We may be unconventional in our house, but I have come to believe that you can still participate in many traditions without violating your own personal values. So, when my son was old enough to start trick-or-treating, we started to think about how we would celebrate Halloween in a more healthy way.
We weighed the obstacles:
- Typically, the candy being given out is full of ingredients and practices that we are not comfortable with ( ingredients that are artificial, detrimental to the environment, or produced using slave labour).
- Too much sugar weakens our immune systems, and negatively effects behaviour and sleep cycles (as well as a host of other things).
- Knowing all of the above, I would, without a doubt, end up eating most of that candy, which is a) terrible and b) completely unhelpful to me
That being said, it’s super fun to trick or treat! I wouldn’t want my kids to miss out on any kind of old fashioned fun, especially when dressing up is involved. So, with a slight alteration, we found a way to join in.
We would dress up, we would trick or treat to our heart’s content, but when we got home we would swap out the candy for a special treat that we parents approved of. We also tried to purchase candy for the trick-or-treaters that was sweetened with fruit juice and contained no artificial ingredients.
When the big night came, we took a very spooky and exciting tour around our neighbourhood. When we got back home, Fynn promptly poured his bag of treats into the bowl for trick-or-treaters. No fuss. No disappointment. We quickly handed him his treats-to-keep and he was delighted!
Much to our surprise, what made him even happier, was handing out candy to all the trick-or-treaters. He stayed by that door all night, waiting to dish out generous supplies of candy to pirates, ninjas, and princesses galore.
What I learned that night, was that sometimes a thing isn’t about what you think it’s about. I thought Halloween was about collecting and eating a pillowcase full of candy. But it turns out, it’s about getting a little spine-tingling thrill, sharing with your community, and finally feeling (and looking) like the superhero that you really are.
That’s something I can get on board with.
If you would like more information on chocolate made without slave labour, check out slavefreechocolate . You might be surprised to discover that GiddyYoYo, an amazing local company (Mono, Ontario) has made the list of ethical chocolate producers 🙂