Happy Halloween! Trick or Treat – or- Trick or Trick?
Halloween is a fun time for kids of all ages! You get to dress up in your favourite costume, meet witches and goblins and have a fun night out getting FREE candy!!!
All good fun, right???
Well, not if you know what’s in all that junk food! Now, don’t get me wrong… I’m all up for having fun and having a treat! But these are not treats, these really are Tricks! Don’t be fooled, know what’s in your Trick-or-Treating bag and know….
How to Survive and Still Enjoy Halloween!
Fact #1 : Not all candy is created equal!
We still have fun and indulge once in a while in sweet goodies! Candy is fun and I don’t like to stand in the way of fun! Being obsessive can later backfire in your kids’ life. But while they are still little, you, the parent do make all the shots! With a little knowledge you can enjoy this fun holiday with a few strategies instead of fear! Save the fear for some gruesome creepers at your door! Set out a plan to have fun (and still be in the know!)
Fact #2 : Toxic, Carcinogens, Unsafe*
Most of the candy our there in North America is filled with artificial sweeteners and flavours and GMOs that have incredible toxicity! Yes, these ingredients are still approved by the FDA – which is why it’s even scarier that you can’t really trust anyone!!!
Here is a quick guide to what’s in our candy!!! Carcinogens, toxins! Let’s just say sugar isn’t even the worst enemy!
There are currently 7 colours approved by the FDA that show high risks of behavioural problems, illnesses and even cancer. Yet, there’s little done about it! How else could kids “taste the rainbow”? Heavy marketing dollars are fed to make product look brighter and happier that are being fed to the kids. Scary Stuff!
Links to Allergies ADHD and cancer!
There are 3 dyes used most often : Red 40, Yellow 6 and Yellow 5 – these are contaminated with carcinogens. According to Wikipedia : “A carcinogen in any substance is an agent directly involved in causing cancer”!
There is scientific research that shows that artificial food dyes make children with no known behavioural problems hyperactive and inattentive. Science also shows that these behaviours improve when these artificial colourings are removed from the kids diets.
(This would explain a huge freak out my 6 year old had this summer after indulging in some Birthday Cake followed by a sugary artificially dyed pop!) Wish I was there to prevent this!
Banned in Europe!
These top colours Red 40, Yellow 6 and Blue 1 are banned in the European Union! Same branded product that have artificial colours added to the product sold in North America, don’t have the same ingredients in European countries.
That’s also one other reason we like to pick up some candy at European grocery stores! We still have fun, my daughter has the occasional sweet but these coloured peanuts (unlike M&M’s) are coloured with beet extract to make red, or sweet potato extract to make orange – pretty cool unbelievable ingredient list that’s completely natural and they’re yummy candies too ;)
Fact #3 : OMG – yes there’s GMO’s!
Yes, most of the candy out there, chocolate bars and cereal bars have GMO ingredients! These are genetically modified organisms that are also approved my the FDA but have serious health risks that are still not fully known!
Again GMO foods are banned in Europe!!! We, here in North America have Monsanto to worry about! GMO’s do not have to be labelled in the USA or Canada! Even local products are not exclusively safe unless they are labelled Organic and/or are under the NON-GMO project!
Tips to actually Enjoy Halloween!
1. Buy healthier candy or alternatives!
There are lots of great candy out there! We love Yummy Earth’s gummy bears and lollipops that are organic and are free of any artificial dyes of preservatives! And they’re delicious!
Some great alternatives are also stickers, fun pencils or the good sweets like raisins or clementines ;) (although, with those you may not be a popular house) but mandarines would totally rock! ;)
2. Introduce your kids to the Switch Witch!
Get them to leave their bag of ‘goodies’ (you can sift through and keep the organic stuff for later) and have the kids exchange the bag of candy for a toy or money in the morning! Kind of like the Tooth Fairy doing an exchange for the tooth. The Switch Witch makes an exchange for the candy!
(then the candy could be donated to a local community centre or other places where at least they are out of your kids’ hands!)
3. Give them a quality Probiotic!
As the kids indulge in a little more candy (hopefully organic and natural) sugar is still sugar and that will put a huge toll on their tummies! Specifically their gut flora! Sugar has a way of damaging that important intestinal lining, increasing yeast and contributing to Candida. Give your kids a good probiotic daily to support that good bacteria!
4. Feed them the good stuff!
Having healthy snacks around when all that candy is around will keep their tummies full and not earn for that bad stuff. Give them a full healthy meal before trick or treating and keep some rewards with you. Having dark chocolates, organic candy or fun fresh fruit dressed up for Halloween will keep them happy so they won’t get so easily distracted by all that bad stuff.
5. Avoid sugary snacking late at night!
Halloween fun starts when the sun goes down so it’s already quite late for all that sugar! A night-time feeding frenzy of even a few candy bars is a nightmare in my book! Try to remind the kids that tomorrow is another day and they don’t have to have it all in one day! Sugar does make people sick, be a good role model and have some fun alternatives for those sweet-tooth moments!
And be sure to brush those teeth and floss really well that night!
Halloween is a fun Holiday and you don’t want to take that fun away from the little ones necessarily! But kids are also easily influenced by what your family does. If trick-or-treating isn’t for you, organize a house Halloween Party where you exchange some good candy, baked spooky goodies and fun treats that are fun and healthy! Kids will love to parade in their costumes and have fun! You could do crafts and contests! Enjoy this day!
If you are trick-or-treating…. remember don’t get tricked!
Essentially, as an adult you are making these decisions for your child that they are healthy and safe. Although I don’t want to scare anyone and make anyone too obsessed with fear…. remember that you can have lots of fun and enjoy the spooky spirit of this day! But you don’t want your kids to become victims to the marketing scheme out there. In the end, this Holiday is Big Business… as much as $2.25 billion big business as that’s the estimated amount that Americans will spend on this 2013 Halloween. Just keep it real, clean and simple – don’t get tricked!!!
Wishing you all a wonderful fun day today! Happy Halloween!!! xoxo
Our Halloween will look like this : I have Yummy Earth organic candy for trick-or-treaters for when we are home. We are also all walking out with our daughter to trick-or-treat around the neighbourhood. She won’t have about 99.9% of the stuff she brings home… the Switch Witch will come in and we have a toy in mind for her swapping. Before and after the short walk outside (short, because rain is in the forecast) we have some fun goodies at the house! I have made the Witch Fingers again (scroll down the page as my link button doesn’t work) and we will have Ghost Bananas and Pumpkin Oranges around for the kids. It will still be super fun and my biggest worry right now isn’t my kid (but my husband) I’m afraid he will be the Switch Witch himself. Oh, you can’t win them all! lol ;) xo ella