Healthy Halloween

Healthy Halloween

Tips for Trick-or-Treating Success: 
 
Fill Up the Bellies BEFORE  You Head Out: 
Take time to eat a healthy, protein and fiber-rich dinner.  A favorite of ours is a big pot of Chili with Gluten-free corn bread (made from scratch with organic, non-GMO corn of course!).  The protein, fiber and good fat in your dinner will help balance out the sugar intake from any candy consumption. 
 
Choose the Lesser of Evils: 
Although you still need to investigate for tricks in the chocolate candies, they tend not to have any added food coloring.  Chocolate bars may be a better option than the red, yellow, green and blue gummy or sticky candies.  Aside from the food coloring concerns, these sticky candies often leave a residue on the teeth which can cause cavities.  
 
Invite the Halloween Witch or Pumpkin Fairy Over for a Visit: 
For younger children, this is a fantastic way to have Trick-or-Treating fun without all the candy consumption.  Take the kids out to collect all their candy, and when you return home have them select 5-10 pieces of candy they want to keep.  All the rest of the candy gets put into a bag and left out for the Halloween Witch or Pumpkin Fairy to take.  In return, the witch or fairy will leave behind small tokens of appreciation like a puzzle, small toy, bubbles, etc.  This has been a hit in our house for years!   
 
The Buy-Back Program: 
Many dentists run a buy-back program during Halloween where kids can take their bag of candy into the dentist office and receive money for their loot.  Usually there is a limit (5 lbs or so of candy) for this activity.  You can offer to match the cash award if you’d like.   
 
If there’s no dentist in town running this program, feel free to offer the kids your own buy-back program.  A dollar per pound can be pretty enticing to a young person looking to earn money.  They still get to have all the fun and in the end, they make some money to put toward their next treasure.   
 
Natural Candy Options: 
You may swap out the loot for natural candy options.  You can visit https://www.naturalcandystore.com for a wide variety of candies that guarantee absolutely no artificial colors or dyes, no artificial flavors, no artificial sweeteners, no preservatives and no hydrogenated oils.  You get all the fun you need without the funny ingredients!  
 
Take action that is friendly and fun-loving so you can support you children’s health and allow them to have fun at the same time.  I don’t think my kids will ever want to give up the Trick-or-Treating experience, and I don’t blame them.  They do look forward to the return of the Halloween witch, and the element of surprise it holds for them.  It’s a win-win for all of us! 
 
The biggest things to avoid with any candy choice are these offensive ingredients:  High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup Solids, Food Coloring, Artificial Sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, and phenylalanine), hydrogenated oils and preservatives.  Remember if you can’t read it, pronounce it, or understand an ingredient, it’s not worth the risk to consume it.   
 
Talk with your children about your concerns.  Things created in laboratories are not food, they are a food product.  Food is necessary in this life, and we need to make choices that feed us health and happiness.  Let’s make sure it’s good food we are putting into our bodies and take the tricks out of the treats!  
 
It’s a pleasure to serve you!  Feel free to email me with comments or questions: connect@AngelaGaffney.com
 
XO, 

Recipe: Monster Mouths

Angie’s Note:  We made these fun monster mouths as a healthy Halloween treat last year.  They were a hit!  They’re tasty and fun!!  Be sure to snap a picture of your kiddo with their monster mouth before it gets eaten up!  These are also a great party snack or craft for Halloween school parties.   

Ingredients: 
4 Organic Green Apples 
Nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, or use sunbutter (sunflower seeds) to avoid nut allergies) 
Slivered Almonds (or we used pumpkin seeds to avoid nut allergies) 

Directions:
Place apple, stem side up, on cutting board. Cut the apple in quartered sections (cutting in half and then cutting each half again).  Remove the core of the apple from each slice.  Using a crinkle cutter, cut each ¼ slice of apple in half.  The crinkle cutter provides a toothy edge to the apple.  Each apple will yield 8 wedges. 
Spread 2 teaspoons nut butter on wide edge of apple slice. Top with another crinkled edge apple slice, aligning crinkled edges to resemble jaws. Insert almond slivers to make fangs. 
Get a picture of your little monster with their crazy-toothed mouth and then enjoy the tasty treat! 

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