I know Halloween only comes once a year and what harm can it possibly do, but why shouldn’t we at least try to go a healthier route with our children this time of year? After all, with such a high increase of obesity and diabetes in young children, why not begin the journey to a healthier life starting with a fun “holiday” they love? I like to respect the views of all people. This is part of why I have changed my way of thinking and my approach to Halloween. I have chosen a healthier and more creative route for my own trick-or-treaters and my classroom children.
For one thing, we switched it up in my class. We don’t celebrate Halloween. We celebrate Book-O-ween instead. We allow the children to wear costumes that emulate characters from a story. There is NO offending anyone when it comes to religious beliefs or their cultural preferences about the holiday this way. We take the same care to not offend those who want healthier alternatives. I go shopping with my boys and we pick out healthier, individual snacks such as pretzels and popcorn balls. This is our substitute for high sodium potato chips or sweets.
I remember being a young girl and receiving those HUGE candy bars full of chocolate and nuts. I really love the miniature candy bars because they are little samples of chocolate and parents can control and supervise a child’s intake better. For me personally, I use the small cellophane bags that are just right. In those bags I include a piece or two of the miniature candy, fruit snacks, a popcorn ball or bag of pretzels, a Halloween pencil (yes, I said it, a pencil), spider rings, and maybe even some erasers.
These bags are neatly closed with some ribbon and wait for the kids who knock at our door. I can honestly see the sigh of relief from those parents who accompany their children. For the parents of my students who get the same bag of treats, my choices have always been appreciated especially including pencils and erasers because I am incorporating tools that they use at school and NOT just junk food. The kids don’t seem to mind as well, as I purchase some cute little trinkets from Oriental trading. I don’t want to be that “boring” parent but I do want to take into consideration the health of our children and ways that we can incorporate the “right foods” to eat, even on Halloween. I am no skinny Minnie myself but why not try to teach our children that, regardless of the holiday, there are always ways that we can make smarter choices and use wiser alternatives.
This blog is a part of the MomsRising and CSPI #HealthyHalloween Blog Carnival