Halloween party pooper: Why I’ll happily get backlash for this

I *might* get some backlash with this post – especially from people who love Halloween. Or candy.  Or who think this “only once a year” opportunity to eat candy is just one way “kids get to be kids”.

I have a particularly hard time with Halloween, and candy. I know, I sound like such a party pooper. But I am just not a fan of “food” that I know to be a detriment to health.  Or the “holiday” that promotes it.

But then again, I am not in the camp that thinks children and adults alike eat candy or sweets “once a year”.

Candy is just the tip of the iceberg. In this country, when it comes to the sugar sources and the added preservatives in cakes, breads, sodas, cereals and juices, we are doing some real damage to our bodies. Sometimes, I hate to be the bearer of bad news.  But in this case I am happy to be the bad guy breaking up this sugar party because I really feel something needs to change.

Sugar, and other sweeteners, that aren’t naturally found in foods – like fruit – or tapped from trees or gotten from a bees – are harming us and the way our body is meant to function.

Simply put they aren’t nutrients.

And we should give thought to what we put in our bodies and consider eating actual nutrients. So we can live well, longer.

Why I'll get backlash for this: sugar and candy are not nutritious

You can overdo eating natural kinds of sugars that do have nutrients and health benefits. After all, sugar is sugar. But there is major cause for concern in our over consumption of foods and drinks with added and chemically-processed sugar. This over consumption is linked to diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease — in adults and children!

While candy alone isn’t the cause for this, this kid-kind-of-treat contributes greatly because many of the popular candies are loaded with some really harmful ingredients that are linked to disease.

If we link the fact that kids these days stand to live shorter lives than their parents we have even more cause for alarm. Don’t you think?

Halloween Candy

So here we are at Halloween and I keep hearing that old saying, “it’s only once a year” or “it’s just this one day” – and yes, that is true for Halloween.  But I think we’ve lost sight of just how much sugar in general is eaten, how often, and how bad the sugar we are eating really is. More and more research is showing it is not only addictive but detrimental to our bodies and brains.

Lots of refined sugar and refined carbohydrates (meaning white bread, pasta, rice and most processed foods,) is also linked with depression because these foods not only supply very little in the way of nutrients but they also use up the mood enhancing B vitamins; turning each teaspoon of sugar into energy [requires] B vitamins. In fact, a study of 3,456 middle-aged civil servants, published in British Journal of Psychiatry found that those who had a diet which contained a lot of processed foods had a 58% increased risk for depression, whereas those whose diet could be described as containing more whole foods had a 26% reduced risk for depression.” Food for the Brain

Sugar is dangerous and has more power over our bodies and minds than we might think.

Our taste buds and brain are literally high-jacked after consuming these added sugars causing an unconscious addiction as powerful as cocaine. It keeps us wanting more and making poor decisions for our health.  It is the root of many sicknesses and diseases, which begs the question, “Why are the sugar-filled and preservative-laden offerings so prevalent? Someone must be benefiting. If not us, then who? Who stands to gain from our consumption of these products?”

Someone does…

The victims of obesity are likely the same victims of systematic brainwashing from Big Food marketers, relying on diet soda or low fat products or looking only at calories on product labels. Basically, they are doing what the food industry has been teaching them about losing weight versus finding out the truth about real food.

And that’s the problem – the food industry is the one leading our conversation in this country about food and nutrition, educating the mass public about what to eat and what not to eat. Coca-Cola recently even went as far as creating a special campaign to combat obesity – yes you read that right – a sugar filled soda company trying to stop obesity…” Food Babe

We need to cook more and rely more on ourselves to tell us what our body needs because we are being duped – and getting sick. It is time to shift the culture and idea of what is sweet, a treat, and good for you.  It’s time to beat this addiction before it beats us.

The affects of reducing sugar intake for even 9 days has shown to have amazing – surprising even – positive outcomes on diseases in children! Imagine if we just continued to pay attention, be more conscious shoppers and eaters — what a different world of living we create for ourselves… and our children.

Maybe Halloween could be an opportunity to change the message.

There is a place for “treats” and enjoying foods that make us happy. But we have to enjoy sweets in a more conscious, health-filled way, and in moderation.  First we need to shift our thinking. And then we need to be willing to find better alternatives.  Perhaps even make them.

I have found so many replacements for the chemically-laden, preservative-filled candy and foods.  I have made brownies, and chocolate cookies, custards, and cakes – like this chocolate cake and this vanilla pound cake . And yes, even candy for Halloween.

Making your own sweets might not be your thing.  I get it. There are still better options than what food companies, who stand to profit from our consumption, are putting out. Consider brands like Enjoy Life, Yummy Earth and Heavenly Organics for treats that do the job – well. I have found so so many options for snacks and cookies on Barefoot Provisions.  I keep them on hand for when I don’t feel like baking.

{Don’t these peppermint patties from Barefoot look divine? No refined sugar and loaded with real peppermint taste.}

With Halloween around the corner I am sticking with what I know is best for my daughter’s well-being and growth. She’ll get this bucket to replace her candy bucket. To it I’ll add Heavenly Organics’ peppermint patties, homemade almond butter cups, and some homemade chocolate cookies — all made with unrefined sugar and tastes she loves.

I no longer get backlash from my daughter. And even if I did, it’s okay. I know it’s short lived.

But her health won’t be.

Showing 4 comments
  • Rosemary Verri

    That was excellent. And you give the alternatives. Especially for the baking people. The Heavenly Organic peppermint patties are good. Just ordered another box. I may just put those in the kids bags who come around.

    • Francesca

      Great idea Ro! Your trick or treaters will be in for a *real* (no pun intended) treat with those Heavenly Organic patties! They are divine!

  • Patti

    I love that you’re truly Brave enough to have this conversation. There are so many alternatives to candy these days. Thank you so much for sharing your delicious recipes and helpful links! Love your information always!

    • Francesca

      There *are* so many alternatives! And it is just really about time that information is passed on so people start to not only see alternatives but truly understand the need for them. Thanks for reading!! xo

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