Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sweet! I'm in the paper again!

I'm so excited about this article. So you don't have to move from this page, here is the full text.
I've included my own photos of my kids from yesterday's "Happy Halloweening". The declining snacks did not work out since I was not in charge of my children. Heh. But I did manage to give the candy to my mother-in-law before we left them for the day and so the kids didn't even make it back to the house with the junk. And they didn't say "Trick or Treat" even once. I did put my foot down about that! So, I guess we've managed to compromise pretty well in the Halloween department. I don't have my children saying to strangers that they will play a cruel trick on them if they don't give out a treat and they aren't eating crap. Unless you count that one lonely Tootsie Roll that the boy snuck into his mouth.

Have a sweet and healthy Halloween Moms suggest ways to cut back on the sugar

When it comes to Halloween, two things come to mind: costumes and candy. In excess, at least as far as the sugary stuff goes. Advertisement According to the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Industrial Reports on the confectionery industry, Americans consumed 24.5 pounds of candy, per capita, last year. Chances are, a bulk of that was consumed around Halloween. But in an effort to keep Halloween snacking better aligned with normal eating habits, some families are finding ways to cut back on the candy — or at least make it healthier. Health-food aisle "One of my passions is educating parents about healthier ways to eat and healthier foods for their children," said mother-of-two Mandy Ray-Jones. So for Halloween, she's purchased more health-conscious sweets. Ray-Jones is the founder and executive director of Artsy Mamas, a local moms organization. Many people, aware of the issue of childhood obesity and concerned about children's health in general, want to offer better treats for the kids, but they also want to avoid seeing the disappointed faces and being labeled the neighbor who gave the bad stuff. Ray-Jones may have found a solution. "We have organic lollipops and some of the Annie's Brand snacks. The Bunny Gummies have no dye and no high-fructose corn syrup." Annie's Homegrown produces organic products, including Bunny Fruit Snacks, which are made with real fruit juices and USDA certified organic ingredients. Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks are vegan, gelatin free and provide 100 percent of the recommended daily Vitamin C. So while Annie's not the well-known brands of sweet treats, they're still a great tasting alternative for the health conscious. And Ray-Jones have their own alternative treat as well. "My husband and I own a vegan chocolate business (, so we'll be handing out some of that to the kids," she added. Get rid of it What to do about all the excess? Consider donating it. Or to avoid having too much altogether, Ray-Jones has gotten her kids into the habit of politely declining. "When we go out, I'll usually have them say 'Happy Halloween' instead of 'trick-or-treat'. And they've learned to say 'no, thank you' to treats they know they can't have," she said. Allison Brown of Murfreesboro said that her neighbors make it a little easier to avoid the candy overload. "Many of our neighbors don't just give out candy. There are a lot who do, but there's maybe 10 or so who give out things like Play-doh or small toys," said Brown, also of Murfreesboro. Plan a party But this year, the Browns may not do the trick-or-treating. Instead they plan to attend a potluck and movie at their church. If you're planning a kids' party and want to have healthy snacks, Brown says a lot of imagination, a quick names change and a dash of food coloring should do the trick. What we try to do is to make things we eat more fun," Brown said. "We'll give them fun names and use food coloring to give them fun colors." She'll serve up some Witch's Brew, for instance, which on a normal day would be called chicken noodle soup. Serve vegetable soup in a cauldron, or add orange food coloring to chicken noodle soup. "We'll have shredded carrots and call them worms or baby carrots and call them fingers," she said. Serve a platter of grapes or cherry tomatoes and call them eyes. Sneak in a dairy snack with string cheese and call it a ghost snack. — Dedra L. McDowell, 615-278-5159

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