Aaah, October. The first hints of holiday madness are in the air, as Summer relaxation melts into a distant memory. The thought of hectic schedules, added expenses and visiting relatives may be sprouting in your mind…If you’re new to veganism, you might also be feeling the added stress of making it through Halloween with your vegan kiddos. Parents often feel torn between maintaining their children’s vegan diet, and allowing them to participate in Halloween festivities. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some vegan neighborhood to trick-or-treat in? The fact is, your little ones can have the best of both worlds.
I’ve researched this topic quite a bit before writing this post. Some parents suggest hosting a Halloween party at your own home, where you can control the games and food being served. Others suggested a ‘scavenger hunt’ in which your kids and their friends would be given clues to help them uncover hidden (vegan) goodies. While these are all fun ideas, they’re not practical for everyone…certainly not year after year. Even if you wanted to, I’d bet my last dollar that those vegan tykes will eventually long for the same trick-or-treat experience their school mates enjoy.
So how does a vegan parent keep from becoming a Halloween fun-sucker? Here’s the best solution I’ve come across:
Switch out their non-vegan trick-or-treat candy for your own pre-selected candy. There is a tradition called THE HALLOWEEN BOX. If done properly, it will have your kids looking forward to switching out their candy. This will take some preparation, but hey, you’re a vegan…prep work doesn’t spook you!
Step 1. Prepare in advance by purchasing vegan goodies. The Vegan Store is one of many great websites where you can purchase cruelty-free sweets including chocolates, gummi bears, marshmallows, caramels, jelly beans, cookies and more. Also, you should customize this game to your kid’s particular interests. In addition to treats, buy some non-edible goodies that you know they can’t resist (baseball cards, chapstick, goofy sunglasses, notepads, box of crayons, etc.) No one knows your kiddos better than you, so be sure to buy goodies that you know they’ll like. (otherwise, they won’t be excited about switching out their candy) You can start in early October so you’ll be ready by the 31st.
Step 2. Buy a cardboard box (or use any box-like item in your home) Sizes may vary, but I like an 8×10 box. If possible, decorate the box in Halloween theme. Get creative! You can use wrapping paper, stickers, fake spiderwebs, etc. After decorating, arrange your vegan goodies inside the box. It may be easier to group them into little pouches or goodie bags. One vegan mama admitted to using her oven for this game, instead of a box!
Step 3. Now, here’s the best part….Let them go trick-or-treating! (with safe supervision, of course) Tell them that the Halloween box (or oven) is going to magically transform every ‘wicked treat’ they collect into a ‘sweet treat’. Kids love this concept, as there’s an element of surprise.
Step 4. When trick-or-treating has come to an end, the fun continues back at home! Your little one will happily hand over bundles of their non-vegan treats and giggle with excitement to see what comes out of the Halloween Box. It’s very important that what you hand them is more desirable than what they gave to you.
This trade-off game is kid tested and works like a charm…not to mention, it makes for some great memories. There you have it. Your little ones can get the best of both worlds and you can continue being a vegan rock star parent. Have any other tricks up your sleeve? Leave it in the comments! Thanks for reading and happy Fall, y’all!