I’m guessing I’m not the only mom out there who strategizes between Halloween and the Christmas season on how to minimize the damage from candy. I’m always looking for holiday sugar substitutes, and I don’t mean artificial sweetener. I find myself eventually throwing away bags full of candy that I’ve hidden from my children at some point after various holidays.
My motivation is not cruelty. Yes, I indulge them…but only to a point. The initial thrill of the candy acquisition seems to be greater than the excitement of eating it, at least after a few days. Ashamed to say that their dad and I do our part to eat some too; we need to curb our sweets intake as much as the kids do. I felt limited success in adding Scarrots to our trick-or-treat offerings this year. You may have seen the cleverly packaged fresh carrot sticks at your grocer. My kids liked them, because they’re used to eating fresh vegetables as part of their regular snacks. However, I couldn’t give many away to the neighboring kids. Even my kids ate ten times more candy than Scarrots.
Because of the freshness issue, I ended up opening about three dozen tiny packages of Scarrots to cook them in vegetable soup yesterday. At least they didn’t go to waste. The little packages of pretzels seemed to go over better, seemingly since they hold some kind of middle ground between snack food and healthy food.
We’ve also tried more emphasis on crafts and other small gifts around holidays instead of candy. That works, a little. Then, it raises the other question of how much imported plastic junk our kids really need.
As we look ahead to the winter holidays, it will be interesting to see how sweet we can make our children’s experience, without overdoing the part that includes processed sugar and artificial ingredients. Guess what I found on my trip to the local discount store this week? An aisle newly stocked with the most beautiful bright green and red lollipops, some shaped liked Christmas trees! I just had to buy some to save for Christmas Eve.