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Candy. Yes, really—it’s poison. But fear not, here’s the Halloween Survival Guide that you didn’t think you needed.
1. Buy Stuff that is NOT Laced with Toxic Ingredients
What’s so toxic about cute little nutty chocolate cups and delightfully colorful button candy? Here’s what:
- hydrogenated oils, which are transfats and cause heart disease
- artificial colors which can cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, and hyperactivity
- TBHQ (tert-butylhydroquinone), a preservative made from petroleum which is linked to asthma and may cause food allergies (and nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, and delirium).
- nonfat milk and milk solids, from cows pumped with hormones
- genetically modified ingredients like soy lecithin, corn syrup, dextrose and soybean oil
- and finally, my personal favorite—glyphosate—a known carcinogen, which is sprayed on the GMO sugar beets that are used to sweeten the candy
In Europe, foods with artificial dyes require a warning label about their adverse effects on children (behavior, attention), and Japan bans all products with TBHQ. Since the American food lobby fights all government regulation, it is, unfortunately, up to you to make sure that these ingredients don’t end up in your children’s bodies. Bye-bye Beastly Butterfinger, Ta-ta Terrible Tootsie, Snickers—See ya Sucka!
But what about your neighbor’s children? Is it okay to give this stuff to them since they don’t know any better?
Well, do you mind poisoning them?
2. Better Halloween Candy Alternatives
Consider spending just teeny bit more time, energy, and/or money as your commitment to not add toxicity to any children this Halloween. Here are some ideas:
a) Buy safer organic junk food.
I promise that it’ll be just as sweet and the kids won’t love you any less. No one will egg your house. It will cost you a little more, but consider it your donation to making America a safer place for children, including your children, and your children’s friends. I’ve included links to make buying easy!
- Stakich Honeysticks!
- Endangered Species bug bites
- Nutiva coconut treats
- OCHO Coconut Candy
- Trujoy lollipops and fruit chews
- Annie’s snack packs
- YumEarth candy corn and jellybeans
- Go Organic lemondrops
- Stretch Island fruit rolls
- Clementines with faces drawn on them by….your kids!
b) Consider non-food options
which will be highly appreciated by kids with allergies and most moms:
- Race cars
- Halloween stickers
- Halloween stamps
- Toys like slinkies
- Halloween bouncy balls
- Keychain whistle
- Snap bracelets
- Puzzle balls
- Funpak with a little of everything
c) Give away gently used toys, games, softies, and books
Have a free “garage sale” at your doorstep, and good riddance to all that stuff you don’t need. One kid’s trash is another kid’s treasure.
3. How to Prepare your Child for the Sugar Rush
Yes, I, too am resigned to the fact that my kid will eat some of this crap. If the reins are too tight, he’ll just sneak some from friends since forbidden treats are the juiciest. Plus, trick-or-treating is a favorite childhood past time, and every kid wants to be part of it—if you deprive him, he will just binge later on, or kill you in your sleep. Organic junk food is also full of sugar (but not the artificial crap), so you will still be sending your insulin through the roof.
Here’s how to make the experience better for everyone:
a) Eat a good dinner.
No, not pasta and garlic bread. NO CARBS! Try pastured chicken and asparagus. Or organic tofu with peas and carrots. Use lots of (grassfed) melted butter or olive oil. Even a (grassfed) hamburger patty (no bun! no fries!) and a salad. Kids get to go trick-or-treating after finishing their vegetables. That should do the trick.
b) Supplement with fat and fiber during the evening.
Bring along some cheese cubes (raw cheese is easier to digest and better for you) and their favorite nuts in a little container and pop them in kids’ mouths when they see a ghost and scream. Fat will keep your kids full and fiber will slow the absorption of sugar into their bodies. They will be less likely to go from being jacked up into a sugar coma. Upon returning home, give them a spoonful of coconut oil!
c) Drink lots of water. And a spoonful of apple cider vinegar.
Sugar triggers body-wide inflammation which has negative short-term and long-term effects. Make sure your kids drink more than usual Halloween night and the next day. Drinking water will lower the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. Apple cider vinegar will help alkalize their sugar-hijacked bodies.
d) Keep moving.
