Paleo Halloween Ideas
Halloween. The anti-paleo holiday. Paleo parents everywhere are freaking out about it. Hopefully this post will give you a few strategies to survive the sugar crazed days ahead.
Halloween was one of my favorite holidays as a kid. My birthday is on November 1st and there were a few agonizing years where I had to choose between having a birthday party or going trick or treating. I got wise pretty quick and negotiated to have one best friend for a sleep over (instead of a party) and trick-or-treating. We would plan our route according to which houses gave out the best treats and we ran from house to house because the faster you were, the more candy you got. The fun really got started when I would come home and “sort” my candy. Anybody else out there do that? There was the ‘good’ pile (all things chocolate) which was then subdivided into candy bar groupings, M&M’s, tootsie rolls etc…and there was the ‘not-so-good’ pile (hard candy, lolly pops, raisins) which wouldn’t be eaten until all the good stuff was gone and I was desperate. Not only was I compulsive and obsessively organized about the candy sorting, but I was also a greedy little monster who didn’t want to share. I counted my candy every day after school so that I would know if my mom ate any. She did. Always.
Moms everywhere steal their kids candy
My own child, on the other hand, didn’t grow up with Halloween here in Switzerland. She is a perfectly well- adjusted kid despite that, in case you were wondering 🙂 I think she trick-or-treated once. Halloween has caught on here to some degree, but trick-or-treating is not wide spread. I did buy candy to give out a few years ago and ended up eating most of it myself. Admit it. You’ve done it, too.Then I switched to buying candy that I don’t like (stuff that would’ve ended up in my ‘not-so-good’ pile) and taking any left overs in to the staff room at work (those people will eat anything). If candy is your kryptonite, don’t trick yourself into thinking you’re getting it for the cute little goblins and ghosts and that you won’t eat any. Because you probably will. Either you are okay with that and indulge (for one night only) without guilt, or you do like I did and buy stuff you don’t like. Here’s an idea: You can also give out non-candy things! I would’ve given those their own special pile during the candy sorting ritual. Stickers, sugar-free gum, temporary tattoos, bubbles, marbles, bouncy balls etc…This is a great idea if you have guilt over handing out candy when you know it’s not good for kids. Unless you have organized trick-or-treating where you live (meaning you have a pre-arranged deal with people–I’ll come to your house and you come to mine), it’s probably not a good idea to try to make up your own homemade healthy paleo type treats to give out. Most parents make their kids throw out homemade stuff (because you never know if your neighbors are out to poison you ;-)).
Halloween is not just one night anymore. Have you noticed that? There are weeks of Halloween parties leading up to it. I’ve searched around the paleosphere for you and added some links to great ideas in case you are hosting a party or need to take something to somebody else’s party. If I’m invited to a party, I always volunteer to bring something so that I know there is at least one paleo-friendly food that I can eat. Here are a few of the things I found:
Civilized Caveman’s Pumpkin Butter Cups (I am so going to make these!), Ghost Pops, Juicy Jiggles, Paleo Pumpkin Roll, Caramel Apples, Pumpkin Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Bars, Chocolate Covered Bacon (aka Bacon Snakes), Raw Chocolate Candy Bars (definitley something for the ‘good’ pile!), Orange Chocolate Coconut Clusters, Halloween Apple Bites, Spider Eggs
Okay, now you have a few ideas for healthier alternatives that you can make. But, what are you going to do with all the candy your own little trick-or-treaters bring home?
- Set up a ‘candy trading post’ at home. Your kids can trade in their junk for a ‘mom approved’ treat like one of the treats featured above.
- Let your kids buy privileges with their candy. Want additional iPad/computer/TV time? It’ll cost 5 pieces of junk candy. Want to extend your bedtime by half an hour? That’ll be 3 pieces of candy.
- Is there a big ticket item that your kid has been longing for? Let them trade in their whole entire loot for it.
- Negotiate a certain amount that they get to eat on Halloween night and then ditch the rest.
- Did I mention that I was greedy? Not only did I love candy as a child, I also loved money. I used to iron my paper bills. Sadly, I am not joking. Pay them hard, cold cash to turn in the treats.
Or maybe you can skip trick-or-treating all together and try these ideas:
- Try convincing your kids that all the cool people are having parties at home instead of trick-or-treating. Ummm, yeah. Good luck with that. I never would have fallen for it as a kid, but if you can pull it off, it’s a great alternative. A party at home means that you have control over what they’re eating and you can put the emphasis on fun rather than on food.
- Why not make giving out the candy more fun than trick-or-treating? Be that house on your block. You know…the one with super cool decorations, creepy music and smoking cauldrons. Watch scary movies or Halloween specials between doorbell rings. I used to love handing out treats almost as much as getting them. Almost.
We would love to hear how you plan to handle Halloween at your house. Share your ideas in the comments! Better yet, send us some pictures of your cute kids in costumes and some of the Halloween treats you made and I’ll try to put together an ‘after Halloween’ post. I promise not tell if you sneak a Snickers 🙂
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