Slightly less than half of world’s cocoa beans are grown in West Africa, where 284,000 children work on cocoa farms under abusive labor conditions. This year, why not choose Halloween chocolate that is sweet for the kids next door as well as the kids in cocoa bean producing countries. Just look for the Fair Trade label which guarantees that farmers earned a living wage for their crop and no children labored to produce the cocoa beans.
When I was a child you went trick-or-treating with a game plan. You knew which houses had the full size candy bars that you tried to hit twice, and who was handing out fruit that you could definitely skip.
Well nowadays, there are all kinds of healthy treats you can hand out while still enticing the kids to change costumes and make a second stop. Here are just a few great ideas that will keep the moms and the kids happy on Halloween.
Try handing out snack foods like mini bags of pretzels, cracker packs, trail mix, or even hot cocoa. Even if it’s not the healthiest option, it’s going to offset all the sugar they will be getting.
Many companies now make “snack size” bags of all kinds of goodies that are easy and convenient. Plus they can make parents feel safe since the bags are sealed so you know if they’ve been tampered with.
If you’re going to a party where everyone knows each other, or having a get-together yourself, you can save money by making your own snack-size baggies.
Why not hand out coupons for sugary snacks instead of actual sugar? This way parents can decide when the kids gets their Halloween treat and it controls portions a bit better.
Many restaurants and other stores are starting to catch on and sell coupon booklets for small treats. Just pick up a few booklets and you’ll be set for the night. Some companies even donate the proceeds to charity.
Some of the best Halloween treats don’t have to be treats at all. There are tons of non-food items that you can give out that will put a smile on kids’ faces. Just take a trip to your local party store or look in a party favor catalogue and you can find tons of fun ideas that will provide way more joy than a simple piece of candy.
You can use everything from small toys and games to little books and crossword puzzles. Most towns have a place where you can buy these in bulk if you are going to a large party or live in a high-traffic area. Just be sure to provide age-appropriate toys for smaller children that may stop by.
If you abide by the rule that it’s just not Halloween without the candy, there are still ways to be healthier. In addition to the sugar-free candy you find at your local grocery store, there’s also plenty of great finds at your local health food store or organic bakery. While it may still contain sugar, it’s generally natural, less processed, and better for you. If you go to one of the larger chains, they have plenty of great options including organic chocolate.
With a little extra thought and effort, you can keep Halloween healthier for your kids and everyone else in the neighborhood.