Can we please have a Tooth-Kind, Green ‘n’ Clean Hallowe’en?

You might rightly say that I’m a killjoy – a miserable Hallowe’en Ebenezer but there’s a part of me that dreads Hallowe’en and many times I have come close to banning my kids from taking part in the trick-or-treat element of the festivities.  Don’t misunderstand me.  I love all the merrymaking, the dressing up, the games, the spooky fantasies etc..  But it really goes against my internal system to hand out horrid tooth-rotting sweets to hundreds of sugar-craving little kiddies.  And it buggers up my system even more to allow my own kids to collect huge bags full of same said gelatin-riddled, hyperactivity-inducing, tooth-rotting sweets.

Myself, I usually give out boring oranges and fruit bars to the trick-or-treaters who visit us.  I’m not sure how well these healthy alternatives are recieved because I quickly drop them into their goodie-bags before they see them.  I’m not daft.  I’m not going to give them the chance to decide that a tasteless cereal bar can never, under no circumstances, be classed as a treat and therefore I warrant a good tricking.  They’ll have plenty of time to feel cheated when they get home and tip out their bags.  Trouble is, I can’t control what other households choose to dish out to my own kids and unfortunately, not many of them have wised-up to the Hallowe’en cavity horror so my kids always come home with bulging bags of sugar. 

Anyway, this year I’m thinking of being even meaner and give out little packets of crayons and balloons.  I had seriously thought of buying some mini-packs of toothpaste/toothbrushes to give out but my kids made very vocal protests at this “stupid” suggestion, saying that it is mean and cruel and if I did it, they wouldn’t dare to go out ever again for fear they’d be bullied and beaten by their sure-to-be ex-friends.

Ok then.  I can accept that the toothbrush idea is going beyond the realms of humbugness but what do you think about the other non-edible treats?  The crayons and balloons?   I’m trying to think how I would feel if I recieved such treats.  Would probably feel cheated.  But then, it’s not like all the other parents are going to do the same so they’ll still get their sugar fixes.

And it doesn’t solve the problem I have in getting hold of the goodie-bags that my own kids will undoubtedly bring home.  I usually accidentally dispose of half the contents before they notice  (whoops, were they sweets?  I thought they were just the wrappers) but they are a year older now and a touch wiser.  The only solution is to budget their sweet-eating – say five sweets after lunch and the same after their evening meal until they’re all gone.  It won’t work though.  My kids are sneaky. They know all my hiding places.  They can smell the damn tartrazine.  Sigh.

Anyway, here are some common-sense tips on how to keep it Green:

Try to make Hallowe’en costumes for your kids rather than buy brand new custom-made ones that they will probably wear only the once.  We have lot’s of things lying around our homes that can be used for spooky costumes if we just call on our inner resourcefulness and imagination.

Don’t just throw out the pumpkin.  Pumpkin soup is very sweet and healthy.  Feed the seeds to the birds and compost the rest of it.

Give your kids reusable bags in which to collect their goodies.

Encourage your kids to dispose of their sweet wrappers correctly because they WILL eat some of their goodies en route.  They can’t resist.  They’re kids.


14 responses to this post.

  1. Halloween is about candy. Nothing is a welcome substitute. Buy it. Give it. Collect it. Eat it. Enjoy!


  2. In Spain so far we’ve had All Saints’ Day. But since two years ago consumerism has found Hallowe’en a new asset, and they have out of the blue started to institute it. No children have so far come ringing the bell home with the habitual sentence. Perhaps years will have to elapse for the full custom to be adopted.

    And, believe it or not, they have kept the English name without the apostrophe.


  3. Posted by Misslionheart on October 24, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    Thank God you don’t live near us!

    Hallowe’en is *big* over here. Not as popular as it would be in America or Canada, but it’s a very close second to Christmas celebrations.

    EP it’s great fun for the children. I don’t give mine sweets during the week, ever. Hallowe’en is an exception…

    Don’t give fruit, they don’t want it. sweet stuff or cash nowadays…. 😉


  4. Oh, my kids would just love you guys! Lol.

    Yes, it’s just once a year but so is Christmas. So is Easter and so are birthdays. Thanksgiving . . . How much sweet stuff do they consume on all those and other holidays?

    I’m not suggesting they don’t have any sweets at all. I do relax the rules on special occasions. And I do allow my kids to have sweets now and then.

    I just cringe at the bulging bags that they come home with on Halloween and it wouldn’t hurt if one or two of the parents threw in a satsuma or a bag of nuts instead.

    Nope, sorry but I’ve decided (and I’ve compromised slightly), my trick-or-treaters are getting little bags of chocolate raisins or those Chupa-chup sugar-free lollipops.

    And I will limit the amount of sweets that my own kids eat when they bring home their goodie bags. It would be totally irresponsible of me to allow them to eat all those sweets as and when they felt like it! They can have a few on the night and the rest will be “managed” responsibly over the next weeks.

    Obesity in children is at an all-time high. So is tooth-decay. That says it all.


  5. I think that’s wise, Earthpal. And responsible people should observe those limitations, too.


  6. Bah! Humbug!! (sugar-free, of course!) 😆


  7. Thanks Jose.

    MissyL . . . plurp!


  8. Posted by Misslionheart on October 25, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    My girls came back with *lots* of goodies last year, the fruit eventually rotted. I can’t force feed them apples and tangerines. Please leave your fresh fruit at home for *your* lot!


  9. What a waste of good, healthy fruit. You surprise me MadamL.


  10. No, you have me wrong, fair maid. My girls and boy *do* eat fruit, but when given a bag of fruit and goodies, the fruit is left behind…….

    I must add, I never waste fruit, my love. 😉


  11. There is a contradiction in there somewhere but who’s looking? 😉


  12. You’d be *sick* if you saw what Pencil was given tonight, Trick or Treating….

    Look at her blog. YUK! Not an orange in sight! 😆


  13. Yes, my middlie brought home the predicted huge bagful of sugar too.

    Actually I can see two oranges in Pencil’s pile of rubbish goodies.


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