Halloween: dressing up in a costume and getting candy from your neighbors.
It doesn’t sound so scary! No wonder children love it so much!
I remember when I was a kid I would have my costume picked out months before Halloween. Then the day of, was a day full of fun, fun, fun! Fun activities in school, a costume parade and then of course rushing through dinner to get in a night full of trick or treating! We wouldn’t stop until our pillowcases were full. The worst part of the night was always when my parents would empty all the candy out and go through each piece- they were looking for hard candies, lollipops and then anything that looked like it might have been opened.
After that everything was ours. We used to hate when our parents used to confiscate our candy, but those were the rules.
Now, as a parent myself, I completely understand it. And now I have a confession. I am 10 times worse than my parents ever were. But at the same time I don’t want my need to keep my kids healthy get in the way of them having fun and enjoying Halloween. After all, as a kid I had some great memories from Halloween and want make sure that I don’t keep my kids from making their own special memories.
It is no surprise why Halloween is the scariest night of the year! I am not sure which is worse. The Halloween costumes made from polyester and coated in flame retardants. Or the actual candy full of sugar and genetically modified ingredients.
I know that my two oldest boys are still going to go out trick or treating. They go out every year and always have a blast! And I love the crisp Autumn walk around the neighborhood with my family.
Sooo what’s a Mama to do….
Here are some of my tips to give your children a Happy Halloween as well as a Healthy Halloween!
I will always advise to stay away from the costumes carried in the stores. They are expensive and made from some of the cheapest materials around. Since the materials are cheap and flammable they need to cover them with flame retardants to meet safety standards- oh the irony!
That leaves you with two options. The first one is to hand make a costume. This is my favorite option but not always a realistic one. Everybody knows that the best costumes are the ones we make. With the right supplies, a little know how and a lot of love you can make your child an adorable costume.
I am currently in the process of making my 1 year old a pumpkin costume out of his older brother’s old orange t-shirt. I just haven’t gotten very far. Fingers crossed it gets done within the next week or two…otherwise it will be my 5 month old’s costume next year…lol.
Unfortunately with four young boys, I do not have time to make all four of them four different costumes.
Which brings me to option number 2. Buy a costume.
Now, I know I just said not to buy the Halloween costumes sold in stores. And trust me I do not buy them. But sometimes I will buy the play outfits carried in the toy aisle of most stores.
Last year we purchased the Melissa and Doug play costumes. We used the pirate and the fire man ones. My boys both looked cute and we got many uses out of them after Halloween. Now, they are obviously not made from organic cotton (my go to material) but they are better than the other options out there. This year my oldest boys will be dressing up as the Wild Kratts. They received the outfits for birthdays this past year and are really looking forward to going on their Halloween Creature Adventure!
Unfortunately this is a little bit harder to deal with. Obviously I can’t go around to all my neighbors and tell them to buy expensive organic treats to pass out. And how do I convince a 7 year old to give up all of his yummy candy. While in the same room his cousins are chowing down on their own sweet treats. It is a challenge to say the least. But I do have a few tricks up my sleeve.
A few days before Halloween we make our own yummy candy (recipe coming soon). The boys love to help make it almost as much as they love to eat it! Because we make it from high quality organic ingredients I feel better about them indulging a little more than they normally would 😉 .
I also make a Target run and buy one bag of organic Halloween candy. I use this candy to trade them one piece of organic candy for one piece of conventional candy. While it is not a perfect solution- at least they are not consuming a ton of non organic and questionable ingredients.
And don’t worry. I don’t let the candy they trick-or-treated for go completely to waste. I have my husband bring it all into work where other adults can get a sugar high instead. If it even makes it there. Knowing my husband he probably keeps all stashed in his truck of his daily commute…lol!