Whilst Halloween is fresh in my mind I thought I'd share with you my take out on our first ever Trick or Treat with my 4& 5 year old kids. I was filled with 'fear' on how many sweets the kids were going to get and what they would be. All my life I have avoided copious quantities of sugar, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives and do the same for my precious little ones - so you can imagine my radar was on high alert. I also don't like my kids seeing this volume of packaged colourful treats being consumed or they will think it is the norm. I know it is a very 'polarising' occasion so let's see if these ideas can make it easier next year. WHAT DID WE DO? 1. Organised to go to a friend's home and did it with a community we did not know - that way there would be no 'extra' treats from friends + it took the focus away from 'treats' to playing with friends! I also got to spend time with a another mum I really like. (BTW our neighbourhood does not have footpaths) 2. We met at 5pm to have dinner first. That meant they were filled up + there were no afternoon snacks before hand. 3. We choose to participate in just the street our friends lived in so not too many houses were visited. - we could see already by the decorations that there were at least a dozen houses with treats ready. 4. We stipulated that only 1 treat per house was allowed. We let them eat one treat half way thru the 'trick a treating'. 5. When we got back 'in' - the kids had another sweet and raced outside to play. 6. When the 'bowl of treats' we were giving out to visitors ran out - our kids who were having so much fun receiving guests at the door gave away most of their stash without any prompting 7. The result - they only consumed a couple of treats! 8. Once home the lollies (about 10 pieces) were put out of sight.... we will see what happens this afternoon. No mater what tho, I will ration them over the week. On the side - what was quite funny is the fact that my 5 year old Karl does not like chocolate - 90% of what was given out were those hideous, sickly sweet mini chocolate bars! WHAT ELSE COULD HAVE WE DONE? We could have baked our own treats that were low in added sugar, high in fibre and naturally active goodies. It meant we'd all be involved in a 'family' activity - especially the wrapping up bit! Here are some of the fabulously healthy, delicious and easy-to-make ideas and recipes that caught my eye that I'm keeping on file for next year! 1. Red Velvet Cupcakes by The Healthy Chef: Leave off the topping and wrap in squares of cello with orange ribbon. Mini ones would be very cute. 2. Cocoa Coconut Crackles By Alex Stuart - Real Food: Simple to make & in low sugar & fat. Pop these into mini cup cake papers. Note this recipe is only for a couple so multiple by at least 10 times. 3. Homemade (sugar free) Chocolate by Lee Holmes Supercharged Foods: Scroll down to the part where the chocolate is made - it looks delicious and uses stevia (if you don't like the taste then buy the variety Lee stocks in her e-shop) instead of granulated sugar or sweet syrups of any sort. 4. Sweet alternatives: something special like Cherries, Strawberries or Blueberries in a BIG bowl with some natural snakes hidden amongst them. "the snake pit" 5. Savoury alternatives: popcorn I will add more to this list as I find them over the next year! BTW - I had no idea that it was going to be be such a fun-filled, fantastical community event.