Oh, Halloween. How I hate thee. There are the scary costumes and masks that freak my kids out. Oh, and the candy. I hate any candy-related events, and this one is a biggie.
Here are some staggering facts about Halloween candy consumption:
- In 2013, Americans spent $1.9 billion on Halloween candy.
- The average American consumes 24 pounds of candy per year.
- A whopping 90 million pounds of chocolate candy is sold during Halloween week. How does that compare to other holidays? Almost 65 million pounds is sold during the week leading up to Easter and only 48 million pounds during Valentine’s week.
- Of the $1.9 billion sold in Halloween candy each year, $1.2 billion was on chocolate candy and only $680 million on sugar candy.
- The day of the year with the most candy sales is October 28th. And of all the 365 days in the year, the top five candy selling days are all in October.
I’m not a total prude. We do take our kids trick-or-treating and they eat 2 to 3 of their favorite candies on Halloween night. When they wake up the next morning…the candy has disappeared. That has worked in the past, but I don’t know how they’ll react this year since they’re older and wiser now. This may be the year we start the Switch Witch tradition which I’ve always admired, but never started because they were too young to understand the concept. God bless the Target One Spot section for great trade-in loot. I’ll have some special treats like pumpkin cookies or chocolate-covered bananas on hand the next day, too.
So, what does a real foodie hand out to trick-or-treaters? Don’t worry it’s not kale pops or tofu balls. But we’re not handing out traditional mainstream candy either. That would be like a vegetarian serving beef tenderloin at a dinner party. It just doesn’t make sense to give something to others that you don’t believe in yourself. My husband proactively purchased two huge bags of assortment candy (Pay Day, Almond Joy, Kit Kat, etc.) last week. While I applauded the effort, I just couldn’t follow through with using it this year. I gave him the vegetarian dinner party example and he exclaimed, “Well, we’re not gonna hand out nickles are we!?” Right, because that’s the only other option. I’m a real foodie, not an 80-year-old cat lady (no offense to any 80-year-old cat ladies reading this).
Instead, I bought organic lollipops, organic fruit snacks, and Pirate’s Booty. These aren’t healthy or perfect by any means, but they are dye-free and have limited ingredients. Don’t knock ‘em until you try ‘em. I made the mistake of opening the lollipop stash yesterday and my willpower is definitely being tested. They’re so delicious and flavorful.
These days, homemade goodies aren’t an option due to allergy cautions. And I’m pretty sure that handing out fruit would result in a good TPing (is that how it’s spelled?) by the neighbor kids.
I love holidays and I love tradition. I also love real food and keeping my kids healthy. It’s all about compromise and limits and not missing out on any of the fun.
How are you handling the candy craziness this Halloween?