The Not-So-Frightful Halloween

Is Halloween still on this year? Well, that depends on where you live. It’s still on the calendar and it’s still nationally recognized, and in my household, I will still be decorating and getting treats ready for us. We don’t usually get trick or treaters because we’re usually out and about, but this year we are playing it safe and not passing out candy or going trick or treating. Besides, my son has most likely outgrown trick or treating.

If you’re planning on staying home this Halloween, here are some awesome ideas and tips to keep it safe and fun!

Safe and Fun Halloween:

  • Look for drive-thru Halloween. In Southern California, there are many drive-thru Halloween events where you pay for the price of your car and drive through tunnels, mazes, and lots of spooky and fun props.

  • Safe, social distancing candy. If you’re still inclined to pass out candy, the internet has tons of ideas on how to safely give out candy. Some are putting candies on a string to slide down to the little trick or treaters. Some are leaving bags of candy on the porch. And some are even shooting out candy from a t-shirt cannon gun. Not sure how accurate or safe that will be, but it’s something to check out if that’s your preference.

  • Have a party with your immediate family. You, your kids, and your spouse will most likely have a great time just celebrating at home. While you’re at home, check out these wholesome and healthier snack brands: Beviva Foods (https://www.bevivafoods.com/), The Good Crisp Company (https://www.thegoodcrispcompany.com/), Kay’s Naturals (https://shop.kaysnaturals.com/), Home Free Treats (https://homefreetreats.com/), Love Corn (https://lovecorn.com/).

  • Halloween-themed movie night. Who doesn’t love a great movie night? In October, TV channels such as Freeform, CW, and ABC are showing great movies geared towards kids. If you want more of a scarier movie night, check out your paid premium channels such as HBO and Cinemax, and subscription services such as Netflix, Redbox, and Amazon Prime. Even Disney+ has some fun and nostalgic Halloween movies.

  • Bake-off. Have a baking night. Who doesn’t like some delicious homemade cookies, cakes, and pies? Get your kids involved and plan ahead early on. For some fun baking ideas, check out marthastewart.com.

  • Virtual Halloween. With virtual meetings and school occupying all of our time, why not also include a virtual Halloween party? Gather your friends, family, and classmates and get onto Zoom. This is a free platform and easy to get everyone all together for Halloween. Have some treats and beverages and dress up in costumes too!

  • Boo-grams. Feel like surprising your neighbors or your friends and family? Make some bags stuffed with Halloween-themed candies and treats. If you’re dropping off for families with children, add some fun DIY toys that are both eco-friendly and memorable.

  • “You’ve Been Booed!” Not sure when this tradition started or by whom, but if you live in a friendly neighborhood, you might try the “you’ve been booed” treats. These are basically treats inside a bag left at the doorstep of a neighbor with a tag that says, “you’ve been booed”. The idea is to leave some extra tags so that the recipient can refill the bag with their own treats to leave for the next neighbor.

  • Drive-by Halloween. You and your kids can stand outside your driveway or front door and have your friends drive by with costumes on. To keep this safe, make sure you do this during the day time and try not to honk your horns so you don’t disturb others. If you let your neighbors know ahead of time, they might even join in on the fun.

  • Safe, social distanced Halloween. If you still plan on hosting a party or attending one, make sure you know who the people are and how many are in the homes. Without safe social distancing or masks, it can be very risky for everyone. So plan ahead and find ways to make it safe for you and your family. Just remember that a Halloween mask is not typically a safe mask to wear. Most of them are a thin plastic material without enough barriers for protection.

Whatever your plans are for Halloween this year, know that there is always Halloween next year. With some careful planning, you can make this Halloween safe and fun for your family.

*photos from Pinterest and Martha Stewart blog.

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

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Yes! You can have an Eco-friendly Halloween!

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Halloween is THE favorite holiday of the year for me and my family. Is it a holiday though? I don’t care – we celebrate it no matter what! Much like a few other holidays celebrated in the US, Halloween is also a celebrated event in other countries such as England, Germany, Taiwan, and Mexico has something similar in their Dia de los Muertos festival. And the best thing about Halloween is that it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old – you can dress up, eat treats, and decorate to your hearts content!

