I’ll be honest.
When my first little one started preschool two years ago, I dreaded Halloween from the day I signed her up.
Chloe had never seen so much as a Tootsie Roll, let alone a bag full of Snickers and lollipops. I had visions of all my hard work going right down the drain with that first bite of “forbidden fruit”.
The fact of the matter is, more and more schools and teachers are coming to realize just what a sugar-packed kid does to a classroom, and are opting for more reasonable seasonal celebration routines.
For instance, my daughter’s preschool spent most of Halloween morning doing the normal routine of preschool learning. During the last hour of school, the children were able to dress up and play some games. Food was not the center of attention, and any candy that was brought in was put directly into the children’s cubbies and sent home.
At the ages of three and four, my daughter was completely satisfied with “trading” in her Snickers for an organic lollipop. In a very age appropriate manner, I flipped over the candy from school and showed her that there were a few things on the ingredient list that just don’t help our bodies to work well – it is amazing what little ones can understand.
My daughter is in Kindergarten this year and her school doesn’t even do the dressing up, let alone the candy. On Halloween, they walk down to the nursing home around the corner and play Bingo with the residents.
I am not so naive, however, to believe that as she grows up she won’t test the waters with a few pieces of candy, and I’m okay with that.
Yep. I’m completely comfortable doing what age-appropriate education with my girls that I can, and allowing them to make choices as they get older. Isn’t that how we learn? The tummy ache they’ll probably have after that processed candy bar is lesson enough.
As my girls get older, my goal on holidays will be to nourish the heck out of them for breakfast and lunch while in school. If they had a filling, nutrient-dense breakfast, they aren’t going to be as hungry. If lunch was super fun to eat and filled with friendly fats to make them feel satisfied and satiated, then the craving of junk just won’t be as intense.
Real Food Alternatives for Halloween
- Orange Smoothies – Start with some raw milk or yogurt or whole coconut milk or coconut yogurt, a couple pastured egg yolks, and some grass-fed gelatin (like this) for protein, and then add on the orange! Peaches and oranges are great for the sweet, and then add in some carrot and/or sweet potato for more color and nourishment! Add in a TB of coconut oil if you can get away with it. If you have a picky eater, add a scoop of raw honey for more sweet. Find more orange smoothie recipes here.
- Pancake Pumpkins – I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the mom that makes all of my kids meals in beautiful patterns and shapes every day. But I can make a pancake and use a pumpkin cookie cutter to make it fun on Halloween. Top pancakes with coconut butter and raw honey, butter and maple syrup, or fruit puree and butter. You can make the pancakes up on the weekend and then on school morning just pop them in the toaster quick. Serve them with some raw milk or coconut milk and some fried eggs or bacon.
- Pumpkin Donuts – Donuts can actually nourish the body when they are made with good homemade ingredients. Top homemade donuts with a special chocolate glaze and serve with a side of eggs, and your child will be ready to face the day without the temptation of the sugary store-bought alternative.
- Halloween Breakfast Cookies – This is such a popular breakfast cookie, and you can definitely dress it up for Halloween! Instead of just raisins, use dried apricot for orange and raisins for the black. You could also use the Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips for the black. You can serve raw milk or whole coconut milk with the cookies.
- Pumpkin Sandwiches – Okay, if you don’t do the pumpkin pancakes from the breakfast section, you can use the idea for lunch! Make up some pancakes on the weekend, and use cookie cutter pumpkins to make your shape and use the pancakes as “bread” for whatever sandwich your kiddo likes best! Peanut butter and jam, cream cheese and jam, shredded chicken, sunbutter and honey, you get the idea. Add in a veggie you know they’ll eat – even just a few carrots or celery sticks with a simple Ranch dip. Put in a piece of fruit you know they love – even if it isn’t in season – as a special treat.
- Orange Yogurt – Grab some whole plain organic yogurt and blend up some frozen peaches or oranges and make your own “fruit on the bottom” yogurt. If your kids are used to more flavored yogurts add a drizzle of raw honey or maple syrup to the fruit puree. You can make the orange more vibrant by adding a little carrot or cooked sweet potato to the puree and they won’t even taste it. Crumble granola or granola bar into their yogurt too!
- Leftover Pizza – Plan for a homemade pizza night the weekend before Halloween and make enough so there are leftovers for the lunchbox on Halloween day. No kid is gonna pass up pizza for lunch, and you can load it up with your favorite raw cheeses and pastured meats to make it nutrient dense, filling, and satisfying. Another popular idea would be these gluten free pizza muffins! They can pop right in the lunchbox from the freezer and be thawed by lunchtime. Add a piece of fruit you know they’ll love, and maybe a few veggie sticks with a simple Ranch dip.
- Homemade Mac N Cheese – Again, no kid is going to pass up mac n cheese for lunch! And this doesn’t have to be rocket science. The night before school boil whole grain or gluten-free noodles and drain, then get some butter and raw cheese over the noodles to melt – add a little splash of milk if you want. A sprinkle of turmeric will give it a “yellow” color if that is what they are used to. In the morning you can just give it a quick warm through on the stove and into a thermos to stay warm until lunch. Pack in a piece of fruit you know they’ll love, and a few veggie sticks with a simple Ranch dip.
- Sweet Potato Muffins and Pumpkin Soup – If you have a kid that will eat soup, pumpkin soup with some toasted pumpkin seeds make a yummy nourishing lunch. And the sweet potato muffins are delicious with it! Add a pat of butter for the muffins and whatever other add-ins she will love.
- Fruit and Veggie Gummy Snacks – Add a special treat to the lunchbox with homemade fruit and veggie gummy snacks shaped like pumpkins. These little treats are packed with fresh fruit and veggies and grass-fed gelatin. A snack your little one will love and you can feel good about.
- Organic Lolipop – Pack your little one an extra special piece of “better” candy on Halloween or the day after when many kids bring candy in their lunchbox.
More Fun Halloween Alternatives:
These look delish!! We’re only three over here, but “fake food” is starting to come our way. 🙂
You’re like the best mom ever! Seriously great ideas and your daughter seems like a smart cookie 🙂
You’re sweet, Medha! I can’t take much credit, I’m learning from Renee :).