What will you hand out to the trick or treaters this Halloween?

Each year Halloween seems to gain popularity here in Australia. Families start planning their costumes and itinerary weeks out from the event. Most likely due to all the marketing in supermarkets that starts months before hand. It must be one of the biggest days of the year for them! Perhaps comparable to Easter sales?
We live in a tiny little village in the Perth Hills. The kids in the neighbourhood love visiting our street on Halloween. It is a lot of fun…and its great to see everyone go to all the effort of getting dressed up. Each year the number of trick or treaters has expanded!
I have a dilemma each year. What do I hand out to the kids? I don’t want to hand out the chocolates and lollies with all the additives.
I also didn’t want to put my kids in a difficult position either. I had a lot of pressure from the boys to provide ‘normal’ options. Please don’t be ‘that Mum”, the “healthy Mum”. So we came to a compromise. I decided to conduct a little experiment!

I wondered what would happen if kids had a choice of different options?

I bought some of the crappy chocolate and I also had other choices in our Halloween treat bowl. I made some caramel popcorn balls and drew jack o lantern faces on mandarines.

It was very interesting to see what the kids did.

They were so surprised to see a choice. I was so surprised at the good choices that they made!
The mandarines and popcorn disappeared! I had run out of mandarines, but I still had plenty of popcorn. I made batch after batch of popcorn whilst we had lulls in the trick or treaters knocking at the door.
I know what some of you are thinking. Caramel popcorn still has lots of sugar. Yes it does. It is a treat.

I would prefer to give kids a treat without all the additives.

The typical Halloween treats that you seen in the supermarket are full of additives. Young kids will inevitably have symptoms that night or the next few days.  Each year I get an influx of queries and questions from the Additive Free Kids community. Parents that are very concerned as their kids are tantrumming displaying aggressive behaviour. Some might even have rashes and asthma too. Most people will blame it on all the sugar the kids consumed the day before.

It’s not the sugar! Its the additives together with the sugar.

Did you know that back in the 1940s and 50s, homemade treats were given instead at Halloween?
We need to give our kids more credit.

When kids are presented with options we will be surprised with the choices they make.

You have a choice. You don’t have to succumb to the marketing.
We assume that they would prefer to receive all the chocolate and lollies. The reality is that they receive SOOOOOOOO much when they go trick and treating, they like a bit of variety.

So lets put a challenge out there…ditch the typical big food chocolate and lollies and give kids different alternatives….conduct your own little experiment.

Let’s get back to the old traditions. Lets give kids the choice of some homemade treats too.
I know we are all time poor….and I am pretty sure that is why the store bought chocolates / lollies have become so popular. However, lets think about the well being of these kiddies. Lets think about the poor teachers that need to manage 25-30 kids in this state the following day.

Just remember – it’s not the SUGAR! It’s the additives.

So, if you are ready to accept the challenge, what to make?
I have found some great inspiration for some Halloween additive free treats.  You can visit our pinterest board for other Halloween inspiration here. 

Snack treat bags

Halloween inspired cookies / gingerbread

Popcorn cups / balls 

Jack O Lantern mandarines

I would love to see what you make – tag us at #halloweenchallenge #backtotradition #additivefreekids. Let us know the results of your experiment too!
Happy Halloween!