Wow! It’s been quite the year. Hasn’t it? The last 10 months somewhat feel like a lifetime, mostly because the “new normal” that we are living in feels so regular to us now. But the truth is…this is all still new terrain. And as we enter into the season of get togethers and gatherings with extended family and friends, we are charting a new course – one where we still can hold on to our healthy traditions, but also where we protect ourselves and others from potential virus spread.
Usually when I am talking to people about Halloween, my focus is on avoiding the crappy candy and harmful treats that are regularly consumed during and around this holiday. I still want to focus on that for you because even during a pandemic, this is still a big issue for those of us who want to protect the health of our children from virus and pathogen-feeding foods. So today, I will speak to both issues. My desire is that you and your family enjoy Halloween with all the pumpkins, costumes, and decorations that go with it – but alongside that – I want you to be safe and healthy during Halloween and beyond.
So let’s talk about the candy. You and I both know that almost all candy is loaded with harmful ingredients. Let’s just be real – that is all that candy has in it – harmful ingredients. I liken it to poison because really it is just that… sweet, colorful poison. None of us want our children eating it, but we tend to make exceptions for special occasions and holidays. This is where we need to be firmer and hold our boundaries – there should be no exceptions when it comes to the health of our children. Period!
Now having said that, I am not living on another planet. I know the importance of allowing for special moments and celebrations. Halloween is really, really important to a lot of people. And it should be. We should embrace life and enjoy all that we can of these traditions and shared experiences that we rely on as social creatures, especially now, especially amid the current environment that we are all coexisting within.
So let’s live within the traditions and celebrations that we have become accustomed to, but let’s do it in a safe and healthy way.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT CANDY
When it comes to Halloween, I like to opt for small toys over candy. This bypasses the sweet, colorful poison completely and gives my kids something that lasts much longer than an adrenally-charged sugar high. But there are also edible alternatives to candy – namely fruit and honey. I have a few of my favorite packaged options listed below:
Small Toys & Games
Lots of inexpensive, fun toy and game options exist. For example (click on the links to purchase):
- Wooden airplanes
- Mini-Rubik’s cubes
- Boxes of color pencils + a little coloring book or notepad
- Silly putty
- Tic Tac Toe
- Mini Spinning Tops
- Mini Yo-yos
- Maze Puzzles
Raisins have long been touted as nature’s candy. But we tend to not think of them as the superfood that they are – Anthony says they are more powerful for your health than goji berries! So you can feel good giving boxes of organic raisins to the kids in your life.
Most fruit strips contain natural flavors and other yucky ingredients. But there are a few options that are just fruit and veggies. My kids gobble these up like candy, because fruit just tastes good!
- Wildmade Veggie Go’s Fruit and Veggie Strips – Most varieties of these strips contain organic fruit and veggies, and that’s it. My kids especially like the Berry + Apple + Spinach. Be sure to read the labels as there are multiple varieties of this item, and even healthier food brands can sneak in pesky ingredients like citric acid.
- That’s It Bars are another just fruit and nothing else option to give your kids the delicious taste and nutrition of fruit in a candy-like bar.
- Bear Real Fruit Yo Yos – While thes strips are not organic, they are all fruit and nothing else. They’re also rolled up in a fun shape for kids.
Raw Honey Sticks
Now hands down, this is probably the healthiest treat you could give a child. It’s delicious, sweet, and wildflower honey is SO SO SO good for you. Unlike all the other candy crap it’s not fully of horrid sugar, artificial colors, natural flavors, MSG and other ingredients that do so much harm to a child’s delicate immune system. Raw honey sticks are healing, boosting the immune system and are so incredibly nourishing. What we have to get our head around is that you can purchase bags and bags of mini-candy for Halloween for as little as $20 – $30. And some of these products will have you spending more than that, if you choose to. However, sometimes, just going with lots of ONE item can be super helpful. I like this brand of Glory Bee Wildflower Honey Sticks.
HOW TO CELEBRATE SAFELY
With social distancing and other measures meant to slow the spread of the virus, 2020 may not be the year of trick or treating and parties that our kids have come to expect. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up the idea of celebrating altogether. With technology and preplanning, we have all found ways to safely connect with one another, and Halloween should be no different.
NOTE: If you are going to gather with others, remember these words: outside, short, small. Take the gathering outside. Keep it short in duration. And make sure the guest list is small in number to allow best for social distancing.
Here are some ideas for celebrating Halloween safely during a pandemic
I don’t know about you, but my girls LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to craft. This is actually how we decorate for Halloween. The girls decorate our home using their own creations. I love spending time with them in this way, and it is a great activity that allows for some fun and creativity. Remember whenever you’re being creative, the angels are watching. I sure can feel that anytime my girls and I are elbow deep in glue and construction paper.
Host a Virtual Pumpkin Carving Party
Pumpkin carving is fun alone. But that fun is multiplied when you’re able to show off your creations to others. So why not host a virtual Pumpkin Carving Party via Zoom or FaceTime. Extended family members and friends from around the world or just down the street will love to see what you’ve created and share their own spooky or silly pumpkins.
Socially Distanced Costume Parade
Just because trick or treating may not be a safe choice this year doesn’t mean your kids won’t still want to wear a costume and show it off. It is possible to coordinate a socially distanced costume parade in your neighborhood, where neighbors stand outside of their doors and wave to one another as the kids – one by one, with distance in between, parade down the street.
Virtual Costume Party
The best thing about a virtual costume party… or virtual anything party… you don’t have to worry about the food that will be there, because it will be your own healthy, delicious food. You just get to show up and socialize with friends and family.
Pumpkin (Small Toy) Hide and Seek
Play Pumpkin Hide and Seek with your kids. Pick an area to hide small pumpkins or toys for your kids to find and collect. Sort of like an Easter egg hunt, but Halloween-themed and no eggs, just whatever small items your children would enjoy finding.
I so much wish a safe, healthy, stress-free, fun Halloween for all of you. How do you plan to celebrate Halloween? Let me know in the comments.