Hey everyone! Today I wanted to share how we celebrate Halloween and some tips for how we deal with this junk filled holiday!
Since Little A was born, we have taken her to visit family on Halloween. This means a drive down to the shore and some running around while down there. We usually visit my parents, my grandparents, T's Mom, my sister and my brother. Often, we try to get some of them to meet us at one or two spots so we don't need to drive all over the county. Once we get back to town, we go visit my sister in law and brother in law and my father in law is usually there. Everyone knows how we eat and how I don't allow my kids to have junk, and everyone is very accommodating. Most of my family shops at the local health food store anyway, and eat very healthy themselves, so they don't even have to go out of the way for us. My grandma usually calls me from Trader Joes and asks what she can get her. She usually gives her fruit, raisins and organic fruit strips. From the rest of the family, Little A has gotten things like Sacred Chocolate Bars, organic fruit juice sweetened lollipops, other organic vegan chocolates, Surf Sweet candies, and even little toys, hair bows and arts and craft stuff.
As for school, Little A is on the "allergy list" so she doesn't get food unless I send it in. Her teacher has vegan/gluten free cupcakes in her freezer for her for special occasions and even has a bag of vegan organic fruit juice sweetened gummy bears for when she gives out candy (I know, ridiculous that she hands out candy at all, but that's a whole other topic). The class parent gives out a little goodie bag with trinkets like pencils, erasers, yo-yo's and if there's candy in there, Little A hands it over and I give her an alternative. She's only known this way, so it's never been an issue. I'm sure when she is older, we may have issues, but for now (at almost 5), she's very understanding about how we eat and doesn't even want the junk food. Once she is older, I'll give her the option to "trade it in", she'll give me the candy and I'll give her a toy in place. She already told me she likes that idea because she "doesn't want to eat junk food and a toy lasts longer".
I'm sure some parents would say she's "deprived" (lol, yes, I feel so guilty depriving my child of chemicals, artificial flavors and dyes), but Little A has many alternatives and is very happy with them.
Here are some of her favorite treats to enjoy on special occasions (she has chocolate just about daily though. Just like her Momma!):
Theo Brand Chocolates: You will have to read the labels on these because not all of them are vegan. Little A likes the Coconut Bites (similar to Almond Joy) and Peanut Butter cups.
Justin's Candy: The dark chocolate peanut butter cups are vegan. I've even seen them on shelves at local grocery stores like Kings.
Yummy Earth Lollipops: These are the fruit sweetened lollipops I mentioned. We have a big bag in the cabinet for when she asks for a special treat.
Vegan/gluten free cupcakes: My Whole Foods carries Papa Ganache cupcakes which is an all vegan bakery in NJ. I always have some in the freezer for parties and special occasions.
Surf Sweet Candies: Not all are vegan (some contain gelatin) but Little A likes the jelly beans which happen to be. They have a few other candies as well, I find them at Whole Foods.
Coracao Chocolates: These are yummy raw chocolates and they make an adorable Halloween box of chocolates. (At cost right now! Please use my link: http://www.therawfoodworld.com/coracaohalloweengiftbox327oz5pieces-pi1009156#.Vh5XHPkyOM8)
Rawxies: These cookies are so good! Little A loves that they are heart shaped and in little individual packs. Kids love having their own little package to open. These are also a great option to give out for Halloween and they have a promotion right now for a package of 50! Check it out:
(click pic for link)
Also, a lot of organic dark chocolate is vegan. I look for ones with minimal ingredients and no added thickeners or soy. The website Fork and Beans (http://www.forkandbeans.com/) has some great ideas to make your own fun Halloween candy and meals. Lots of kid friendly ideas!
If you check out the candy section in Whole Foods, you'll be able to explore lots of other vegan candy options, these are just ones that are our favorites and meet my standards. ;)