Friday, October 26, 2012

Food Friday: No tricks, just treats

I was the witch of the neighborhood last Halloween.

Instead of passing out candy like a normal person, I decided that I was not - in no way, shape or form - going to contribute to the obesity epidemic in the United States. I was not going to give children chocolate and sugar just because they looked cute and were wearing costumes. I was not going to add their bags of fat and processed goods. I just wasn't.

And so, last year, I went to Universal Merchandise (a bulk party store of sorts in Fort Wayne), and I stocked up on spider rings, pirate tattoos and pumpkin erasers. Things that were fun. Things that were not edible.

I sat outside with Mark, Miles and Denali, and I handed out those things (along with a single teeny-tiny Tootsie Roll). Some of the little kids were appreciative; others, the older ones and the homeless man, were ... shall we say ... skeptical. I was ... shall we say ... embarrassed. My plan meant well but it just wasn't any fun. Halloween should be fun.

Even if it means passing out a treat or two.

This year, I'm ditching the rings and my stainless steel bowl is going to be filled with goodies -- ones that I can feel good about passing out.

Snyder's Of Hanover Pretzels Mini Snack. Sure, they are processed and salty but it's a low-fat alternative with one mini bag containing less than 50 calories. I have found these on sale at Target and CVS, and I have paid about 10 cents per unit - comparable in price to fun-size candy bars.

Teddy Grahams. Who doesn't like something sweet? Teddy Grahams have less sugar than candy with just 7 grams and offer at least a bit of staying power. These are great for younger children, like Miles, who might go trick-or-treating but can't/don't eat candy. If you want to do me one better, I saw mini bags of Annie's bunnies but they were a bit more than I wanted to spend.

Fruit snacks. I was happy to see that Target's Market Pantry brand had Halloween fruit snacks - 100 percent juice - for less than 10 cents a unit. Fruit snacks aren't as good for younger toddlers but I haven't met a kid who hates fruit snacks. Just be sure they brush well as the gummis can get stuck and lead to cavities.

Unreal Candy (if I can find it). I liked the Unreal candy so much when I had the chance to try it, and it is something I can feel good about - no corn syrup, GMOs or hydrogenated oils. I heard rumors from PR folks that mini sizes should be available at Target and CVS but I have yet to find it. These would be great for the older kids who should be able to decide how to ration candy and limit portions.

And while I am super amped to hand out treats this year, Miles will be making his trick-or-treat debut.

We'll probably just take him to a few houses around us to show him off to neighbors and maybe score some sugar (for me) to keep me going through the excitement. After all, trick-or-treating is for the parents. Right? Right!


My friend on Facebook posted this note, and I think it's important to keep in my mind to make sure everyone has fun on Halloween. 

With Halloween upon us, please keep in mind, a lot of little people will be visiting your home. Be accepting. The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy may have poor fine motor skills. The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy may have motor planning issues. The child who does not say "trick or treat" or "thank you" may be non-verbal. The child who looks disappointed when they see your bowl, might have an allergy. The child who isn't wearing a costume at all might have a sensory issue (SPD) or autism. Be nice. Be patient. Its everyone's Halloween. ~Borrowed from "I Love Being A Mom & Wife"


  1. Such a cute Halloween costume on Miles, LOVE IT!!!! I'm bad, I had out candy for Halloween. One for the kids, one for me. :)

  2. love miles' costume!! have fun trick-or-treating!

  3. 1. Miles' costume is adorable!
    2. I truly love the addendum at the end. As a mother to a disablded child I love this kind of awareness. And this is SPOT on!

  4. We are already planning the "candy exchange" for our gluten-, dairy-, and artificial color-intolerant kids. Hooray for Trader Joe's lollipops (no artificial colors or flavors) and plain dark chocolate squares!

  5. Yeah, I'm being bad for Halloween. We'll be out Trick Or Treating so my hubby is drilling holes in a artifical pumpkin and I'm going to decorate it with lollipops for the kids to take.