Healthy and Fun ideas for Halloween

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Halloween is a comin’…..what are you planning to put in those trick or treat bags?  Today’s info may help you make a better choice of treats for the little monsters, without turning them into real little monsters.

Ok, so Halloween is not far away and it’s likely you all have lots of sugary treats on your shopping lists to give to the dressed-up door knockers that come your way.  I’m all for Halloween for the fun and tradition, but I hate the sugary junk food that comes with it.  I recently read this article about artificial colours which I thought I’d bring to mind in case it helps some of you make a better choice when it comes to Halloween treat shopping.

The article highlights the correlation between artificially coloured lollies and the effect on children’s behaviour.  There are many artificial food colourings which have been banned from use due to their toxic nature, and only seven remain legal.  Research has still linked a build up of these seven legal substances in the body with the following:

  • Behavioural problems – ADHD and other learning disabilities
  • DNA Damage
  • Reproductive problems - infertility
  • Psychotoxicity –  a toxic substance affecting the mind or personality
  • Immunosuppression – a suppressed or less active immune system
  • Metabolic acidosis – too much acid in the body
  • Plus other serious problems

In my eyes, it's best to avoid them completely.

Kids often show that they are being affected through their behaviour…..hence the tantrums which we all hate.  So knowing what we can do to help prevent their little bodies from being temporarily poisoned is super important.  As they say, you don’t know what you don’t know, so read this, then you will know what to do and what to avoid.

Halloween treat shopping

I avoid refined sugar and junk food like the plague in my house, even throwing away lollies my daughter brings home from party bags/kinder birthdays.   Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter, but treating her with junk is not how I show my love.  She thinks I’m mean sometimes, but I’m ok with that, and she's starting to understand more and more the effect the junk has as she experiences tummy aches after every party.   

When's she's out trick or treating on Halloween night, I know she will get lots of naughties in her bag, but I will be selective with what I let her eat.  I simply hate the thought of her little boby having to break down toxic food. 

Here is a great website with information and products for additive free fun.  If you make your own treats, then it’s ideal to keep these products in your pantry knowing they are free of nasties but still look like fun for kids.

In terms of lollies, I just don't buy them, but here are a few brands to look out for which do not contain artificial colours and flavours.  Allergy Friendly Foods and The Natural Confectionery Company If you’re going to buy lollies, make it these ones.   Coles have also claimed on their blog that all their branded products are free from artificial colours.

Other ideas if you want to stay on the healthy side of the fence:

  • Halloween trinkets (left image source)
  • Fruit
  • Dried fruit (little boxes of sultanas)
  • Honey shots (buy online here).  Still sugar but at least it’s natural. Raw honey is the best but I don’t think you can buy it in sticks or sachets
  • Stickers (Reject Shop sell 18 sheets of little stickers for $2)
  • Bubbles (Reject Shop sell 8 little bottles for $4)
  • Small tubs of play dough  (Reject Shop sell 8 tubs for $3)

Looks like a little advertisement for the Reject Shop, but it's not. In fact the last three items are what I have in store for trick or treaters this year. I bought several packets of each, and will return anything I don't open (they said I could which is great).  In total I spent $30.  I feel good knowing my treats are sugar free, nut free and gluten free but still full of fun.

A good reason why you'd want to avoid sugar is that it actually suppresses the immune system, so you may notice that if your little one eats lots of it, they will catch whatever bugs are going around very easily.  Not fun for anyone!

My daughter wants to go out dressed as a skeleton this year and I have her costume all ready to go.  Here’s a photo of her out with Daddy last year as a Spider Princess.  Daddy is holding a Jack-O-Lantern which I made out of an orange with a tea-light candle in it.

To make the orange jack-o-lantern (as seen on the left), just hollow out an orange then carve the face out with a small, sharp knife (not an ideal craft for kids this one!).  Place a tea light candle in it for a great affect, or of course you can do the giant pumpkin if you have more time.

If you’re throwing a Halloween party, then here’s some entertaining ideas for you.

Let's make this halloween full of fun but one with healthier treats than usual.  

Your healthy friend,
Amanda Steidle

 


Resources used for this article: 
http://www.alive.com/articles/view/19978/colourful_and_toxic
http://jdmoyer.com/2013/10/18/color-me-crazy-artificial-coal-tar-dyes-and-your-childs-mental-health/
http://www.greenandhealthy.info/diseasescausedbytoxins.html
http://capilano.com.au/products/australia/australian-honey/
http://www.rubiesandradishes.com/2013/10/15/healthyhalloween/
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/psychotoxicity
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunosuppression
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolic_acidosis
http://www.hopperfoods.com.au/Products.aspx
http://www.elanaspantry.com/gluten-free-candy-lists-for-halloween/
http://www.allergyfriendlyfoods.com.au/category-lollies-6.aspx
http://blog.coles.com.au/tag/no-artificial-colours/
http://fedup.com.au/information/shopping-list/confectionery