Wednesday, October 26, 2016

So, it's almost Halloween!  Some people don't celebrate Halloween, but our family is NOT one of them.  In this house, we love to play dress up, decorate the house (with lots of pumpkins and gourds that we grew), and hang spooky spiderwebs almost everywhere.  The kids run around chasing "ghosts", and scaring away monsters- it keeps them busy, and out of my hair!  Sometimes it's fun to escape the day to day routine, dress up like a dragon-or a princess, and rescue the castle!  

Do you know what I don't like about Halloween?  It's the processed, sugar-filled, dye injected, child labor chocolate coated- CANDY!  Ugh, we work so hard to teach our kids good eating habits and then Halloween happens.  Luckily, my kids are still small enough that they don't fully grasp all of the junk that they will get (and will never see again), and are just having fun getting dressed up and decorating the house.  So as parents, what do we do to try and slow down the mass amounts of processed sugar, running through our childrens' veins?  I'm going to share with you some of our favorite ideas and traditions that can keep Halloween fun, while keeping our children's guts a little happier.

First, if you don't want to let your kids eat processed crap- don't buy it and give it to other peoples kids either!  With school parties, trick-or-treaters, and all of the festivities, it can be really easy to just buy a bag of candy and pass it around- DON'T!  For school parties, be creative and send something fun, and cool that the kids will still enjoy.  One of my favorite treats in our house is popcorn drizzled in coconut/peanut butter!  It satisfies a sweet-tooth, has added protein, and is something that everyone likes to eat (unless you have a nut allergy- then you will not like this)!  The recipe is simple and takes only a few minutes.

1.  Add 2T. popcorn into a brown, paper bag- microwave for 2-3 minutes depending on your microwave.  If you have an air popper, or something fancy- please use this method instead! Maybe Santa will drop one off at our house for Christmas so we can stop using the microwave to make our popcorn!

2.  Melt 2T. coconut oil in a small, glass jar.  Add 3T. of PB Fit, 1/2 T. coconut sugar, and 1 drop of Cinnamon Essential Oil.  Stir well, and drizzle over the popcorn.

3.  Sprinkle some Himalayan Sea Salt over the top, and shake until you have a thin coat on your popcorn! DONE

*If someone in your family has a nut allergy, you can make many different flavorings for your popcorn.  Butter & Dill Essential Oil is divine, Coconut Oil and Lime Essential Oil is great, Butter/Sea Salt/Black Pepper Essential Oil is savory and delicious!

*This post contains affiliate links.  You can read my entire affiliate policy here.

Why would I put Essential Oils on my popcorn?  As you may know, there are many amazing health advantages of using essential oils.  You can easily support your Digestive, and Immune Systems, and more, all while enjoying a snack.  I will have to throw in the fact that I only recommend ingesting Young Living Essential Oils, because of their Seed to Seal guarantee.  I know the many health benefits involved and have experienced them first hand.  Just like anything, I highly recommend that you do your own research.  

When using them in cooking, the oils are extremely diluted, and give amazing flavor!  Did you know that Young Living is also the only Essential Oil company to create a whole line of oils specifically to be used as Supplements?  The Vitality line (white labels) are approved for supplemental use, and are an amazing arsenal to add to your healthy living routine.

So, now that you have your popcorn made, what is a really clever packaging idea that the kids will love?  Witch Hands are super easy to make, and very festive for Halloween.

You will need:
*Latex Free, clear, food safe gloves
*Candy Corn
*Twine or decorative ribbon
*Spider rings
*Halloween Gift Tags (there are many free sites that you can print these from)

Simply put 1 piece of Candy Corn in each of the fingers of the gloves to create the fingernail.  Next, fill the glove with popcorn, taking care to get it down into each of the fingers (you might need to crush it a little to get them full).  Then simply tie the glove shut and put a spider ring on one of the fingers to create a spooky snack!

You can make a lot of these for very little time & money so go ahead and get a big cauldron, and fill it up for all of the trick-or-treaters that come to your door.  Some other items that you can throw in are:  Glowsticks, Halloween Pins, Glow-in-the Dark eyeball bouncy balls, etc.

Second, when your kids are done trick-or-treating and have mass amounts of junk that you don't plan on letting them eat- lets get rid of it!  There are a few options to cleverly convince your kids that they don't really want that candy.

1.  Have you heard of the Switch-Witch?  You leave your candy out, she comes and switches it for a cool gift.
This idea is great and we keep it very inexpensive!  

The witch might switch out candy for Halloween things like:
*A book
*Pencils & Erasers
*A new decoration to add to the collection
*Pair of festive socks
*Headband, scarf, hat or shirt (check out the clearance racks after Halloween to find very inexpensive items that you can use in the future years, and just keep some stuff on hand)!  The Dollar Store is another great place to find inexpensive gifts for the witch to bring.

2.  You can teach your kids about the Great Pumpkin!  It's a tradition in our house to watch the Charlie Brown special and you can also buy the book.  At this point you can come up with whatever reasoning you prefer to get your kids to sacrifice their candy to the Great Pumpkin!

3.  The easiest way to get rid of the candy is to throw it away at bedtime and then say you can't remember where you put it.... this option will cause A LOT of DRAMA so be weary of using this method!  You could always tell them that you ate it all, video it, then submit it to the Jimmy Kimmel show hahaha!

Ok, so now you have all of this candy that you convinced your kids to give away!  Now what???  My rule is if I won't give it to my kids- I won't give it to anyone else's kids either.  Normally, we just throw away all of the candy.  Sometimes people will be offended that you would throw away all of that candy, because there are kids everywhere that would love to have it.... Umm, sorry!  The amount of sugar, dye, preservatives, and total CRAP that is in that candy- do you know what it does to your body?  Now, i'm not saying that we're perfect- I will probably end up eating a few pieces and then later regretting that decision, but we're all human.  I'm just trying to do what I know is best for my family, and others.  If you do any research on gut health, processed sugars, artificial dyes/flavors, and the child labor that is associated with many large candy companies, then you will understand why I don't want my children desiring these things.

Anyway, there were a few ideas to help you get through this Halloween season!  I wish you all a night full of surprises, trick-or-treating, dressing up, and a bounty of little ghouls and goblins showing up at your door to impress you with their creative costumes!