Friday, October 29, 2010

To Trick-or-Treat or Not?

Yes, definitely! At least, that's what my kids would say! I am a mom who tries to keep her kids away from candy and other crappy sugar- and dye-laden products as much as possible, but we do participate in this Halloween tradition. Kaylee has been vegan ever since she could tote around her own treat bag, and we've always gone trick-or-treating with her.

The kids know in advance that we will be getting vegan and non-vegan candy put into our bags and that we will be separating the candy at the end of the night, giving the non-vegan candy to the cousins that we traditionally trick-or-treat with. Kaylee and Braeden have even gotten pretty good at knowing which candy is vegan and which is not (although Braeden definitely needs some help and supervision). In the past, it hasn't been a problem to give away half (or more) of their loot. (I like that we end up with a pretty small amount of candy in the end!)

This year, I wonder if it will be a little bit more challenging. Braeden came home from preschool today with a little goody bag that contained stickers, a small toy, and three pieces of candy--disappointingly all non-vegan. He was quite sad that he couldn't eat any of the candy. My non-vegan toddler niece was over and we decided to give her the candy to eat at home and I let Braeden have some vegan candy that I kept in the pantry. It helped, but I do think that Braeden is more sensitive to not being able to eat everything than Kaylee has ever been.

Even if Braeden gets a little upset at having to part with some candy, I do think he'd rather do that than skip trick-or-treating all together. I feel like, as vegans, our kids already have to do so many things differently and miss many of the things that most kids do. If I can let them participate in a fun tradition that I enjoyed as a child, then I will. I think it's nice to see my cousins become aware of which candy is and is not vegan and offer to trade candy with my kids. Dressing up it itself is so much fun, and who doesn't like to show off their Halloween costume as they go door-to-door to collect candy? (Me, that's who...Yes, I WILL be dressing up this year!)

So, if you're so inclined, print up PETA's list of vegan-friendly candy, grab your plastic jack-o-lantern, and trick-or-treat until either you or your kids drops--and I'm guessing you'll poop out before your youngster does!!


  1. Halloween is rough for any thoughtful parent concerned for her child's health... I went with my gdchild last night and took a peek in her bags to see if there were any samples of vegan candy... it was a quick glance, but, I mostly saw all the milk chocolate bulk candies (Kit Kat, Reeses, etc). I thought about my own childhood- I've always been a little nervous about Trick-or-Treating among strangers, so, the religious community in which I was raised hosted a Halloween party. The meeting place was big enough that the youth could walk to classrooms decked out like a haunted neighborhood. Might be worth getting some good friends together and making your own Halloween experience so that your kids and the non-vegans can eat everything they collect, if you can agree with friends which ones to buy. Just a thought. Good luck with holidays in the future. Your kids are lucky to have such a thoughtful, compassionate upbringing.

  2. Great post, Tami! I take my kids Trick or Treating too - we bring extra friends and swap all the non-vegan candy with vegan candy after!

  3. We are giving everything to the witch, and we are getting a big present instead.