I’m not going to do the typical nutritionist’s Halloween post about “Healthier Alternatives to Halloween Candy” where I tell you to eat apples instead of Snickers bars. Or the post detailing how many calories are in each candy and how many jumping jacks or minutes on the treadmill you need to burn those calories. Boring!
I’m also not going to talk about how many billions of dollars are spent each year on Halloween candy and where that money could be going. We’ve heard it all before. We know candy isn’t good for our teeth, waistline, or health, so I’m not going to waste your time by going into detail.
Let’s talk about something a little more interesting.
Have you heard about the neighbor who was giving out “fat letters“ to kids she found to be overweight instead of candy?
How about The Halloween Candy Buy Back, where dentists can “buy” back Halloween candy from neighborhood kids for cash or other prizes, then send it to the troops overseas. A good thought in theory, but do our troops really want or need a bunch of leftover candy?
Then there’s The Switch Witch, a new sort-of tooth fairy that sneaks into homes with kids that have filled their pillowcases full of candy from trick-or-treating the night before, snatches the candy and replaces it with shiny new toys. Seriously. I’ve also seen another RD suggest that kids write a letter to “the candy fairy” asking for a small gift in return for giving up the leftovers. Read more about The Switch Witch and what dietitian Julie Dillon has to say about her thievery here: 3 Reasons to Ditch That Halloween Switch Witch
Just google “healthy alternatives for Halloween candy” and you’ll come up with about a billion articles. In this bloggers post, Boring Dietitians Share Tips For Ruining Your Kid’s Halloween , she writes “When [dietitians] aren’t busy mommy-shaming us into foregoing cupcakes to fit into our skinny jeans, they are eagerly awaiting the month of October so they can be interviewed about how parents can ruin Halloween for kids by being delicious Milk-Dud dictators.”
Then there’s people like the Food Babe that love using scare tactics to insist that your child will more than likely die a slow painful death if they participate in this holiday. She suggests that you take stand and “Tell all your friends, neighbors and family members you want a GMO free Halloween this year.” Can’t wait to use that line at a party.
One of my favorite quotes is from another dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD, MPH. I think she summarized it best: “Realistically, Halloween night is a free-for all. Everybody eats candy. That goes on for another day or two, but sooner rather than later, candy is rationed to one piece at lunch and another after school. Some is shared with grown-ups or relegated to the freezer… (Just don’t dump it all on the food bank because needy people need real food!)”
So what are your thoughts on all this Halloween candy craziness? Let ’em eat it as much as they want or find ways to get rid of it? Go for the real stuff or buy an organic and healthy alternative to give out? What do you think about the woman “taking a stand against obesity” by handing out letters instead of candy?