This week I’m hosting a fab guest post from the lovely Alice who blogs over at Letters To My Daughter. I came across Alice’s blog a few weeks ago and really liked her style of writing so cheekily asked her if she’d like to guest post here at Buzymum as I’m struggling for time at the moment (I’m sure you’ve noticed) and luckily, she agreed! Over to Alice!!
It’s nearly that time of year again when children charge round their neighbourhood fuelled by the sugar they demand as they knock on each person’s door with wild abandon. …Or walk sensibly around holding the hand of a parent being respectful of all local people and property. …Maybe something in the middle?
I have a confession… I don’t really know how the trick or treat thing goes. I was never allowed to go trick or treating as a child – my mum thought it was pretty rude to hold strangers to ransom for sweets, and thought we’d scare old ladies (we lived in a small village full of old ladies ripe for scaring). I think she probably also didn’t want my sister and I coming home pumped full of sugar just before bedtime!
These days, in preparation for all hallows eve, I often buy a small tub of sweets just in case, but we never seem to get any trick or treaters so I end up eating the sweets myself. What a shame!
D has reached an age now though where she will DEFINITELY notice if there are sweets in the house. I’m sure she can smell them a mile off! I’m reluctant to buy any sweets for this reason, as I’m already worried about the amount of sugar she eats and we could both do without the added temptation.
I know a lot of people say ‘it’s only one day, so what’s the harm’, and in a way they’re right. I don’t ban D from having sugar and I don’t deny her the odd treat. But the problem I have with Halloween is the sheer volume of sugar and the glamorisation of sweets, that sends a message to our children that it’s ok to eat mountains of the stuff when it’s really not! I have internal battles some days when I’ve snuck a chocolate bar in the shopping basket and hide in the kitchen to eat it so D doesn’t see me. One voice says ‘you’re cruel not sharing it with her’, and the other voice says ‘you’re kind not sharing it with her’.
Whilst it’s understood that sugar isn’t addictive, it’s generally accepted that food preferences are established in early childhood. This article suggests that children who are overexposed to added sugar begin to find naturally sweet foods such as fruit “not sweet enough”, which is worrying as it is likely to begin a lifetime of seeking out high sugar foods to fulfil that sweet tooth. There are countless health risks associated with a high sugar diet including obesity, diabetes and heart disease to name a few.
When I stop D having sweets now, I don’t feel guilty about spoiling her fun, I just remember that I’m helping her grow up with a healthy relationship to sugar.
With this in mind, I’ve been trying to think of alternatives to sweets for trick or treat treats. Some of them are edible, and some have thrown caution to the wind and gone non-food stuffs! So, without further ado, I present to you…. treats not sweets!
So, I’m the first to admit I am most definitely NOT a culinary genius. I’m sure countless culinary goddesses could cook up a host of nutritious, kid friendly Halloween treats, but I’m much more low key. These ideas are for the parent that enjoys getting involved, but perhaps has also had a long day at work/at home with the kids, and needs to keep it simple and quick. Just long enough for the wine to chill perhaps?
1. Satsuma Pumpkins
• Literally one of the easiest things to do. Get a bag of satsumas, grab a sharpie and draw your pumpkin face on it. DONE. Or if you’re feeling creative, draw all kinds of Halloween images on your satsumas. A plain satsuma is boring, a spider satsuma is awesome 🙂
• Added bonus here is that your little ones can help make them, and may be encouraged to eat some tasty fruit in the process!
2. Raisin Frog’s Eyes
• Another desperately easy one. Buy some mini boxes of raisins, download these printable labels (if you don’t have labels to print on, just print on paper, cut and stick) and stick them on. DONE.
• You could make your own labels if you prefer and get the kids to decorate them. Why not have fun potato printing monsters or blow painting spider webs?
With the amount of sweets children seem to collect at Halloween, it might be safer to stray from food based treats completely. Here are some really easy ideas about non-food treats that you could give out to eager hands and claws this Halloween…
3. Monster Snot Bubbles
• We are big fans of bubbles in our house, and I’ve always got a stash of mini bottles somewhere. D used to just love watching them, then when she could walk it was popping them, and now she’s miss independent, she likes to hold them and blow them herself. Hence the small bottles!
• These are a great option for non-edible treats, especially when given under the guise of MONSTER SNOT BUBBLES! Ewwww! Download and print these ready-made labels or make your own!
4. Radioactive bracelets
• That sounds way cooler than ‘glow sticks’ right?! But that’s what we’re doing here. Glow sticks are a perfect accessory on a dark Halloween night, as well as making children more visible to traffic.
• Have them already glowing to see little faces light up as you open the door, or let them enjoy cracking them, it’s up to you!
5. Halloween stickers
• Always a favourite, although perhaps not for the other parents. Some friends of mine hate stickers as they end up all over their houses, but personally I’m a fan!
• You can order Halloween stickers from your sofa and have them delivered next day for a super simple Halloween treat. Why not get a couple of extra packs for your own child and while away an afternoon with some Halloween sticker fun!
I hope that’s given you some viable alternatives to the tub of sweets that grudgingly calls you from the supermarket shelves!
What do you hand out to trick or treaters? Do you have any other ideas for sweet free treats?
If you are hosting a kids Halloween party this year or need some ideas to entertain your little monsters, check out these spooky games and crafts!