For those of you following the Whole30® program, certain upcoming holidays may prove a test of willpower. Halloween candy is everywhere, calling out to you from perky colored wrappers in perfectly portioned bite-sized pieces. So, if you’re stocking up for trick-or-treaters, or dealing with an influx of candy in your child’s own bag o’ booty, we are here to remind you of one simple fact.
You can have candy any time you want.
You’re a grown-up. You earn your own money. And if you wanted a Snickers, a Kit-Kat, or a bag of Peanut M&Ms, you can walk right into any grocery store, gas station or convenience mart and buy one.
Halloween candy is not special. It’s not unique. It’s not homemade, or a once-a-year treat, and we’re pretty sure it doesn’t invoke fond childhood memories of sitting around the dining room table while Mom pulls things out of the oven.
Which means, Whole30′ers… you will NOT be taken out by a bag of peanut M&Ms. Not this time around. No slips, no cheats, no excuses.
You’re in this to slay your Sugar Dragons once and for all, and you are tougher than any Halloween candy.
CREATE YOUR OWN HALLOWEEN TRADITION
For those of you who still want to celebrate the holiday without succumbing to the sugar-fest that is traditional Halloween, here are some alternative ideas from Whole9 readers:
- Have a cookout with your friends and children’s friends. The kids can dress up and you can control the meal. Also, the Following My Nose blog has some creative dishes like Creepy Creature of the Sea Soup and Sweet Potato Bugs. Most importantly, eat before going out trick or treating then you will not be tempted by the sugar demons.
- On Halloween night, the kids (we have 5) pick out 5-10 pieces of candy to keep, and put the rest of their candy in a big pile. We ring a special bell before the kids go to bed and that night the “Switch Witch” comes and exchanges it for a cool group gift. This year it’s a tetherball set!
- Though I do not have children, my Halloween will involve being stuffed at a Brazillian Rodizio before going to a Halloween party so that I am too full off of meats that I could not possibly have anything else.
- This year I simply explained that I feel all the candy is crap and they deserve better than that… I did say that if they agree to handover all their candy we will all go bowling tomorrow night and bring along any friends who want to do the same. We have the neighbor-kid onboard!! I count this as a win!
- Our gym is offering a Halloween Candy Buy Back for all of our community. We are giving an incentive of $2.00/lb of candy, a prize for the most candy returned, as well as a free gym class.
- Right now, with our one child only 11 months old, it’s easy enough – we’re just not going trick-or-treating. If we get any kiddos at our door, they’re getting raisins (yeah, we’re *that* house. I’m over it.).
- As a college student, the pull isn’t as bad because of no kids, but at my job my boss has been passing the candy like crazy! I keep having to explain why I don’t want any. I have been using the Whole30 elevator speech though! I finally feel like I have a grip on my sugar demons, and I finally feel good and happy in my decision to say no.
- I work at a school and you can imagine how crazy this day was! I told the parents I would take care of the treats in the room. We had raisins, carrot sticks, orange slices, and apples for snacks. The parents thought I was crazy! I had the last laugh as the kiddos LOVED the healthy snacks and ate ALL of it! I even had some parents come up and apologize for badmouthing my choices. It just goes to prove that kids do know how to eat healthy foods if they are given a chance.
- I would provide an equally tantalizing option the weekend before Halloween to allow them costume time and something to look forward to. They can invite friends and we would play various “games”: ie. bob for apples, break a pinata filled with non-edible treats, make a craft, have a scavenger hunt, etc. For food, I would play into the fall/Halloween theme offering guts (spaghetti squash and tomato sauce), edible eye balls (hard boiled eggs, black olives), spiders (fudge babies), there are a variety of easily adaptable recipes on familyfun.go.com under Halloween treats.
- My husband and I took our kids trick or treating with their friends/family. When we got home, they dumped out all their candy and we gave them a choice-do you want to eat these or would you like to trade all your candy for money so that you can purchase or save up for something to buy at the toy store? They chose the money!! My kids are 5 and 7 and are committed to eating well.
- I have 4 year old twins and a 6 year old. They love trick-or-treating and get a lot of candy. The night of, they get one piece and then they trade it in to the Great Pumpkin who brings them 2 books each. My children were thrilled to get their books. I wanted to bring the candy to work and my husband insisted on throwing it in the garbage.
So, Whole9 readers… what are you going to do with all of your children’s candy? How will you balance the tradition of Halloween with the health concerns of all that sugar? Share your creative and healthy ideas in comments… And happy Halloween to all!