But let’s pause a few moments and think about the environmental impact that this fun holiday creates. We buy bags of candy and treats, we wear store bought costumes, and we adorn the house with store bought decorations. Do you ever think about all those plastic wrappers that the kids throw away after eating the treats? Or the polyester materials that usually make up the costumes you find in stores? All those things will eventually end up in the landfill and they are usually not recyclable nor do they decompose properly. So how do we be more environmentally conscious this Halloween? Is it possible?

Yes! You can have an eco friendly Halloween this year and every year. Let’s start with these suggestions:

1- Choose Halloween treats with less packaging. Candies in individual boxes might be saved for recycling. You can also buy in bulk and choose the candy that has the less packaging.

2- Reuse plastic bags for trick-or-treating. Or better yet, cut out the plastic bag altogether and go for a reusable cloth bag or make your own from an old T-shirt or pillow case.

3- Avoid store-bought costumes. Costumes on the rack are often made of nonrecyclable petro-chemical based plastic and synthetic fibers. One of these plastics is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is a carcinogen that releases harmful toxins in its creation and breakdown. Opt for an eco-friendly costume made of natural materials.

4- Create your own Green Halloween decorations. Make creepy ghosts by stuffing old bed sheets with leaves, newspaper or other filling then tie with a string to form a head and hang from your trees. Or, instead of buying synthetic spiderwebs that you’ll throw away after the holiday, make your own with shredded black pantyhose or cotton balls.

5- Know what’s in your Halloween face paint. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics sent 10 kid’s make-up sets to a lab and found all 10 contained lead, as well as nickel cobalt and chromium. These products aren’t listed on product labels. Look for organic non-toxic face paints that comply with Campaign for Safe Cosmetics standards.

6- Buy locally grown pumpkins. Sure, those plastic pumpkins can last for years as long as you remember to use them every year instead of throwing them out and buying new plastic ones. You can also make delicious treats from the large pumpkins buy, such as pumpkin seeds, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin pie.

7- Swap costumes. Costumes swapping is an easy way to reduce your waste on costumes that your child will likely outgrow next year. Find friends or family members who are willing to exchange costumes with you.

8- If you’re having a Halloween party, consider all the environmental impact. Follow the steps above as guidelines and help your guest be more environmentally friendly too.

9- Keep sweets at a minimum. It’s good for your health and the health of our planet too!

10- Remember to reuse and upcycle anything leftover from Halloween. Upcycling is a fun and creative way to reduce your waste.

So this Halloween, don’t let extra plastics and waste scare you from having a fun and safe Halloween. Use and buy consciously and enjoy!

*photos and content credits given to deliciousliving magazine.

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

 

Scary Ingredients, Healthy Alternatives

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There’s something magical about Halloween and the fun and mystery that goes along with the holiday. What’s not fun however are the scary ingredients you’d find in many of the Halloween candies and treats. What ends up in your children’s trick-or-treating bags could frighten even the scariest monsters out there.

It’s inevitable that our kids will end up with lots of candies this Halloween. Sweets were traditionally handed out when the holiday first originated over 2000 years ago. Of course modern day times has made the holiday into more of a celebration rather than a tradition to ward off evil spirits, but sweets and treats were very much prominent back in history. Perhaps back in the olden days the treats were a bit healthier and were mostly homemade of some kind. Now, sweets and treats can come in all forms and most of them are not quite healthy for our children. It’s not easy to tell our kids “no” to their Halloween treats, but it is our responsibility to reduce or control what we buy on Halloween and what we allow our kids to indulge on.

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In my recent post 10 WAYS KIDS CAN ROCK IT HEALTHY, I listed some of the scariest ingredients found in most of the conventional sweets and treats. These ingredients are pretty common in practically all of the food you’d find with conventional companies and are used in the store-bought sweets. If you want to be safe with your sweets and treats this Halloween, look for candies made without genetically modified ingredients and have at least 70% organic ingredients. There are companies who have been Non-GMO Project Verified, meaning their ingredients are tested and ensured to not contain anything that’s been genetically enhanced or engineered. When shopping for treats look for companies using only natural and organic ingredients. These companies include:

