Tuesday, October 31, 2006

How to ruin Halloween for kids

Today's timely Google "How to" of the day is entitled "How to Give Healthy Treats for Halloween." Another title for this article could just as easily be "How to piss off a bunch of children", or "How to guarantee that the neighborhood snot-nosed little bastards will be rolling TP on your house this evening!" Excerpt:
Many parents dread the arrival of Halloween with its tooth-rotting, unhealthy fare. Make a change in your neighborhood with different treats that are healthy, useful or surprising. Challenge kids to expect something a little different this Halloween and they may just have even more fun.

1. Seek out healthier alternatives to candy. There are many ideas to consider:

Different flavors of popcorn - tie in small cellophane bags with ribbon (for parties only)

Individual packages of fruit or applesauce - even pudding is a better alternative than candy. These are usually sold in 4 or six-packs. Just break them up and give an individual pack to each child.

Little packets of organic raisins (sultanas) - but see dentist's concern below

Granola (muesli) bars (but watch their sugar content also)
Cheese sticks, wrapped cheese (like Babybel); cheese cubes for parties
Instant spiced apple mix or hot chocolate mix
Fruit bars - there are many pure fruit bars available now. The thin ones are especially good value and will slip into many treat bags as a filler
Plain dark chocolate is better than candy. Make sure it has no cream filling or high sugar content. Some claim chocolate even helps to prevent tooth decay. It has certainly been proven that the antioxidants in dark chocolate are healthy. Purchase small pieces in little packets or package small pieces in cellophane (for parties only).

2. Invest in small games, kits or novelty items instead. Look in dollar stores, party stores, toy stores etc. Buy in bulk if possible and repackage into little treat bags.
5. Give mini-toothbrush sets. Maybe this sounds corny but it is a healthy reminder to kids getting so much candy that brushing their teeth is really important.
My, what a nation of pansies we have become! Look, no one is a bigger health fanatic than I am, but for the love of (insert preferred deity here), people: it's freakin' Halloween!

Let the kids get their sugary treats, and let them eat some before going to bed. Contrary to popular belief, the sugar will not keep them up. Instead, they'll get a little sugar buzz, then they'll crash faster than Patrick Kennedy heading to the Congress for his 2:30 a.m. vote.