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How We Have a Sugar-Free Halloween

sugar-free halloweenBefore you lament over the fact that my kids only get tofu pops for Halloween, just know that is not the case at all. I actually hate all things tofu but I do avoid refined sugar.

I always enjoyed “Trick or Treating” with my friends and seeing who gathered the most candy. Those are great memories that I didn’t want to rob from my kids but how could I let them “Trick or Treat,” knowing they wouldn’t get to eat the candy?

You can see how Halloween posed a bit of a dilemma.

So after much thinking and deliberating, my husband and I decided would allow our kiddos to get their plastic pumpkins or homemade “Trick or Treat” bags, deck themselves out in whatever costume they wanted and let them enjoy the fun of “Trick or Treating.”

Our rules were simple:

1. Have Fun!

2. Collect as much candy as possible.

3. Count it up when we get home, see who got the most and by how much. (Why not throw a bit of fun math into the game?)

4. Trade all the candy in for either $10, organic candy that they get to choose for themselves at the store, a new toy, or a fun activity like bowling.

5. Sit out on the porch and bless other kids with the candy they just received and traded in for something else.

We’ve done this now for 6 years and have never had any trouble with the kids throwing fits about not getting to eat their candy. We’ve had some friends, knowing that we don’t like our kids eating refined sugar, will try and give them all the left over candy and coax them into eating it – but they don’t. They definitely accept it and use it to turn in later.Re-giftingHalloweenCandy

The surprising thing for me out of this whole process is what my kiddos can’t wait to do every Halloween: re-gift their Halloween candy to other kids! They love seeing all the costumes and getting to be the ones to GIVE the candy to kids who squeal with excitement when they get multiple pieces from each of my children: 4 kids x 3 pieces of candy= 12 pieces of candy for each kid that comes to our house!

It’s been great finding a way to keep fun traditions without having to sacrifice my health nut ways.

What are some ways the you have adapted traditions to fit your families needs?

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4 Responses to How We Have a Sugar-Free Halloween

  1. Avatar
    Amy October 13, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    LOVE this idea Kristi!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Avatar
      Kristi October 13, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

      Thanks, Amy!

  2. Avatar
    Emily October 16, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

    I appreciate your efforts to give your kids the healthiest lifestyle you can, but I have to wonder what kind of message it sends to give the candy out to other kids. If it’s not worth eating for your kids, it’s not worth eating for anyone, right?

  3. Avatar
    Kristi October 19, 2015 at 4:07 pm #

    Hi, Emily!

    I completely understand what you mean. We have talked with our children extensively as to why we choose to eat the way we do and that not everyone follows that mindset.

    We also include a handful of “Free Days” a month in our eating habits. (Free days might happen when we are invited over to someone’s house that doesn’t cook like we do, or when we go to a birthday party or Disneyland, etc. Yes, sometimes I may bring food to certain events but I want them to value people and show their gratefulness for what others have done for them. In regards to this, we have talked about how we limit the “free times” and why.)

    My children see this day as a free day for other kids and what’s funny is that many times they will tell the kids that this candy has bad sugar in it, just in case they need to know too.

    We also see Halloween as a chance to get to know people in our neighborhood and hopefully make a small connection with them so we can find other ways to connect with them the rest of the year. It’s the later contacts that open doors to talking about many things including healthy food options.

    During those times when we gift homemade organic cocoa mixes with the ingredient list attached, bring over homemade bread, food from our garden, a meal, or or we have them over for a meal, people ask for the recipes and then we get to talk about those “different” ingredients and then the conversation can turn to healthy eating habits.

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