Let’s talk Halloween.
I’ve noticed over the past couple of years it’s really grown in popularity in New Zealand which is great. We are a family that loves to dress up, so attending a Halloween themed party or event is right up our alley.
What I don’t enjoy so much are the copious amounts of lollies that are given and expected on Halloween. And before you think the sugar police has arrived, it’s not really about the sugar. It’s no secret that sometimes we let our kids go crazy on the stuff. Heck, after a long day at the beach we are all hanging out for an ice cream.
My issue is more about the type of lollies that are commonly passed around as freely as lice in a schoolyard (gross example? Good that’s what I think of those stinkin’ Halloween lollies).
So many of these lollies are full of colourings and chemicals. Several of the colourings are actually banned in other countries (not NZ, yet!) and once they’re ingested these chemicals are really difficult for the body to get rid of. So, they are stored by the body in fat cells and because the brain is predominately fat, these chemicals are stored in our brain.
Now just imagine what that can do to the mental health and behaviour of our kids. There is so much research out there and it has been scientifically proven that certain artificial colours and flavours cause negative behaviours in children. I’ve seen it myself. Every time my son eats highly refined sugar & artificial colours and flavours we get huge tantrums, meltdowns and out of control behaviour. Sometimes not right away but it does happen eventually.
We manage it in our home like this.
The kids participate fully in Halloween festivities (we don’t go trick or treating) they get dressed up, we go to a church or community event like an activity or dance party and they take the lollies that are given them.
Once we get home we pick out three or four of our favourites and the rest are bagged up and placed on the doorstep as an offering to ‘ The Great Pumpkin’. Once the kids are asleep and the house is quiet and dark, the Great Pumpkin emerges from the darkness and sizes up said offering. If he deems the sacrifice sufficient he takes it with him and leaves some long-awaited toy in its place.
It worked for us last year and I know it will work again this year cause my son is looking forward to his fire truck.
Great Pumpkin Tips:
- If you’re worried about the kids being on board, make it optional. Chances are, they’ll be so curious about the surprise, they’ll be all over the idea. If not, when siblings get their presents, they’ll have at least learned their lesson for next year!
- Let the kids each pick at least 4-5 lollies they really like to keep and eat whenever you decide.
- You could always have the Tooth Fairy come pick up the loot instead of the Great Pumpkin! That’s a pretty practical mythical creature to use in a case like this. . . She could leave money, just like she does for teeth?
- Have the kids write a letter to the Great Pumpkin, the way they do for Santa for an extra touch of festivity and to really sell them on the idea.
I’d be really interested to hear how you handle Halloween in your home. Do you heart Halloween or hate it? I personally think because Halloween is not totally ingrained into NZ culture, we have an opportunity to change the way it’s ‘done’ here. What if we collected other things?
P.S Check out this super easy Halloween costume idea of my little girl!