It’s time for the Halloween Trading Post again. What is the Halloween Trading post, you ask? You see, our children go out trick-or-treating, collecting various chemically-burdened, artificially-colored and preservative-laden confectioneries from our neighbors. Instead of allowing them to eat said candies, they give us everything they’ve collected from our neighbors, and in return, get safe, all-natural, organic candy from us as a result. It’s a win/win situation- they get to partake in candy, still, and we ensure what they’re eating isn’t laden with artificial-this and chemicals we can’t pronounce.
Fantastic idea, no?
Think about it like this – no having to check through which is safe, and which isn’t. Heck, if we are done early enough, we “recycle” candy we receive on Halloween right back out to trick-or-treaters! (Except chocolate confiscated by my husband for looking incredibly lonely. Or tasty. Or something.)
A great resource that talks about the “Halloween Hangover” and unnatural substances in your children’s diet is Feingold.org. I have to quote this from that page, because it was like a light-bulb came on for me when we saw for ourselves the “spaz” that occurs when my children have something unnatural..
Synthetic food dyes are the most likely suspects when it comes to triggering behavior problems in children.
Researchers in the United States, Canada, England and Australia have shown that these dyes can bring about many behavior problems, even when children eat only a small amount.Here are some of the behaviors that have been attributed to eating food dyes: attention deficits, irritability, restlessness, sleep disturbance, aggression, and hyperactivity.
Food dyes have been around for well over 100 years. They were first made from coal tar oil and are now synthesized from petroleum. (The same stuff that makes your car run can result in high-octane kids!)
As if that didn’t wake you up already, it was this next statement that gripped me with its honesty:
In past generations, artificial dyes were a “sometime thing” that children ate occasionally, made with natural ingredients like chocolate and pure vanilla (not the fake “vanillin” widely used today). Children were given dyed lollipops only at the bank or the barbershop, ate candy corn, jelly beans and candy canes once a year, and schools were not in the business of selling soft drinks and junk food.
A child growing up in the 1940s and ’50s did not start his day with petroleum-based dyes in his toothpaste, medicine, vitamins, imitation juice and cereal. Lunch was not a prepackaged assortment of highly processed, chemically treated crackers, cheese, lunch meat and dessert. So, when our parents ate candy corn and other dyed candy, they were able to handle it better than our chemically saturated children can today.
(I could cry reading that again. Seriously, this is what I’ve been screaming about for years!)
I bet you’re wondering what I’m going to give my children if “regular” candy is forbidden, and I have to trade? The answers may surprise you, and they don’t necessarily have to be purchased online, either!
Our all-natural, organic choices for candy this Halloween? Surf Sweets & Yummy Earth are two old favorites of ours. Surf Sweets I was introduced to by a review I did back in April, and is available at many stores. Yummy Earth we were introduced to a couple years back when we first joined the Feingold Diet Program, and is available to purchase online. Yummy Earth has the most addictive lollipops I’ve ever had the pleasure of consuming, and we get a massive 5lb bag of it, so they stick around a while (we fork over some to our kids’ teachers, too).
We’re also big fans of Ghirardelli & Pearson’s, too. Ghirardelli’s new Luxe Milk chocolates are seriously evil, but in a good way. Pearson’s mint patties remind me of going to the movies and eating Junior Mints, but now my children can enjoy them naturally, without all the chemicals to ingest!
If you read further into Feingold’s Halloween Hangover page, they go into specifics about other brands that are safe for Halloween that you can find at any Walmart, Kmart or Target. We went looking and found these lovely items at our local Walmart (pictured below). You can easily just peruse the labels and look for things you can’t pronounce. Most labels now proclaim they are all-natural, but I still like to double-check to be safe.
Now, we’re not big candy eaters to begin with, but knowing we have safe alternatives helps keep what little sanity I have left.
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