As Halloween approaches, parents everywhere start to get scared -- scared of what will be inside the bags their children will bring home after trick or treating.
Therein lay calories, sugar, fat, and artificial colors galore -- a big pillowcase of poison waiting to make our kids fat and rot their teeth.
Frightening fare for sure, but LEAVE IT ALONE!
Don't go trying to health up Halloween.
There are many of you well-meaning, health-conscience people who will offer candy alternatives to children when they come a knocking: apples, raisins, nuts, crackers, or baby carrots ...
Puh-lease! Don't go there. Those are NOT treats. Those are the makings of a lunch.
Bring on the Baby Ruths, produce the peanut butter cups.
Apples are great, but anyone who gives them out on Halloween deserves any eggs that hit their house.
Most days out of the year, I provide my children with a largely healthy diet; I read labels, limit fat and sugar, and act as the food police. Neither of my children has ever had soda, and my 7-year-old son asked me what a Pop Tart was the other day.
But when it comes to holidays, that's the time children should indulge. If they want to eat themselves sick, well, they'll probably learn a good lesson about how toxic too much sugar can be.
For the most part, however, I want them to learn that it's OK to enjoy treats once in awhile, and holidays are the perfect occasions -- NOT every time they use the potty or get a good mark in school or have a skinned knee. There's a difference between offering food as an emotional reward and enjoying it on a celebrated occasion.
If you try to wipe it altogether, even on special occasions, they're going to be so hungry for it that when they do have their opportunity to get some -- and trust me, they will -- they're going to go bananas for it. You know those kids who steal cookies from other kids' lunchboxes? I have a feeling many of their parents put out bowls of carrots on Halloween.
And if you're worried about everyone else's fat children, well ... don't. You're not going to save them with your sorry excuses for Halloween candy. Plus, it's Halloween. Candy is part of the tradition, and it's really unfair to try and jip this generation out of all the scary, sugary goodness that should go with it.
It's called trick or TREAT, not trick or healthy alternative snacks, so if you don't produce the treats, you deserve a few tricks.
What do you think of people who hand out candy alternatives on Halloween? Do you?
Image via respres/Flickr