It’s that super spooky time of year again! My kids absolutely love Halloween—finding costumes, decorations, face paints, parties, spooky food, and treats. What kid (and young-at-heart adult) doesn’t?
But, sadly, the lure of all things haunted isn’t always kind to our health. Neurotoxic lead in face paints, toxic chemicals in costumes and plastic accessories, VOCs in nail polishes and of course all that sugar and those ADHD-promoting additives in candy; this is Halloween’s real dark side and it is worth paying attention to.
But there are easy ways to make sure that we reduce our exposure to toxins this Halloween, and still enjoy all the fun. Follow these five steps for healthier festivities:
1. Go natural: Switch out that toxic face paint and nail polish for healthier alternatives such as this face paint and these nail polishes. You can also get really natural with beet juice for lip and cheek stains, or corn starch for turning your hair grey.
2. Make it yourself: DIY-it when it comes to costumes and decorations. It’s a great way to get those creative juices flowing and makes for fun projects with the kids. They will love coming up with ideas, working on them and admiring their own handiwork. Here are quite a few ideas to get you started!
3. Wiser candy choices: For candy, try some healthier alternatives such as real chocolate, organic non-GMO lollipops, raisin packets, or honey sticks and include some non-candy treats as well. Bouncy balls, wiki stix, pencils, erasers, and items from nature such as seashells, acorns, skipping stones, feathers, are all fun and unique options. You could even do some homemade playdough in treat bags.
4. Trade-in treats: Try a “swap box” or “trade-in” box where kids get to trade in the candy they collect for healthier versions, toys or even money. In our house, our kids get to swap what they collect for some Mom-approved alternatives: they can choose as many pieces of dark chocolate, organic candy, or homemade treats as their age, and the rest they can use to trade in for small toys or coins.
5. Cook up some healthy party food: There are so many options out there for spookily delicious entertaining recipes. How about some gut/joint-healthy gelatin brains (anyone?!), warm apple cider with a cinnamon stick swizzle, maple-pecan dip or savory pumpkin dip?