Saturday, October 31, 2009

What We Do About Halloween

With the way we eat, Halloween can be a challenge. And it's not only us, although that's my first priory, I'll admit, but also the whole culture of Halloween and candy that I'd like to see change. I wouldn't mind a few pieces of candy one night a year, but that's not really what Halloween is all about, is it?

Davan really loves dressing up. She spends a lot of time planning and making her costume, usually with her dad's help.

It's not a holiday we're just going to skip. And, what is the point of dressing up if you don't show it off to people? Trick or treating, in Davan's book, is the best way to do that. She loves going to houses to show off her costume and she loves people coming to our house and handing stuff out. I don't like giving out a lot of candy, which I truly think is detrimental to health and which I don't really want in our house with the temptation it provides (for me it's sort of like putting an alcoholic in a house with lots of type of alcohol). We've gone the little toy route, but I'm not overly thrilled with that idea, either, as most of that ends up in the landfill, either unused or lightly used. Little cheap toys are junk. Gee, ya think? So, what to do?

We've also, for the past few years, done take and bake pizza on Halloween. It's easy and fast for a busy night. My parents usually join us and we get one usual pizza - cheese, Canadian bacon and olives - and one veggie pizza no cheese. This year, however, is going to be different. Anthony and I are in the midst of our four week challenge and he, especially, can't stay on plan with pizza. The veggie no cheese would be okay, but he does not care for most of the veggies on pizza. So, what to do?

Well, after some consideration, I've come up with a good solution for dinner. This year we Davan will only be trick or treating in the neighborhood, as opposed to also going to the businesses in downtown Gresham, which she's done other years, but decided last year was too crowed and not much fun. That frees up our day a little, although I could probably do this plan anyway.

We're having mixed mashed sweet potatoes and yams in pumpkin shapes. There will be olives for the faces of the jack-o-lanterns and lightly steamed broccoli for the stems and grass that the pumpkins will be sitting on. There will be lightly steamed cauliflower moons on each plate, as well. Davan is wild for this sort of thing, so she should be appeased about not "eating out." In addition, we'll pop popcorn later in the evening and share homemade candy both that I've made and that my mom is bringing. These candies aren't the healthiest things in the world, but they are a huge step up from traditional candy. The two varieties I've made are "Whatchamacalit" style, made with ground walnuts, dates, raw chocolate powder, a little cinnamon, a little vanilla and a sprouted multigrain cereal that has a lot in common with Grapenuts, and "Peanut Butter Cup" style, made with natural peanut butter, a bit of vanilla, a little agave nectar and vegan, grain-sweetened chocolate chips.

As for what to hand out. Well, we have a few trashy toys from a previous year. I picked up 10 small gourds for a buck at our local produce stand. These will all be in the offerings. Then, Davan will go trick or treating. Now, Davan doesn't care about the candy (especially with the alternatives we have at home) and last year she attempted to trick or treat for UNICEF. Apparently, most people are not familiar with that concept anymore because, after explaining herself at several different houses (why she was asking for money, not candy), she got fed up and gave up. This year, she's priming a few houses with pamphlets prior to going, but then she's just going to do some regular trick or treating. The plan is to just hand her haul back out. I don't think this is a great solution to the issue, but it'll work for this year. As with other years, any leftover candy will be sent to work with Anthony, where his co-workers will happy consume it. Again, though, it's perpetuating the whole eat-a-lot-of-candy-because-it's-Halloween thing, but we haven't come up with a better solution to the issue yet.

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of dinner (hopefully it's cute - fingers crossed) and Davan's completed costume. Can you guess from the above picture what she it is going to be?

1 comment:

  1. Love the costume so far. Can't wait to see the finished result.

    Still love last year's, too.

    Amazing how creative kids are.