This is the first Halloween in SIX YEARS that I’m not either pregnant or nursing and it feels…
Don’t get me wrong, I love my babes and am so blessed to have been able to carry/birth/nurse them into the little people they are, but it will be so nice to enjoy the holidays without indigestion, getting up every two hours at night, and a maternity bra. It will also be exciting to experience the excitement and joy that they have now that they are old enough to appreciate what the holidays are all about.
Getting ready for Halloween this year has already been a blast. Our evenings have been full of picking out the perfect pumpkins for carving, searching through our closets for costumes and evening walks through the neighborhood to see the spooky decorations. Yesterday marked our first Halloween party of the season as we enjoyed a Potluck style fiesta complete with veggie chili and hot cider – yum!
All costumed up for the party.
While the parties, parades and costumes are fun, the one part of this ghoulish holiday that really bothers me is all of the candy. Now please understand, I am no party pooper and I am far from perfect in the healthy food department. I try as much as possible to feed my family clean, organic food, but I am also a full-time mom to 4 kids 4 and under living on one salary and so sometimes I buy my apples from Aldi and yes, pretzels are a snack-time staple. Don’t even get me started on the amount of alcohol that is consumed in this household (by the adults, of course. And maybe the occasional encounter with the Vanilla Extract via the 3 year old). Processed food and sugar has its place in this 2012 world and I get that, but is there a way to de-glorify it’s role come holiday season? Is it possible to trade in some of the candy for a healthier snack – something that would at least add some value to the extra calories consumed, without having a toddler revolution on our hands?
No child should be deprived of the chocolate and peanut butter amazingness of a Reese’s or from the gooey deliciousness of a mini Snickers bar. That would be just cruel. But can we trade some of the skittles/air heads/tootsie rolls/corn syrup vessels for a box of raisins or a mini bag of almonds? Trader Joe’s has some killer chocolate covered almonds! Would we get laughed at or toilet papered for giving out a stick of gum or a baggie of cranberries? What about some homemade almond butter and dark chocolate chip cookies (courtesy of Clean Eating Magazine)?
All I know is that my children do not know the meaning of “moderation” when it comes to sugar. Sure I can reduce the number of houses they trick-or-treat at or take most of the candy away, but wouldn’t it be great if, as a nation, we all jumped on the same page and started tweaking our holiday habits just a bit? Halloween is just one night, but the effects of the candy (whiny kids, stomach aches, etc) are felt for days afterwards. I’m not going to be the weirdo that hands out carrots and a toothbrush, but I do like the idea of revolutionizing the loot this year. Maybe something inedible like a temporary tattoo or a glow in the dark bracelet? Something that says, “Oh hey, I can have fun without gorging on sugar all night.”.