Halloween is just a few days away and I've been making my preparations for the Switch Witch's visit. My children leave all their candy for the Switch Witch on Halloween night, and in return she leaves them a gift and a small quantity of better (less bad) candy. I've resigned myself to the fact that my children will get lots of extra sugar on many occasions and holidays throughout the year, but I'd like to avoid feeding them the food additives and other weird ingredients that often accompany the sugar. Ingredients such as:
- artificial colors (lots of lots of these in your garden variety Halloween candy!)
- artificial flavors
- artificial sweeteners
- high-fructose corn syrup
- hydrogenated oils
I also like to avoid chocolate produced by child slave labor (pretty much all chocolate in mainstream candy, sadly). Yes, I do realize, I'm sucking all the joy out of eating candy.
Here are a few of the treats I let my kids eat:
- Annie's Organic Gummy Bunnies
- Organic Lollipops (we often buy the Trader Joe's ones)
- Unreal candy (unjunked versions of old favorites -- this year I was able to buy them at my local Target)
- Theo's chocolate (or other chocolate certified by Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance)
- Homemade healthy-ish chocolate chip cookies
- Treats from a local bakery or the Whole Foods bakery (I may give them a coupon to pick out their own next time we go)
I actually have some of these treats on hand at all times, because I've learned that people love to throw candy and treats at children at all times of the year, and I always need to be ready to make an exchange.
But I wonder how long I'll be able to keep this up.
If you have older kids or teenagers, how do handle Halloween and other occasions filled with candy (Easter, Valentines, etc.)?
And on a related note, there is the dilemma of what to do with the conventional candy I collect from my kids. If you have a solution for that, click over and comment on this week's Green Phone Booth post.
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