Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick or Treat: Give Me Candy Or Nothing

It’s Halloween! It’s not my favorite holiday of the year, I’m a scaredy cat and really can’t take all the blood and zombies and folks’ desire to scare the bejeezies out of everyone, but, let’s get a little something straight.  The whole entire purpose of the day is, as my kids have been chanting for at least the past week, is to circle the neighborhood and beg for free candy!  Note that last word? C-A-N-D-Y.

Some folks, probably no-one who reads this blog because they might know better, are actually trying to offer healthy Halloween options. What? Please, put a black pumpkin out on your doorstep to let us know “keep on movin’, nothing to see here.”

Yes, I know there’s an epidemic of childhood obesity and early cases of diabetes. I know kids should eat fresh fruits and vegetables. I know, we need to teach our kids to eat healthy meals. Yes, kids need to brush and floss to prevent cavities.  But giving out carrot broomsticks is not going to make the kid at your door any slimmer. In fact, your cucumber witch hat probably won’t even get eaten. Who is going to let their kid eat handled, open veggies from a stranger? Oh, no.  Only factory sealed foods, please. And do not, I implore you, do not be the house giving out toothbrushes unless, and this is even a little borderline, you are the neighborhood dentist.

I’m not saying to let your kids eat the pillowcase full of candy he hauls home before he crawls into bed. Instead, if you want to teach your kid a healthy lesson, teach them moderation and sharing.  Figure out how many pieces of candy per day are acceptable in your household and work with your kid to budget their candy eating. Trade in the candy at the dentist/orthodontist to be donated. Take it to church and share with the other kids who might not have gone trick-or-treating. Bake the candy into cookies and share them with his teachers.

This evening, I am going to gather my kids and their band of friends, usually this ends up to be at least a dozen or so masked, wigged, and costumed kids. For an hour or two, we are going to traipse around the neighborhood, up and down steps, across streets and yards, ringing doorbells in search of the house that’s giving out the full-size candy bars. For my chaperoning service, I will be exacting my fee of a few pieces of chocolate from every child.  (You didn’t think I was doing this for free, did you?)  And I will help out the nut-allergy kids by relieving them of any nut-filled candy.  For all of that work, there better not be one Clementine painted like a pumpkin or mummy in a celery log or banana ghost in the bags.

Now, I’ve got to go. I’m making chocolate cupcakes to give the kids a good base layer before we begin our evening.

Trick or Treat!

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