A Sugar-Free Halloween
A Halloween without sugar? Sounds crazy and almost impossible considering that’s mainly what this holiday is all about: candy –tons and tons of sugary candy. Unfortunately, my son suffers from a genetic disorder that causes his body to not produce enough enzymes that breaks down sucrose (table sugar). Since candy is primarily composed of sugar, my little guy has to forgo the typical treats this All Hallows’ Eve. This is his first Halloween since he was diagnosed with this disorder, so I’ve had to come up with ideas for my son to enjoy his night of trick-or-treating without sugar. Challenging –yes; impossible –not really.
Just to give you an idea of how much sugar is in candy corn!
Trick-or-Treating for a Cause
My older daughter joined Student for Soldiers this year and asked me to help her find ways she and her group can help our military. In my research, I stumbled across Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages and letters of appreciation to our men and women who courageously serve our country. Every year, Operation Gratitude has a Halloween candy donation program so people can send their leftover Halloween treats to the military who otherwise wouldn’t have access to it. I doubt Afghanistan has Kit Kats, you know what I mean? Knowing that not only will I have leftover Halloween candy, but my son will also have candy he cannot eat, I thought, “Why not donate it to a good cause?” So this year my son will don his Dr. Zombie costume and trick-or-treat with a vastly different purpose and I think that’s awesome.
Some parents who have children with dietary restrictions resort to making their own food. Although, I’m in no way, shape or form, a whiz in the kitchen, nowadays you can find just about any type of recipe online, including sugar-free ones. I’m not a huge fan of some sugar substitutes as they are full of chemicals and other harmful ingredients; however, in recent years, natural sweeteners have come onto the market and you can find them just about anywhere. I try to look for recipes that contain either agave nectar or organic stevia since those are both sugar-free and natural.
Our very own Recess lady and Contributor, Toni Spilsbury – The Organized Cook, has a great recipe for Organic Coconut Chocolate with Pyure Organic Stevia.
Kids love more than just junk food, believe it or not, and my son is no exception. After he hands over the candy he collected from a successful night of trick-or-treating, I will in turn replace his goodies with toys, stickers and little tickets or coupons I will make myself. Each ticket/coupon will have something written on it, such as Extra 20 Minutes on the Computer or Can Go to Bed Half Hour Later. I found this Coupon Favor Book article from the Frugal Mama which has great ideas and instructions for making your child coupons/tickets in lieu of gifts and candy.
Amazon also has great deals on Halloween toys that are perfect for younger children. You can purchase a 50-piece Halloween Toy and Novelty assortment for as low as $11.50. What’s cool about this assortment is I can use half this year and save the rest for next year since there are so many items. I do have a four-year-old too!
Make it a Party
Since my son is missing out on a the best part of Halloween (pigging out on the treasure trove of delicious candy in his trick-or-treat bag), I figured I need to make this holiday a little more special. That’s why we’re making this Halloween a party. With the help of my sister, whose house is always decorated to the max with scarecrows out front and a pumpkin patch in the foyer (there’s even a replica of The Nightmare Before Christmas‘ Halloween Town in the dining room), we’ll munch on homemade chili and listen to “spooky” tunes while playing fun games and carving pumpkins.
Need Halloween game ideas? From the home entertaining guru herself, Martha Stewart, check out these unique and fun games that will surely amuse your little trick-or-treaters. My personal favorite is Squash Bowling.
Looking to have a GMO-free Halloween this year? Read our article written by Nancy S. Mure which gives natural and healthy alternatives for those looking to avoid GMO’s and other nasty ingredients.