Some of you Paleo parents are wondering what will happen this year when sugar-crazed trick-or-treaters come the way of your doorstep. Or what you’ll do with the caché of candy your own kids come home with on that dreaded of all Paleo days. All Paleo eaters know that Halloween candy is anti-Paleo diet: sugar, egregious additives, grains, vegetable oils and dairy prevail.
Some holidays are more manageable: I’ve made completely Paleo friendly turkey feasts, and Christmas is much the same. But this one, you have little to no control over, outside of petitioning your neighbors to refrain from poisoning your little ones with high fructose corn syrup- and yellow 5-laced crap. What you can control is what you hand other people’s children when they come knocking at your door, though. Here are some ideas for you to substitute those Jolly Ranchers with for a Paleo Halloween:
1. Money! With this economy, kids’ allowances have indirectly but profoundly taken a hit. Share the wealth.
2. Dark(ish) chocolate. No kid wants 100% cocoa in their mouths – it taste like pure coffee beans. But a 55-65% chocolate nibble is totally acceptable to anyone, and you can probably find some sort of Halloween bag of single serving dark chocolates at your local health food store. Or maybe even Target.
3. Mini LaraBars. They’re delicious bars made from nuts and fruit. Those kids might look at you funny, but at least it’s not a stupid toy or something. Which brings me to my next suggestion…
4. Miniature toys. You could, I guess, give them a toy. But I think that’s as wasteful as the wrappings on individually wrapped mini chocolates, but for families who prefer to avoid sugar, these are a good option.
5. Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter Single Packs. No, this stuff is NOT cheap (about $1/pack), but it is GOOD. I mean like I’ve had to donate my Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter just to keep me from eating it for every meal and snack. Those little terrors will love you for it.
6. Boxes of raisins. No, they’re not Reese’s Pieces, but they’re sweet and Paleo.
7. Jerky! It won’t be cheap, but you can buy those kids some single servings of jerky or pemmican-like jerky. Like the berry-garnished beef bars and nibbles from Tanka. My personal favorite jerky option.
8. Paleo Treats: Get a variety pack and share all the flavors.
9. Veggie Go’s by The Naked Edge – Veggie-Go’s are the chewiest, fruitiest way to LOVE your veggies! Veggie-Go’s are made by hand from all natural, whole-food ingredients (with no added sugar) in the health food mecca of Boulder, CO.
What we do NOT suggest is creepily handing them a homemade Paleo treat, unless you live in a very tight-knit neighborhood. I know that my mother would never have allowed me to eat something that was “probably poisoned” by the neighbors.
What Should You Do With Your Kids’ Non-Paleo Candy?
As for what to do with your own kids’ candy (besides stealing their peanut butter cups from them when they’re not looking), you have some choices.
1. You could do the modern Halloween buy back. You buy their candy from them for some amount per piece, as if it’s worth one cent to you. This helps with the aforementioned allowance plight.
2. You can let them chow down on it. Just let them eat it for one or two days, while, of course, secretly hoping they feel terrible afterward (so they don’t want to do it again). It’s just a couple days out of the year. That way they won’t feel left out of the fun. But make it known that it’s just those couple days they get. After that, the fun’s over and the candy goes away.
3. Donate it. But to whom? This is what some people do, but I don’t think anyone deserves the consequences of eating copious amounts of Smarties, Laffy Taffy or Snickers. But it’s an option.
If you’re in the festive mood, and you want to take advantage of that precious pumpkin pulp, there are tons of amazing Paleo recipes out there right now. There are always our famous Paleo Pumpkin Muffins, or our new Egg-Free, Grain-Free, Pumpkin, Zucchini Muffins.
Whatever you choose to cook for yourself, and however you opt to handle the trick-or-treating situation, Halloween can still be a fun and exciting experience for your family, Paleo or not!