Halloween Candy Hangover

Last year I was that girl… yep, the crazy neighbor who bought pretzels to pass out at Halloween to all the neighborhood kids.

Meanwhile brought our kiddos to our church’s “fall fun day” (every year the church has a ton of games for the kids to play and lots of candy and treats). We left the giant bowl of bat and pumpkin shaped pretzels on my door step with the light on and a sign that read “please take one”. My husband laughed at me and thought that no one would take pretzels when they had a block full of candy to choose from. So we made a bet as to how many bags of pretzels would be gone when we got back. He thought less than half and I thought the bowl would be empty. I won the bet! The neighborhood kids either loved the pretzels or didn’t know what they were when they grabbed them.  But either way, they were all gone when we got back.

And to be honest, depending on the pretzels, they usually aren’t that much healthier of an alternative to candy. But I figured I would be less tempted by pretzels than gobbs of candy that we seem to have left over each year. Last year my daughter also ate sugar and wheat (in moderation). So she had some Halloween candy as part of the festivities. However, since taking wheat and sugar out of her diet (due to tummy and other issues), we have had to find a fun alternative for her (and for my son).

We will still be partaking in the church fall festivities. But they hand out enough candy to make my daughter sick for months. So rather than not letting her go and hang out with friends I have been putting together fall “goodie bags” for my kids as an alternative to the giant bag of candy and junk food they will bring home.

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I attempt to make them a goodie bag filled with such fun stuff that they will happily trade their candy for them. To make the goodie bag worth choosing I had to get some of their favorite not-so-everyday treats.

So far I have gotten:

  • Some of their favorite LARABARS: These are bars with very few ingredients, no sugars, and gluten free!
  • “Monkey Chips”: These are plantain chips I get for special occasions from Trader Joes. They are not the healthiest thing in the world but way better than some other chips out there.
  • Fruit strips made with organic fruit (also from Trader Joes)
  • Raw cookies“: I found these on amazon.com and they are made with raw organic ingredients (no sugar).
  • A fun new toothbrush: I bought my daughter one that spins and has stickers (this may not be a treat for every child but my daughter begs for new fun toothbrushes whenever we pass that isle in the grocery store)
  • Glow sticks
  • baggies of their favorite dried fruits (mango and raisins)
  • freeze dried fruit (raspberries)
  • and I plan to buy some Cutie Oranges and “paint” jack-o-lantern faces on them with a permanent marker (I saw the idea on Pinterest last year)

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Here is a photo of some of the “loot”.

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If you are not completely opposed to sugar but you want to avoid GMOs, there is “Unreal Candy” that you can buy at Target (and other locations I’m sure). They at least have ingredients you can pronounce and (as I said before), no GMOs. If Ella wasn’t so sensitive to sugar I would probably let her have some Unreal Candy as a special treat. yum!

I am still keeping my eye out for other treats and toys, but what I have so far will be enough to hear shouts of glee as they open their goodie bags. I will keep you posted on their reactions and might have a few more photos later.

UPDATE: Now that I have been doing goodie bags for a few years, here are some more fun things I like to put in them now that my kiddos are getting a little older:

Here they are back home enjoying their goodie bags.

goodie-bags

You may be wondering… what do I do with all this leftover candy they get from fall fun day? Well, my husband likes to eat some of the chocolate candy (after the kiddos are fast asleep of course). I know that some dentists will buy back candy from the kids (another option that my kids may pick over the grab bags in the future). Also there are programs where you can send candy to troops. We also have “helping others” bags ready in our car from time to time. Then when we see a homeless person who is in need we give them a bag. These usually include toiletries, snacks, a gift card to somewhere like Subway, and a note letting them know we are praying for them. The kids like to pick some of their candy to put into the bags for the homeless.

What are your plans for this candy cornucopia season? Feel free to leave a comment below. Do you let your kids have at it? Halloween only comes once a year! Or do you find alternatives to the sugar fest?

I know if my mom had made goodie bags as a child to trade I may have looked at her as if she had a third eye. Thankfully my kids are used to my “clean alternatives”. My daughter is also learning to make these choices for herself as she feels sick when she eats certain foods. I do have fond memories of Halloween growing up… eating my weight in candy and falling asleep immediately after my sugar crash. Ah, those were the days… right? 😉

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7 Responses

  1. Val Frania says:

    I did the same thing with my kids – too much sugar out there in the world! I wish more people thought about it.

  2. You have a great idea! We usually let our boys have a couple pieces that night, then for the next few days we let them have a piece a day. We always keep the candy out of site. They ask for candy for a week or so, but then they start forgetting to ask, and pretty soon, it’s just sitting in the pantry, taunting me and my husband 🙂

    • Kristine says:

      haha! Thanks! We did the same thing last year when we just limited candy. They had a couple pieces that day then one for snack other days then they forgot bout it as well. My husband ate the rest. 🙂

  3. Jenn Rian says:

    I want to do a trade with my 4 year old daughter this year as well, but I’m still trying to figure out what to give her. I think your bag sounds awesome and I would definitely pick it over all of the junk. We don’t have any diet restrictions around here, but I definitely try to limit junk, especially artificials, but I feel like I’m being sabotaged at every turn 🙁
    I’ve had the Unreal candy and it’s really good, tastes better than the originals in my opinion!
    Here from Blogelina FB page link up

    • Kristine says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I know what you mean about feeling like you are being sabotaged every where you go. It’s like the whole world wants to give our kids a lollipop everywhere we go. I understand though-kids like candy and people want to make kids smile. It just all adds up rather quickly. My kids LOVED their goodie bag so I felt like it was a success. My daughter as most excited about her toothbrush that spins and she can decorate with stickers. ha! I just stopped by your blog and I LOVE your kiddos costumes. Super cute! Looking forward to reading more of your posts. 🙂

  4. I think that is a great idea – especially with little one’s. A lot of the candy we wouldn’t let our almost 3 yr old eat just because it is too hard, etc… For our son who is 11 I see things a bit different. We certainly limit how much candy he can have a day, but we don’t eliminate it entirely. He is at the age where we let him make a lot of choices. We are really big right now into making “educated decisions/choices” – so that would apply to this situation too.

    • Kristine says:

      Last year we hadn’t gotten rid of sugar entirely (just limited it) and like you, I found that there was a lot of candy that wasn’t age appropriate. I completely agree! I think teaching them to make their own “educated decisions/choices” is so important. And as they get older… giving them more and more opportunities to do so. I think it’s great that you are teaching that value to your kids. 🙂

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