Alas, the time of year is rapidly approaching yet again….the week of “All Hollows’ Eve”…the one holiday that I am geared to gravitate away from for multiple reasons. It is a holiday that worships sugar, junk food, and excess, all with a slant of horror, terror, and trickery. These are all ideas that frankly turn me off. I spend most days (to some extent) helping people dissolve their sugar addictions…a service I highlight in my work and feel the utmost satisfaction in assisting and succeeding with. This negative feeling, of course, has expanded and expounded since becoming a Mama and witnessing objectively how powerful candy terrorizes my children’s energy and disposition. (Not to mention that this year in California, the drought has impacted our pumpkin size!)
Here are the two approaches I have attempted thus far to ameliorate the dissonance of October 31st in my home:
1. Avoidance. Close all the lights and leave non-candy treats (stickers, pencils, crayons, toys) in a bowl outside, walk with my kids trick-or-treating, and then donate their candy or send it to work with their Dad.
2. Allowance. Give out organic vegan candy, take my kids trick-or-treating, and have them select a few pieces before donating the rest of their stash or sending it to work with their Dad.
Neither feels fabulous, however. And, of course, I understand the desire of my kids to participate. I was totally into it as a kid, too. It’s a tradition! It’s fun! It’s the American way!
Needless to say, it is only once a year…hardly a harmful endeavor and perhaps unnecessary to become grinchy and grumpy. So, here are two tips for navigating Halloween from a Plant-Based Dietitian/Mom’s perspective:
1. Make it as healthy as possible. Fill your kids up with a wholesome dinner and healthier dessert, sweetened with whole sweeteners (dates, date paste, date syrup, fruit purees), such as these Caramel Apples, Hockey Pucks, Chocolate Lollibats, or Pumpkin Cream Chocolate Cookies. Instead of sticking to typical candy to give out, opt for organic, fruit-sweetened options or do what I typically do and create a huge bowl filled with Halloween-themed stickers, pencils, crayons, and toys.
2. Have a costume party and serve healthy snacks and meals (or make it a potluck) with likeminded friends. Decorate your house and dress up your family, prepare some delicious, fun foods, and celebrate! Here are some creative healthy snack options:
- Halloween Recipes from Oh She Glows
- VegNews Halloween Guide and Recipes and Another Article
- The Vegan Woman’s Top 10 Vegan Halloween Recipes and Treats
- Vegetarians in Paradise’s Halloween Menu
- 2 Amazing Whole Food Plant-Based Pumpkin Recipes
- One Green Planet’s Goulishly Good Halloween Dishes and How to Cook With Pumpkin Insides
- Eco-Vegan Gal’s Eco-Friendly Vegan Halloween
- Healthful Pursuit’s Healthy Halloween Recipes
What are YOUR favorite suggestions, hints, and recipes??? Please share in the comments below…