Our children are vegans, have food allergies and don’t eat sugar or any of the other ingredients found in traditional Halloween candy, but we want them to be able to participate in Halloween festivities in an educationally fun manner. Even when there are trick-or-treat options for the kids to choose from, we are wary of cross contamination concerning nut allergies. Because it is a bit harsh to dress them up and send them out to collect candy that we end up throwing out, we’re looking for a healthy way for them to celebrate Halloween. Any suggestions?
–Matthew, Dover, MA
Because in the past many Western religions encouraged abstinence from meat on All Hallows’ Eve in favor of eating vegetarian, Halloween sounds like the perfect holiday for your vegan children. Centuries ago children trick-or-treated for spare change instead of candy, and now you have a Halloween teaching opportunity.
Have your kids Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF (a United Nations program that supports humanitarian aid to children in developing countries). It was the first kids-helping- kids movement — a way for kids to help kids in need of more than candy — where small UNICEF boxes are used to collect spare change instead of Mars bars on Holloween.
With a slogan like It’s scary how much good you can do! — you can discuss with your older children the recent refugee and immigration situation affecting children in other countries right now.
Ahead of time, help your children memorize the gee-whiz facts:
$5 will feed an undernourished child for five days.
$15 will supply a child with a year’s worth of clean drinking water.
$30 will provide measles protection for 100 children.
$100 will provide malaria protection for 100 kids.
$400 will provide a pump to enable an entire village to have clean drinking water.
Go to trick-or-treat for UNICEF for small and large UNICEF Halloween collection boxes and more information.
Let your kids go wild with their choice of costumes and feed them a hearty vegan supper before giving them their UNICEF boxes in which to collect spare change instead of candy.
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Accepting A Compliment