As much as we all love to celebrate Halloween, the sugar factor is cause for pause. That’s why the trick is in the treat! Being proactive with a Paleo-friendly routine for each holiday may present a short term challenge, yet each choice matters.
So I made a list of 21 delights, both edible treats and small toys, that you can pull together for an upbeat evening of celebration. Included are Paleo recipes for Halloween desserts that everyone will enjoy.
Whether your family is experimenting with a Paleo diet or fully committed, Halloween treats are bound to be everywhere. You might be wondering, “How do I make sure my kids have fun and ensure that they don’t overload themselves with sugar?”
I recommend that you set your kids up for a #SmartSplurge– my term for indulging in an enlightened and more beneficial way. Rather than gorging on all that candy, set your family up for a really enjoyable time by substituting Paleo treats and cool toys. Halloween is a great opportunity to reframe unhealthy eating, in light of the conscious approach that Paleo treats provide and are so easily integrated! Taking a few minutes to prep a simple recipe or find some cute non-edible treats will help you keep up all that good momentum you’ve created, without the negative consequences. Enjoy the fun, consciously and abundantly.
One way to shift gears after receiving some Halloween candy is the “Candy Fairy” approach, also known as the “Switch Witch.” The idea is to allow your kids to collect candy, but then have choices only within certain boundaries, which you provide. The remaining candy is switched out for a trade that the kids will love. I’d recommend switching most of the candy that’s brought home for Paleo-friendly alternatives or a toy.
Of course, there are a few options for handling the “Switch Witch” visit. You could have the kids discover the non-candy treats in a scavenger hunt instead or use a decorated grab bag. This empowers them to find the fun in the process, and be rewarded with a few yummy treats from healthier sources, homemade or otherwise.
Here are a few fun project ideas to make yourself If you’re staying home or hosting friends:
If you’re going to buy candy at all, I recommend choosing sweets that are free from artificial dyes, synthetic sweeteners, or other allergens, such as soy, gluten, dairy or artificial colors. The “Unreal” brand of candy does a better job than the usual brands, with naturally-derived colors and no soy or GMO. The American Heart Association and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend a maximum 38 grams of added sugar daily for men, 25 grams for women, and about 12-25 grams for children–officially, I would even recommend less than these guidelines. Given that, one fun size candy bar pushes kids right up to the limit (here is a handy chart of all of the fun size candies with calories and grams of sugar).
The Teal Pumpkin Project by FoodAllergy.org was created to help kids with food allergies enjoy the holiday safely. A teal-colored pumpkin displayed outside a home means that non-food treats are available. There is an interactive map online to find participating homes in your area, and you can add your house to this map if you wish to be included. You can purchase teal pumpkins at many craft and discount stores now, paint your own, or print out their signs to use instead.
At the end of the day, the point is to have fun with friends and neighbors and simply enjoy the evening. If you’re heading to a party, here are several additional ideas for Paleo party treats. Focus on the #SmartSplurge fun while enjoying healthy options to uplift everyone’s spirits!
(Note: some links on this page may provide me a small commission if you purchase from their store.)