October is such a fun month filled with changing leaves, shedding trees, and all things pumpkin. The days get shorter, the nights get cooler, and we eagerly await one of America’s favorite holidays – Halloween!
I have such fond memories of Halloween. Whether I was trick-or-treating with my friends, being scared silly at haunted houses, or carving pumpkins with the in-laws, it’s always been so festive. My grandmother made a clown costume for me one year and I was still trying to squeeze into it 10 years later. Clown clothes don’t have to fit perfectly anyway, right?!
Many of us associate Halloween with ghoulish evenings and the oh so tasty CANDY. Looking back, I ate a LOT of Halloween candy. My friends and I would organize our candy after a night of romping through the neighborhoods and collecting candy from strangers’ houses. Truly, we worked up a sweat after walking for miles. We earned that Halloween candy.
But, now that I’m older, have a child of my own, and live a plant-cased lifestyle, it’s hard not to think about how unhealthy Halloween candy is. Don’t misunderstand – I love a tasty treat every now and then, but as a kid, I ate my weight in Halloween candy in the weeks following the holiday.
So, how will I celebrate Halloween with my now vegan family? Most bite-size candy, particularly chocolate, isn’t vegan. And there are tons of unwanted additives and dyes in the sweet treats that are vegan. We have several years before we need to concern ourselves with trick-or-treating, but I like to start thinking about other ways to celebrate the holiday.
Throw a Halloween party.
I always wanted to have a Halloween party when I was a kid – all of your friends in the same place, wearing fun costumes, and eating ghoulish treats. I would have much preferred a Halloween party over knocking on strangers’ doors and cautiously eating candy. It’s anyone’s guess as to where it came from and how long they had had it!
Throwing a Halloween party for your vegan kid is a fun way to celebrate the holiday, while keeping your child safe and providing animal-friendly treats to them and their friends. There are tons of vegan recipe ideas for Halloween. Check Pinterest for ideas.
Host an allergen-friendly trunk-or-treat or block party.
Vegan kids aren’t the only ones who have trouble with trick-or-treating. There are several allergens children may need to avoid, which are commonly found in candies: peanuts, soy, gluten, eggs, tree nuts, milk products, etc.
The parents in your community would be thrilled for you to host an allergen-friendly trunk-or-treat or block party. Some may even want to help to ensure no children are harmed, seeing as some allergies can be severe.
Make your own vegan treats.
Making your own vegan treats is a fun way to celebrate Halloween – break out all the fun cookie cutters, sprinkles, cake pans, and vegan food coloring!
Or maybe you still want your kid to still be able to trick-or-treat? Sure! You can always trade out their collection for vegan-friendly treats.
Find a Halloween costume contest.
Halloween isn’t all about trick-or-treating. Wearing an awesome costume is most of the fun. Entering your child or family into a Halloween contest is the perfect way to avoid non-vegan candy. Who knows – you could meet some friends or win the contest.
Go to haunted houses.
Haunted houses may be a better idea for big kids and teenagers. If your child wants to get into the spirit by being spooked, take them to a haunted house. Some pumpkin patches also have kid-friendly haunted mazes or rooms.
Take your littles to a nursing home or hospital.
Seniors in nursing homes love having children visit this time of year. Seeing them dressed in their costumes makes their day. You won’t regret taking your kids to see them and the big smiles on their faces.
Walk around the neighborhood.
Simply seeing everyone dressed up in the Halloween costumes is half the fun of trick-or-treating! If you’re concerned with your vegan child coming across some unfriendly candy, walk through the neighborhood with them. They can laugh and play as they watch ghoulish and fantastical creatures roaming the streets.
How are you celebrating this Halloween with your vegan family? Tell me your ideas in the comments below!