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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Happy Hallowe'en: Don't be mad. It's just cute fruit!

I read a blog post this morning that inspired me to write this one. The author, a guest poster on Scary Mommy's blog named Marnie, claims to be "Taking Back Halloween" from "curmudgeons" who, according to her, want to ruin her holidays.  Do you know how these "hate mongers" do it? By providing Hallowe'en themed fruit and TREAT-sized treats. GASP!!! The horror of it!

I mean, just look at these clementine pumpkins and banana ghosts! What sick twisted child-hating parent would force these on your child?

I am so totally making these! 
Find lots of other fun & healthy 
Hallowe'en treat ideas at 

Good Lord, what's next? Diet candy??? Actually, these lollipops made with Xylitol are really good, and suitable for diabetics. 

The author is fed up, it seems, by articles that suggest healthier or diet-based holidays. She's so fed up that she and her kids are not only going to eat processed candy at Hallowe'en, they're going to gorge themselves on it. And she's taking her kids to "where the rich people live", because this apparently means they will get "the whole effing candy bar". She's also going to egg the houses that give them "some sort of homemade shit or raisins". 

Alright, Marnie might be exaggerating for comedic effect - surely she's not really so ungrateful a person that she would vandalize the house of someone who spent time and money on a treat that they thought she and her kids would enjoy. Marnie just wants what she wants. Fair enough.

I want what I want to, and at the root of it all Marnie and I probably want the same basic thing. We want our kids to be happy. She believes that super sized candy bars will make her kids happy. Me? I want my kid to have fun on Hallowe'en too. I want him to have 'treats'. But I also want him to live a long, healthy, disease-free, pain-free life, and that means no super sized candy bars for him.

You know what's possibly worse than having to put up with people who make fancy Hallowe'en decorations out of fruit? It's having a child who can't eat anything else.

I hope that people don't assume that if I bring clementine pumpkins to my son's Hallowe'en celebration at school (which the kids would LOVE), it's because I want to dictate what other people should be eating or because I think anyone needs to go on a diet. I do these things so that my child can not only participate in the fun, but feel like he contributed - so that he can feel normal.

If you have any kind of allergy or diet restriction, you know what it's like to look down a buffet table and see that the only thing that is safe to eat is a vegetable or piece of fruit. I'm a grown up. I can deal with that sort of thing.

Now imagine you're a six-year-old boy and you have to watch every other kid eat whatever they want from that table. Sad, right? I think so too, so I make up for that any way I can, and that might just mean making ridiculously cute pumpkins and ghosts out of bananas and clementines.

What will I hand out at my house on Hallowe'en? Probably the same things I have handed out for years: bags of chips, lollipops and chocolate bars. Standard, treat-sized treats. We are not "rich people" and even if we were, I wouldn't feel the need to give out huge bars of candy just to win some other mom's approval. I have seen the articles suggesting handing out healthier Hallowe'en treats, and I've considered it, but for now I'm giving the people what they seem to want, in treat-sized portions.

And what about my son? Even if you don't have anyone in your family with diet restrictions of any kind, you can probably imagine what trick-or-treating can be like for a kid with multiple allergies. My son can not have gluten, dairy or sugar. Sugar! Can you imagine a Hallowe'en without it? Well, I can. I have to, because I want the same thing Jill wants. I want my child to be happy.

We could choose not to participate, of course, but, at least for now, he enjoys dressing up and going door to door. He collects candy, brings it home and I trade him for it (and donate the candy to someone who will love it). He can choose coins, safe treats (like those Xylitol pops I mentioned earlier), a mystery (dollar store) 'prize' from a Hallowe'en themed canvas bag, and so on. This way, the whole experience is fun for him.

All I ask is a little tolerance and understanding. Not everyone who offers a healthy Hallowe'en treat is out to ruin another kid's holiday. I think it's safe to say that almost no one is concerned with ruining anyone else's holiday. Most of us have the best of intentions and if I have a wish it is that people assume this to be true.

I hope you all have a safe and very happy Hallowe'en!



  1. Ohhhh, that just makes me want to give your son a hug. Poor heart, to have to deal with all this holiday sweets. Well, my husband is diabetic, so I kind of have an inkling of the feeling. Sweets don't belong in the house.

    1. Yes, Aleta, you will now what it's like. Have you tried products with Xylitol? It's not a sweetener, yet it makes things taste sweet. It is meant to be a safe substitute for diabetics. I use it in baking things like muffins, breads and buns.