Halloween: every kids favorite unofficial holiday, filled with candy, costumes, and excitement. What’s not to love? For vegan families, Halloween can be a tricky time. Should they allow their kids to partake in the festivities, overlooking the non-vegan candy most homeowners unwittingly administer to treat-or-treaters? Or should they take a stand against the unhealthy holiday by opting out altogether? Thankfully, there are several tried and tested methods that walk the line between accepting and rejecting Halloween traditions. Here are our favorite ways to have fun free from harm:
Popularized by YouTuber Ellen Fisher, the Switch Witch is a fun way to encourage healthy eating in spite of unhealthy Halloween traditions. Here are two ways to incorporate The Switch Witch into your family tradition:
The first option is to allow your kids to go trick-or-treating as they would normally. When they get home, ask that they leave the candy out for the Switch Witch. The next morning, the kids will wake up to find their unhealthy candy has been swapped for healthy treats like homemade energy balls, dried fruit, and handmade toys. In this case, all the candy collected is given away or thrown out.
The second option takes more coordination and forethought. As the kids are trick or treating, have one parent go to the houses before the children get there. Ask the homeowner if they would mind handing out your treats rather than their candy. In most cases, people are more than happy to accommodate this simple request. Once your kids make it to the house, the homeowner can give them healthy treats instead. This option eliminates the need to throw out the unhealthy candy but requires some extra planning on the part of the parent.
Vegan Trick or Treat Trail:
Whether you know it or not, there are likely other vegan families in your area. By connecting with other vegan families, you can start a Vegan Trick or Treat Trail! This way you can ensure all the houses your kids stop at are handing out only vegan goodies. Not sure how to find vegans in your area? Try posting on local forums, message boards or FaceBook groups to find people willing to participate. This is a great way to meet other vegan families and start a new tradition in your neighborhood.
Throw A Halloween Party
If you decide to opt out of Trick or Treating altogether, hosting a Vegan Halloween Party is the perfect way to ensure your kids feel included in the festivities. They can still dress up, decorate the house and eat their heart out, but you can ensure all the food is parent-approved. A party is also a great opportunity to invite non-vegan friends and family to try delicious vegan treats!
Educate Kids Which Treats are Vegan
Though still unhealthy, there are several candies that are accidentally vegan. Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, Twizzlers and Airheads just to name a few. Helping your child understand how to read ingredients will help them not only avoid animal products but will make them more informed about their food choices overall. This is also a great opportunity to explain why vegans do not eat products that contain gelatin or carmine. By offering them vegan options and giving them the information to make the right choice, kids will be more receptive to your cause then simply telling them no.
The beautiful thing about traditions is that they are always changing. We have the opportunity to create new activities to look forward to the coming year. We always have the ability to choose a more compassionate, conscious way of celebrating. We can make the choice to break free from traditions that no longer serve us, and alter them in a way that aligns with our values. When we do this, our traditions become more meaningful because we invest them with our beliefs, rather than simply inheriting them from the past. With all these new ideas, how will you enjoy Halloween this year?