More and more Americans are considering non-candy treats. Why? If watching children bounce off the walls on empty calories isn’t enough, it seems the rise in tooth decay and obesity are the truly frightening parts of Halloween for many parents. As if sugar isn’t bad enough, artificial flavors and dyes are now being linked to cancer and behavioral problems. I recently heard that some candies, the sour type in particular, can rival the pH of a car battery (more info). Furthermore, along with becoming aware of GMO and organic choices, parents are becoming more conscientious about food and nutrition in general – sugar included.

A pencil?!
Whatever the reason, non-candy treats and holiday alternatives are becoming more common. People are handing out art supplies, bubbles, water, coloring books, rubber balls or fake tattoos, even toothbrushes. Non-candy Halloween celebrations are now easy to find along with trunk or treats, and the Switch Witch.

Deprivation?
If you’re not one of those concerned, you might fall into the camp that Halloween is a sugar exception – a one night event in which memories are more important than worrying about tooth decay, weight gain, disease or bad behavior. You may be a parent that feels they are depriving their little ones if they don’t allow the indulgence of sugar. Or, you may just wonder, “What other options do I really have?” It is possible – they can have memories and a full set of teeth!

Options
While I’m a fan of allowing little ones some community fun, I can’t ignore the inherent problems associated with sugar. In an effort to strike a balance, we have personally taken the Switch Witch route. “What is the Switch Witch?” you might be asking. Pure brilliance this good witch is! The Switch Witch comes to your house on Halloween night to take all the left over candy (the rumor is that it heats her home). Now, she doesn’t just steal it, she trades little ones for toys or anything really. We pick out all the “healthy” candies (if that even exists) and trade out the rest. It’s fun and it adds to the Halloween magic. Whatever it is that you do or why you do it, have fun and…

Happy Halloween!

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