Halloween is next week, and it’s probably safe to say that for “real food” moms and dads, no scarier holiday exists.

I love Halloween.  It’s the one time of the year when I feel like I live in a real community.  I find the act of visiting neighbors door-to-door and welcoming them to my doorstep to be refreshing for my soul.

Here are my “tricks” and “treats” for ensuring that Halloween doesn’t derail us:

  • I always plan a special early dinner.  I make something I know the kids love and think of as a treat.  But I also make sure it’s packed with protein and quality fats to sustain them for the evening.
  • We usually attend a neighborhood potluck gathering.  I bring food that my children can eat so that they don’t feel deprived.  I also usually bring a big bowl of beautiful apples and they are always well-received.
  • The kids trick-or-treat with their dad while I stay home and man our doorstep.  I hand out candy that aligns with my values – dark chocolate squares or lollipops with natural colors.  I just cannot bring myself to hand out candies with hydrogenated oils or artificial colors.  In the past I handed out little gifts from Oriental Trading Company, but can’t stand behind handing out cheap plastic throwaway toys either.  This year, it’ll be these chocolate bars.
  • When the kids get home, I give them a few pieces of candy that I have gotten – the chocolate or lollipops.  (Who am I kidding?  My kids always go for the chocolate.)
  • My mother always orders the family an arrangement from Edible Arrangements to arrive Halloween Day.  So when the kids get home from trick-or-treating, they usually nosh on a few chocolate-covered strawberries and some cantaloupe.
  • Before bed, we set the kids’ candy buckets in a special spot for the “Halloween Fairy” to come and find them.  When they wake the next morning, their candy is gone and in its place they find a few small presents.  This year they’ll get a few books, a small Lego set, and some new crayons.

That’s it.  That’s how we roll on Halloween.

How do you navigate the Halloween candy season for yourself and your family?

10 Responses to “A Hallowed, Hallowed Eve”

  1. on 25 Oct 2012 at 8:31 amK

    I’m coming to your house for Halloween! 🙂 It sounds amazing! I don’t even do Halloween at my house anymore. I got burned the 1st 2 years. It seemed that every time the door bell rang it was the rudest children ever. They griped at what I was giving out (Halloween pencils, Halloween stickers, Halloween coloring books, etc) and complained about me not having candy. So many of them were teenagers that just have no manners. So, last year I shut the lights out and didn’t answer the door. It still rang! I didn’t answer. I love Halloween and hate to be a party pooper but I just can’t support rudeness.

  2. on 25 Oct 2012 at 8:38 amKristine Rudolph

    K, come on over! I won’t refuse an extra set of hands.

    Your point is a good one though – I have mostly wee littles visiting my house and they tend to like anything you give them!

  3. on 25 Oct 2012 at 10:22 amDanita

    We also leave our collected Halloween candy out for the Candy Gnome who exchanges it for a small gift. So nice to learn about another family breaking with the Halloween tradition!

  4. on 25 Oct 2012 at 11:22 amKristine Rudolph

    The Candy Gnome – that’s a clever moniker!

    I suspect that your house is like mine, where in addition to all this, our kids don’t see mom and dad eating candy. I will have a bit of dark chocolate most days, but I let them have that, too. I think (and I should have said this in the post) that it’s a little thornier for the kids when mom and dad are forbidding the kids from the foods but then eating them themselves. (Insert soda, chips, etc. and you have the same issue.)

  5. on 26 Oct 2012 at 3:57 pmCorinne

    I love your ideas! My kids are still tiny (3 years and 6 months), so this year we’re going to start implementing some healthier Halloween traditions – I love the idea of them leaving out their candy for the fairy…. I’ve heard it called the “Switch Witch” before – adorable 🙂

  6. on 26 Oct 2012 at 4:34 pmKristine Rudolph

    Switch Witch – that’s awesome, too!

  7. on 31 Oct 2012 at 11:55 amJoy

    At Target, getting fun stuff for the Halloween Fairy to leave behing. Already told C and J this morning! Fun stuff!

  8. on 31 Oct 2012 at 12:32 pmKristine Rudolph

    Oh I love it! Let us know how it goes.

  9. on 01 Nov 2012 at 11:00 amJoy

    The girls woke up to new pencil cases with pens, notebook, lip balm and post-it’s. All candy is gone, except for the four pieces they begged for. Thanks for the great idea!

  10. on 01 Nov 2012 at 11:22 amKristine Rudolph

    Excellent! So glad it was a success.

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