It’s not necessarily the sugar around Halloween that makes me nervous – it’s trying to keep the toxic chemicals, artificial flavors, dyes and other petroleum based products out of my little boys bodies. Halloween is obviously a little bit of a nightmare when it comes to keeping the “bad” things away without my boys feeling left out…but thankfully our Kindergarten teacher is on board and Halloween was seamless. The rule was that I would pack my son his own treat bag that he could enjoy with his friends at school while they had treats that were brought in by teachers and other parents. He was also allowed to bring home any treats to “trade” them in for chemical-free options. Had I said nothing at school today, he would have consumed an dinner plate of petroleum filled treats by 11am.
What was on the menu?
A full sized chocolate cupcake with dyed frosting, two tennis ball sized rice crispie treats (colored with dye), 3 tootsie pop suckers, chocolate, candy corn and m&ms.
Candy Corn: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Confectioner’s Glaze, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Salt, Artificial Colors, (FDC Yellow 6 Lake, Red #40, Red 40 Lake, Yellow #5, Yellow #6, Blue 1 Lake, Blue #1, Yellow 5 Lake), Egg Whites, Honey Glycerin, Mineral Oil, Carnauba Wax
M&Ms: Milk Chocolate, (Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Skim Milk, Milkfat, Lactose, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Artificial Flavors), Sugar, Cornstarch, Corn Syrup, Gum Acacia, Artificial Colors (Red 40 Lake, Yellow #6, Yellow #5, Blue 2 Lake, Red #40, Blue #1, Blue #2, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake), Dextrin
Tootsie Pops: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Citric Acid, Condensed Skim Milk, Cocoa, Whey, Artificial and Natural Flavors, Soya Lecithin, Artificial Colors (FDC Red #40, Yellow #5, Blue #1)
Chocolate Cupcake: Sugar, Bleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour [Enriched with Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid], Malted Barley Flour), Cocoa Powder Processed with Alkali, Vegetable Oil Shortening (Palm Oil), Dextrose, Contains 2% or Less of: Modified Food Starch, Salt, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate Monohydrate), Emulsifier (Propylene Esters, Mono and Diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate), Natural and Artificial Flavor (Maltodextrin, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Powder, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Butter [Cream, Salt], Leucine, Caramel Color).
Frosting: Sugar, Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oils, Mono and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60), Water, Corn Syrup. Corn Starch, Modified Food Starch, Cellulose Gum, Cellulose Gel, Modified Gum Acacia, Salt, Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Vanillin (Artificial Flavor), Citric Acid, Colored with (Titanium Dioxide, Yellow 5, Red 40).
Rice Crispies Treats: Rice, sugar, salt, malt flavoring, iron, ascorbic acid, alpha tocopherol acetate, niacinamide, vitamin A palmitate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamin hydrochloride, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D, corn syrup, sugar, modified corn starch, dextrose, water, gelatin, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, artificial flavor, and blue 1, methyl vanillin, 3-methoxy-4-hydroxybenzaldehyde.
Each and every single treat that my kids will receive at school and while trick or treating will be created with petroleum based products. Lab made food flavored and colored artificially with chemicals like butane (yes, that stuff inside a lighter).
So what do you do?
Our rule for Halloween was that my son could take a treat bag to school with “safe”, chemical-free treats to enjoy with his friends. He was also allowed to bring home what he was offered at school to “trade” it in for a healthier option so at the end of the day his teacher brought me all the treats pictured above.
The chemical-free versions are readily available and anyone can find them. Instead of sending a bag of mini chocolate bars to school I sent in Organic Vitamin C dye free suckers that taste even better than “normal” suckers. Instead of a rice crispie treat he has a coconut macaroon. Instead of “normal” gummy bears he has organic ones made with real juice and no dyes. Pop is replaced with carbonated organic juice. Real licorice, real graham cookies and real chocolate without a trace of anything chemically made in the ingredients.
For trick or treating tonight my boys will still bring home a ton of candy, but we’ll have slipped in all these treats as well so when it’s time to sort they’ll have a little bucket of treats they can keep that I don’t have to worry about. Everything pictured above was purchased at either HomeSense/Winners or the Superstore. HomeSense generally only brings in several bags of Yummy Earth products in at a time so I always try to stock up when I notice them.