By Nancy Massotto, Ph.D, Founder and Executive Director of Holistic Moms Network
Halloween is just around the corner and if ghosts and ghouls don’t scare you, consider what’s in your kids’ candy. Underneath the colorful wrappers and packaging, there are some pretty frightening things lurking. Here are the ones that give me the heeby-jeebies.
Top 5 scariest things about Halloween candy:
1. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Parents are waking up to the dangers of HFCS, and it should come as no suprise. HFCS is everywhere and has been linked to obesity, rising rates of type-2 diabetes, and hypertension. Not to mention that mercury has been detected in HFCS as well!
2. TBHQ. TBHQ, or tertiary butylhydroquinone, is a form of butane that is added as a preservative to a variety of foods, including popular Halloween candies Reese’s Peanut Butter CupsTM and Nestle CrunchTM.
3. Artificial Colors. Unless you’re a carrot or a sweet potato, chances are bright Halloween orange is not your natural color. Artificial colorings such as FDC Blues 1 and 2, Red 3, Green 3 and Yellow no. 5 are ever-present and have been banned in many countries because of their link to cancer. (Yellow 5 is currently under review and many artificial yellows and oranges have been banned already.)
4. Hydrogenated Fats. Think you’re doing better handing out chips and crackers instead of sweets this year? You may have to think again. Hydrogenated fats in many products, including chips, crackers, and chocolate, have long been recognized as dangerous for their link to heart disease. More recent research also links these trans fats to rising cancer rates throughout the US.
5. Refined Sugar. Americans consume an average of 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, and considerably more during our spooky and scary Halloween season! What’s wrong with a little sugar? It not only ruins your teeth, but strips your body of vital nutrients and can damage your immune system. And, of course, we all know what too much sugar does to our children’s moods and behaviors!
What are your tips for having a healthier, more holistic Halloween?
Want to learn more about Holistic Living? During October, we celebrate Holistic Living Month and I hope you’ll take the opportunity to connect with us somehow – whether you can make it to our 9th Annual Natural Living Conference in Chicago, connect with a local chapter, or join us online for one of our many events scheduled throughout the month – we’d love to meet you!
A leading voice in the natural parenting movement, Nancy Massotto, Ph.D, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Holistic Moms Network and mother to two boys. An articulate and knowledgeable writer and speaker on holistic living, natural parenting, and eco-conscious lifestyles, she shares her passion with a wide variety of audiences as a presenter and author. She is passionate about empowering women, supporting mothers, and raising her children as naturally and sustainably as she can.
Want to give up the junk with out giving up the candy? Here are some ideas for where to find certified organic, all natural candy, chocolates and other yummy goodies:
- Visit The Natural Candy Store for the best selection of yummy Organic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Preservative-Free and Dye-Free Candy Options this Halloween!
- Surf Sweets Candies are GMO-Free, Gluten Free and 100% Natural! Several varieties on sale for 20-30% off at Vitacost.com
- When you buy Surf Sweets Spooky Spiders this Halloween, a portion of proceeds will be donated to EcoMom Alliance to help put reusable party supplies in classrooms across the country!
- Yummy Earth Organic Gummy Bears and Lollipops
- Endangered Species All Natural Chocolates
- New Tree Fair Labor Chocolates
- Pure Fun Organic Candy Rocks and Lollipops
- Let’s Do Organic Gummy Bear Candies
- Annie’s Homegrown Organic Vegan Fruit Snacks
- Allergy-Friendly and Feingold compliant candy, plus Vegan and Gluten-free treats at the Indie Candy store
- Visit Healthy Home Magazine’s Approved Green Business Directory for more of our favorite stores and brands!
- Flex Your Non-GMO Buying Power with Green Polka Dot Box (Healthy Home Magazine)
- DIY This Halloween with Kiwi Crate (Healthy Home Magazine)
- A BPA-Free Halloween is as Easy as…Pie! (HealthyHomeMagazine.com)
- Introducing All-Natural Food Dyes From Maggie’s Naturals (Healthy Home Magazine)
- Who Needs a Microwave? + 2 Healthy Organic Recipes (Healthy Home Magazine)
- Green Bloggers Help You With a Green Halloween (CelebrateGreen.net)
- Join Me for National Costume Swap Day! (HealthyHomeMagazine.com)
- Tips & Tricks for a Greener Halloween (GreenHalloween.org)
- 2013 Green Halloween Blog Carnival (GreenHalloween.org)