Friday, October 26, 2012

My Brilliant Halloween Idea

I became a vegetarian shortly after our son Josh was born and during his formative years I was pretty vigilant about what he ate.  (And by "pretty vigilant" I mean "fanatically zealous.") 

His first couple of Halloweens were not an issue because he was still little but by the time his third Halloween rolled around, there was a problem.  I was strongly against the idea of him gobbling up his weight in sugary junk (as I called candy back in the day), but I didn't want to deny him the fun that comes with dressing up in costume.

"Hmm....How to get around receiving massive amounts of candy without branding my child as a social outcast for life?" That was the question.  I mulled it over and over in my mind until I was struck with a brilliant idea! I would go in advance everywhere I would be taking him trick-or-treating and drop off a healthy snack for them to put in his bag.  This was creativity at its finest!  He'd have all the fun and none of the cavities!

And so it happened.  That Halloween and the two that followed it, Josh got tangerines, apples, oranges, bananas, popcorn and even the occasional fruit leather in his trick-or-treat pumpkin.  Everyone got to see how adorable he looked in his costumes and he got to see what all the other kids wore, too.  He got a kick out of the whole evening and seemed genuinely pleased with his healthy haul. (That's how it looked to me anyway.)

Fast forward to kindergarten.  Halloween approached but even then I didn't realize that I hadn't thought this idea through to its logical conclusion.  I had totally ignored the friend factor.  When Josh found out that all the other kids got candy when they went trick-or-treating, he had a melt down.  Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny were nothing compared to this!  Josh was beyond angry.  He was livid. 

To this very day, if you mention Halloween to him, he will zero in his pre-school years and get annoyed all over again.  In his mind, I still owe him about a hundred pounds of nerds, starbursts and skittles.

Sometimes brilliant ideas are best left alone.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Love the pic of young Josh! I think Brett has a very similar face, I just hadn't realized it before now. :)

Anonymous said...

We have so been on the same path. My girls went trick-or-treating and got the candy. When they got home we replaced it with a higher quality treat. They gave all of their candy to a sugar loving friend of mine, who had no children and was delighted. They always got a kick out of my friend accepting their gift.

The only way I got away with that was because our oldest could not have corn products. It caused her to have serious eczema. Well, you know what all of that stuff is sweetened with.

It was fun the year they discovered the Easter Bunny brought candy (and gifts) to their friends, while they got fruit. I told them the Easter Bunny knew how smart we were about what we put into our bodies.

They are healthy eaters now and are steering their boyfriends down the healthy living path. Hannah worked at a Wild Oats and told the people she worked with that she had grown up eating all of that food. She told them that her mom could run the store.

I buy them candy now but we still mostly eat healthy. Hannah has asked me if I will make "regular" cookies with white flour and white sugar (like my mom did) when she has kids. It just goes so against my grain. I guess I am going to have to improve my treat making skills. :)