Updated: Apr 6, 2022
Love the fun of Halloween but want to stick to your paleo plans? Here's some tricks for a treat-filled day that won't get you off track.
So it's Oct.31. A day of tricks and treats, frights and delights. But for those of us pursuing a paleo lifestyle, it can be downright scary for a whole 'nother reason: C-A-N-D-Y.
Now let me start by saying that the paleo police are not going to come knocking at you door with a warrant if you decide to indulge in a Snickers bar or two. You do you.
But if you are looking for some alternatives this go-round, you are not alone! Approach the day confidently with these tips:
1. Give out non-candy items. For me, bringing candy into my house is as good as eating it. So this year, I got on board with the Teal Pumpkin Project and gave out alternative goodies. They sell out early in the season, but Costco carries mini Playdoughs, slimes, and other non-edibles in bulk as alternative Halloween treats. This year we handed out Playdoughs from Costco along with bubbles and glow bracelets from the party aisle at Walmart. If you choose to go this route, also consider setting out a teal pumpkin (we spray-painted a small one) to let parents know you're offering alternative treats!
2. Have a plan for candy that comes into the house. We wanted our kids to be able to participate in trick-or-treating, but we wanted to limit the candy to Halloween night. We gave the kids small buckets and told them we could stay out till they were full, no eating till we got back. We let them pick out any six items to eat before bed (king size, fun size, multi-piece, whatever) and dumped the rest into a bowl on our porch for any takers.
3. Make this cute "Calming Candy Corn Playdough" for class treats. If you have young kids with class parties during this season, try this fun recipe. Scented with calming essential oils (totally optional), this adorable dough is a great way for kids to wind down, whether they're coming off a sugar high or not :).
2 cups flour*
1 cup table salt (you will need more if using coarser salt)
2 cups water
3 T vegetable oil
4 tsp cream of tartar
10 drops calming essential oils (optional)
yellow and orange food colors
10 cone-shaped treat bags and ribbon
Combine all ingredients except essential oils in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the dough begins to pull away from the sides and form a ball. Transfer dough to an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment and knead on med-low speed until bowl is almost cool to the touch. Add essential oil(s) if desired. I used a combination of lavender, Peace and Calming, and Gentle Baby from Young Living (available here), but you could use anything kid-friendly!
Take about one sixth of the dough, divide into 10 equal pieces, and drop one into each of the bags, pushing down to shape.
Add desired amount of yellow food coloring to the mixer and beat till uniform. Now, you may notice that real candy corns have orange in the middle, not yellow. And if you are into that kind of accuracy, you're gonna want to set aside your yellow portion for now. I would tell you how much to set aside, but I'm not so good with fractions, so just know that for the middle portion you want your 10 pieces to be bigger than the white ones and smaller than the next set. You get the idea.
Ok, now add the orange food coloring, and proceed as before. Tie 'em up with ribbon and add a little tag to let people know what you're handing out. Now that is some paleo-friendly candy-corn!
*Flour is not paleo-friendly, but we are assuming this playdough will not be replacing any meals. If, however, you or someone in your home have a severe gluten intolerance, here's a gluten-free playdough recipe from Parents.com. I haven't tried it yet, so let me know if it's a good one!