You all remember that house, as a kid, growing up? The one that gave you a Ziploc bag full of baby carrots for Halloween? Remember what happened? You stopped going to that house.
You see, Halloween's not about foraging for produce. You didn't squeeze yourself into an ill-proportioned costume, cover yourself in non-hypoallergenic makeup, and roam the streets for hours, alternately picking up your mask and pulling your costume out of the way to keep from tripping, to bring home carrots. You just didn't.
Image: Monster mouth via Shutterstock
You went out, like every other red-blooded American kid, slogging through wet leaves, in search of candy. Candy. C-A-N-D-Y. Not carrots. And you came home and dumped that pillowcase all over the floor and relished your spoils. You ate a few, traded with your bratty little sister, gave the black licorice and Squirrel Nuts to your parents, and basically gorged yourself into a coma for the next seventy-two hours. It's a rite of passage. It's tradition.
Now, I know what you're thinking--obesity epidemic, corn syrup, ADHD, Michelle Obama's arms. I get you. But it's Halloween. Is nothing sacred? In fact, the last time I checked, I thought giving out produce for Halloween was illegal. Treason, I think. Besides, I think it causes long-term psychological damage.
I saw a trayful of banana-and-chocolate-chip ghosts and clementine "pumpkins" on Pinterest a few days ago, and in the days passed, a few other places. I'm not sure where it originated, so I apologize, but here it is.
What is this? Bananas and clementines? Is that all you got? I mean, the whole tray must be worth a good few hundred calories at least, and several grams of lip-smacking fiber. Please know this: Every time you serve a clementine with a celery hanging out of it, a baby werewolf loses his mom.
And not to say this stuff isn't cute, but, really, do seven or eight halved bananas go down as smoothly, as, oh, I don't know, twelve Butterfingers, a fun-size sleeve of Rolos, and a box of Jujyfruits? I think not.
I saw another pin for "candy corn" popsicles, consisting solely of yogurt, orange juice, and pineapple juice. I don't want to put anyone on the spot, because they are cute, but, realistically, how many of those can you down before you end up really regular or with a canker sore? Virtually nonexistent problems with the tried-and-true.
And how long would these nutritious and inspired treats last without refrigeration? A few hours? Could you shove them into your pockets? Bring them to school? Hide them under your bed? Find them in a drawer six months later and feel like you won the lottery? Do they have any street value against a box of Nerds? No! The answer is no. Your kid won't tell you, the neighbor kids won't tell you, but Halloween treats like this stink.
No one looks nostalgically back on their childhood Halloweens, fondly recalling the cruciferousness of their Halloween broccoli, or the je ne sais quois of a crispy Cortland apple from Mrs. Jenkins. They don't. But I can guarantee they will remember, along with how many Reese's Peanut Butter Cups they scored, from which house the offending produce came, and be careful to avoid it next year.
If you want your kids to eat vegetables, take them to the supermarket. Don't ruin their Halloween. And please, please remember the moms. Remember the moms who will inevitably skim those trick-or-treat buckets until Thanksgiving, easy.
Don't be a tool. Give out candy for Halloween. And make it the good kind.
Your children's memories depend on it.
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