Each year, October 31st seems to mark the start of the junk food season. Most of us have fun childhood memories of dressing up in costume, attending parties, and spending hours Trick-or-Treating in our neighborhoods. Returning home with a bag full of candy and sugary snacks meant an evening spent sampling the hard, soft, or chewy treasures we had collected. Unfortunately, most of us probably went to bed with a tummy ache and awoke within a few days with a sore throat, cold, or flu virus due to the negative impact on our immune systems after overindulging. It occurred to me years ago that the cold and flu season really seems to get ramped up and into high gear beginning around Halloween and continuing well into Spring when the junk food holidays finally end at Easter time.Why not try out a Paleo Halloween this year and see where it can lead?
So, what’s a Paleo parent to do? How do we help our children enjoy the festivities and traditions of our special holidays, while maintaining healthy eating habits? Over the past 10 years or so, there has been more and more awareness regarding these issues. Conscientious parents have tackled this problem in a variety of ways. Some have done away with Halloween altogether, while others have found new and creative ways to celebrate the day and start new, healthy traditions. Fortunately, the internet has become a fantastic place to search for special, healthy treats. Just last week, I found a darling creation making ghosts from ½ banana using small currants or raisins for eyes and mouth. Another site demonstrated making “Jack-o-lanterns” from oranges, carving out the skins to make the face. Check out just a few of the links to help you and your children get started. Be sure to include the kids in the search and make it fun and exciting to plan for your special day.
But, what to do with all that Trick-or-Treat candy? Again, it’s time to get creative and think outside the box. Several approaches to this dilemma should be considered. Some parents allow their children to choose a small amount of candy to enjoy as a special treat over the next few days, throwing the rest in the trash where all the junk belongs. Others, strike a deal with their kids and agree to buy all of the candy from the child. The child is then allowed to spend the money on a toy or other non-food item of their choice. We know of a family who puts on a wonderful, healthy costume party for their children and their friends every year. There is no Trick-or-Treating, just healthy snacks, traditional games like bobbing for apples, and a fun time for all. If you don’t want to throw your own party, many community organizations offer alternatives for kids. As for what to throw in those sacks when the neighborhood goblins come calling?
How about this treat: The Paleo Diet Bar in either Cinnamon Raisin, or Cranberry Almond! This is a special and fun time of year when lasting childhood memories are created. Start your own family traditions and enjoy the celebrations!
All the best,
Lorrie Cordain, M.A.
The Paleo Diet Team
The aromas of this simple-to-prepare fall treat fills your house with sweetness and will have your kids drooling. Be sure to choose locally grown, organic apples when preparing this sweet treat.
- 1 large, fresh pie apple
- 1 medium orange, juiced
- 1 tbsp raisins
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Pinch allspice
- olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. Core the apple
3. Mix orange juice, raisins, cinnamon, and allspice together in small bowl and fill the cavity of the apple
4. Pour remaining liquid over apple
6. Bake 30-40 minutes or until soft
7. A small paring knife should easily puncture the apple skin to cavity center
8. Better get lots, the little goblins will certainly be begging for more!
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
From jack-o-lanterns to pies, pumpkins have become an American tradition during this time of year. But, what to do with all those seeds after carving your spooky creation? This simple recipe has become a favorite of Paleo dieters everywhere.
- 1 large pumpkin
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp chili powder, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. Carve pumpkin, remove seeds
3. Thoroughly rinse pumpkin from seeds and pat dry with paper towels
4. Put seeds in a bowl and mix thoroughly with olive oil and spices
5. Spread seeds evenly on non-stick baking pan
6. Bake for 30 minutes, turning seeds every 10 minutes