When I went trick or treating as a child I remember my favorite house to go to was not giving chocolates away ~ actually they were giving pomegranates! And that was one of my very favorite things to eat. I did not think of it as a “healthy” choice ~ just a tasty one! As a parent I always wished I had that pomegranate tree in the backyard to share with the trick or treaters at Halloween.
Today with the average amount of sugar per child per day at about 60-100 grams, it is no wonder we are dealing with an increase in childhood diabetes as well as childhood obesity. And Halloween happens to be one of those days when candy is king. Of course no one wants to spoil Halloween for any child. The fun of dressing up and knocking on neighbor’s doors was always one of my very favorite things to do, as well as my own children and my grandchildren. Picking out that favorite costume begins almost before summer comes to an end.
So what’s a parent to do? Perhaps choosing to hand out fun stickers, temporary tattoos, cute plastic jewelry, dried fruit (such as little boxes of raisins), little boxes of crayons and little packages of pretzels could be an alternative for some of the candy. One idea my daughter has used each year is to let each of the children pick out 10 of their very favorite pieces of candy from their “loot” and then leave the rest on the porch for the “Halloween Candy Witch” to take it and leave them a very special surprise. That actually has been quite successful.
I just learned of a site where you can donate your Halloween candy and it actually goes to our troops serving overseas. That was pretty impressive! They even ask the children to send pictures and notes along with the candy they send. Donations can also be given for toothbrushes and toothpaste. Dentists participate as well:
How Does The Program Work?
- Participating dentists “buy” back kids’ Halloween candy at a scheduled event
- “Buy” with cash, coupons, toothbrushes, creative exchanges – They can partner with local businesses to give away coupons for food, services, goods, etc. They can give away the Hygiene Kits, they can set up an Opportunity Prize–each kid gets a ticket per pound of candy for an opportunity drawing to win special prizes, etc.
- Dentists send the candy to Operation Gratitude (Get Involved Volunteer)or other Military support groups
- Operation Gratitude sends the candy to U.S. Military deployed in harm’s way