as “once a year” and the candy as a “harmless treat”, the science tells us differently.  Sugar feeds every cell in the body good and bad and also causes the natural balance of good and bad gut bacteria to be out of whack. There is also the well-known issues of increased cavities, increased allergies, and harm to the immune system caused by over-consuming sugar and processed foods. Bottom line- Sugar is bad news.  With all of that said, here are some great ideas for the kids that will be both fun and healthy.

For the Trick or Treaters- Hit up the local dollar store and stock up on fun packs of stickers and erasers and pencils and pens with Halloween themes that often come in bulk for very cheap prices.

Kids LOVE this stuff.  We spend a lot less than we did on candy and the kids leave happy. It is not time-consuming either.  I am not crafty and so the cute little Pinterest projects are just not going to ever work for this gal.  Loading up on fun trinkets from the Dollar Store- THAT is more my style!  Just be sure you do not wait until the week of Halloween as they tend to run out pretty early in the month.

For those parties at school as well as or the neighborhood kids, there are lots of options for things to send and contribute that will not rot the teeth, destroy the gut bacteria, or make the kids wild and crazy.  Let’s talk about just a few here.

I love the idea of  bubbles!  Every kid loves them and they won’t harm their health with these little beauties.  Okay truth time, even I at 46 love playing bubbles with my granddaughter.  They are always on sale super cheap at the local dollar store and can be easily transported to school mess-free!  Trust me you can never go wrong with bubbles.  Just make sure the kiddos play with these outside to avoid a slippery mess in the classroom.  Many stores even offer the little tiny mini bottles which are an even better value.

Another favorite of mine is Play-Doh. 

Your local Wal-Mart carries a variety of colors usually for less than a dollar.  I have seen these as cheap as forty cents each.  Kids can have a blast mixing and matching and once again- no trips to the dentist will come of this.  No lie- I actually love playing with this stuff with the kids myself.  Maybe I am just a big kid!  If you really take the time to look, there are inexpensive ideas all around that kids will both love and look forward to again next year that wont cause harm to their health.  It is so important to remember that we are raising a generation of sugar addicted kids and if we all do just a little bit to change this trend, we can make a huge difference!

I am not saying never ever give your kids sugar, but I am saying we have got to be more mindful of the harm and scale things WAY BACK. Trust me 10-15 years from now your kids will thank you.  Mine sure have!

In Health!