Surf Sweets/TruJoy Sweets – gummy worms, jelly beans, gummy spiders

Amy’s Kitchen – chocolate snack bars

Torie&Howard – fruit candy chews and hard candy

EnviroKidz – kids tested snack bars

Nature’s Path – snack bars

Chocxo – organic chocolate

Endangered Species Chocolates – organic chocolates

Annies Homegrown- bunny snacks, gummy candy

YumEarth – organic lollipops, hard candy

gmo-candy

So the question comes to what happens when our kids end up with not so healthy treats this Halloween? If you’re inclined to just let them eat some, pick out only a few that have better ingredients if not at least non-GMO or organic. Keep in mind that certain sweets are sticky to your children’s teeth so not only are they less healthy, but they can cause damage to their teeth and gums. I like to buy sweets such as Surf Sweets Halloween edition packs,  Zollipops which are made with Xylitol (a natural sugar-free sugar alternative), and Spry gum and mints. And when I don’t buy candies for my son or  the trick-or-treaters, I like to hand out non-sweet items such as Halloween themed pencils, erasers, and notepads. These are also useful and probably won’t end up in the trash.

You can find all of these healthier sweets at most natural and organic stores as well as online at their websites: Surf sweets (http://www.surfsweets.com/),  Zollipops (http://zollipops.com/),  Spry (http://www.xlear.com/).

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

10 Ways Kids Can Rock It Healthy – Week 5

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In week 5 of our Kids Can Rock It Healthy journal, I’d like to talk about Halloween. If you’ve read any of my articles throughout the years you’d probably guess that Halloween is my favorite holiday or occasion. I’ve loved it since I was a child and that love transferred to my son. Halloween can be a crazy time of year, from decorations to costumes to parties, but if we keep in mind that it also greatly affects our health and the environment, then we can make changes for the better.

There are many wonderful things about celebrating Halloween but also a lot of scary things. Amidst the fun and delightful costumes and the spooky decorations, one of the biggest drawback is of course, the candy. Kids can’t resist them, heck adults can’t either but as parents, we have to be extra diligent during Halloween. Sweets during Halloween come in many different forms but a big concern is GMO ingredients found in these sweets. When buying conventional candy, they’re likely to contain genetically modified ingredients only because they’re usually mass produced from big companies. There are of course health conscious candy companies who realize this concern and make their sweets without genetically modified ingredients. Below, I’ve outlined the top common GMO ingredients found in candy. Always read the labels of food you buy and be diligent about what we put into our children’s bodies.

Happy Halloween!

gmo-candy

The Magic of Halloween – Important Safety Tips from UL

Out of all the holidays, I have to admit that Halloween is our favorite. It’s been my favorite since childhood and it’s quickly become my son’s favorite as well. It’s probably the one time in the year when you can become anything that you want and no one will fault you for it. Halloween can be both fun and scary and you can go all out with the costumes, decorations, and parties. If you make it fun and memorable, then your little kids (and maybe bigger kids) will remember it for many years to come.

With Halloween fastly approaching, we may be distracted by our kids begging to choose the right costumes and decorating the house and stocking up on the candy. We may inadvertantly neglect the fact that there are many hidden dangers in this holiday as well. Besides the usual candy and stranger safety, we need to be aware of what we have inside our house as well. Here are some sound safety tips from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) that may help you prepare for Halloween.

On Halloween, the risk of home fires, burn-related injuries and falls increases significantly. In fact, a striking 1,170 home structure fires begin with mishaps involving seasonal decorations, such as candles and decorative lights hung on Halloween.

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend roughly $ 8 billion on Halloween decorations, costumes and candy this year. And, over half (51.4%) of those celebrating will decorate their home/yard with Halloween decorations. 

UL’s Safety Tips for Halloween Decorating:

·        Keep candles clear of walkways and out of the reach of trick-or-treaters. Try battery-operated LED candles for an even safer option.

·        Always check for the UL Mark on light strings, electrical decorations and extension cords.  A red UL Mark signifies that the lights are certified for indoor and outdoor use. A green UL Mark means the lights are onlycertified for indoor use.

·        Check that electrical products are certified for outdoor use by UL and plugged into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)** outlet; to reduce the risk of fire or shock.
·        Make sure all passageways are clear of items that could cause tripping, including electrical and telephone cords, rugs, and runners.

Remember that no matter how fun or spooky Halloween can be, it’s even spookier when we’re not extra careful when it comes to decorations and costumes. Always make sure that your child is with a responsible adult, wear costumes that are easily seen, and costumes that do not hinder them from getting hurt.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!