Exercise gets the blood flowing; muscles use the glucose in the bloodstream which then lowers blood sugar levels. It also boosts your metabolism which will help burn those extra calories. Plan lots of physical activity in the days after…
e) Take Ceylon cinnamon.
If the candy-eating is going to continue for a while, consider giving kids ceylon cinnamon to help lower blood sugar: 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of ground cinnamon every day starting a few days before Halloween and for a week afterwards. Mix it into yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies; sprinkle onto sweet potato, squash, carrots, even salmon! Simply Organic and Frontier both carry the Ceylon variety, which is safe to consume regularly. (The Cassia version contains natural Coumarin, a blood thinner and natural toxin).
f) Serve Spinach and Broccoli.
These foods are high in Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) which helps the body cope with a sugar rush. Serve up extra portions as Halloween approaches and lots more after their candy binge (cook with butter, olive oil, ghee, or the leftover juices from baking chicken).
g) Eat fermented foods.
Beneficial bacteria help with detoxification and lessen the fructose burden on your liver. Try organic grass-fed whole milk yogurt, kefir, and fermented veggies, like sauerkraut. And drink kambucha. Looks for brands that are low in sugar.
4. What to Do with All that Trick or Treat Candy Instead of Eating It
a) Be the Switch Witch!
Your kid can pick out three candies to eat. The rest go back in the pumpkin, and the next morning, poof! It’s all gone, replaced by a toy your kid has been yearning for. If your kids are young, the Switch Witch may have come down the chimney…if your kids are older, they know it’s you, but it’s still fun to pretend. And maybe this is a good time for a little primer on sugar and the destruction it wreaks on your body. So gather ’round the fire and tell them some scary stories about decaying teeth, drug-like addiction to sugar, extra weight that makes it hard to run and play, becoming chronically ill and needing lots of medicine, plus hospital visits and being cut open to treat serious boo-boos. Yeah, that should be enough.
b) Buy it from them!
Meaning that your kid sells it to you…for enough money to make it worth his while. [Loud sigh here]. Yes, the final tab will be more than the candy is worth, but less than the cost of seven cavities. So pony up some money—a dime per candy bar, or whatever they manage to negotiate (another important life skill). If you can convince them of the value of money, they’ll sell!!
c) Trade up.
Your kid can trade it all in for a good quality treat from the local bakery or creamery or a health food store with less toxic candy that is actually real food. This also means that you get to go on an outing together to a place you feel good about where your kids get to pick out (within reason) the treat they want. If you live in Austin, TX, Peoples Pharmacy carries wholesome local and house made sweets. Sounds fun and yummy!
d) Throw it Out!
No, our servicemen and women in Afghanistan do not need rotten teeth or compromised immune systems. Neither do the starving children in Ethiopia. Or the new immigrant family in the next neighborhood. Or homeless people. No one should eat the foodstuff that is widely considered to be the root of all Western diseases. Also, no one should be kidnapping children to make chocolate bars. Is there slavery in your chocolate kiss? Find out!
5. Make Cool Stuff at Home Instead of Trick or Treating
Forgo the candy altogether and have fun making spooky delights for your family or with a small group of friends. Here are some fantastically fun ideas. The options are endless.
Boycott Poison Candy!
Our government will not protect your kids from ingredients that will make them sick. The only way to get these scary, health-wrecking products off supermarket shelves and out of the food supply is not to buy them. Vote with your wallet!
Do you have more ideas? I’d love to hear them, so please post them them here. If you found this article useful, please share with your friends and family… Hey, if you send your neighbors this article, maybe they won’t buy things that poison your kids. Just click on a social media link below…
-your Good Food Fighter
p.s. Here’s my Halloween comic strip!
More about child slavery and chocolate
- Cocoa’s Child Laborers
- Is There Child Slavery in your Chocolate
- The Human Cost of Chocolate
- Chocolate Scorecard (ethical vs. slave chocolate)
More on sugar
- Why Sugar Makes You Fat
- Does Sugar Cause Cancer?
- What’s the Best Sugar Substitute?
- What’s for dessert at the GFF’s house?
- GFF Battles the Gluten Monster
- What is the glycemic index?
- How Does Eating Affect your Blood Sugar