Halloween is coming! The evidence of Fall is quite apparent. The air is crisp, the trees are starting to turn magnificent colors, and all I hear people talk about is everything pumpkin.
I spend most of my time at the clinic teaching people how to detox their bodies. We live in a toxic world, where we are exposed to many toxins from our food, water, air and everyday products. These toxins predisposes us to illness, disease and cancer. Our genes typically work in our favor, but if we have them in a constant state of stress by surrounding them in a toxic environment, they malfunction and can lead us to increased risk for all disease.
It is so much easier to help ourselves decrease toxins going into our body, then to try to cleanup the aftermath of damage to our organs and cells. If we can do this while we are younger (or while our children are young), we can make quite an impact on our health.
Halloween is a fun time of year that most children and adults love. When I was a tweenager, I would carry a pillow case as my trick-or-treat bag and hope for a full sack at the end of the night. Having 3 other siblings, it was like a big game of poker when we got home. We dumped our treats and had some major trade deals going on. Of course, mom and dad were always the referees and we paid them royalties with their favorite chocolate treats.
There are quite a few ways that we can go into Halloween and have a fun time, yet keep our bodies safe from the extra exposures to chemicals and overabundance in addictive and inflammatory candy. I’m not here to be Jimmy Kimmel and make your children cry by telling them you ate all their candy (please YouTube this if you’ve never seen his Halloween videos). But, I am here to provide you some tips to give your child a less toxic halloween experience.
Since face paint is not internally consumed, FDA approval is not required prior to face paint getting stocked in stores. Many face paints sold for children contain known carcinogens and other toxins. Our skin absorbs what we place on it, so these toxins are getting absorbed into the body. A better alternative are natural paints that are non-toxic in nature. Go Green Organics has an organic face paint line you can purchase on amazon. ArtiParty also has a safe and fun paint line!
Most typical costumes are made out of synthetic materials and are full of toxins, such as flame retardants and lead. Plastic masks and fake mouth pieces can be filled with lead and phthalates. Costume jewelry often contains heavy metals. One Park Sunshine is an online blog post that gave the following ideas; instead of using a toxic costume, you can reuse an old costume, borrow or swap one with a friend, get a used costume from a thrift store, or use an online trading market such as thredup clothing exchange or ebay. If you have time, you can get fun and creative and make one yourself. There are a lot of resources online for making your own Halloween costumes if you choose to go that route!
There are options besides for GMO, sugar-filled candy bars that we are use to seeing each halloween. We have organic pear trees at our house, so last year I set out boxes of pears. Kids would come up to the door and I hid and listened to their reactions. Some were delighted, some might have cried in disgust. It was quite entertaining and I felt good giving them some healthy sweets. I’m not into giving out plastic toys that will just end up in the landfills either. I don’t mind giving treats but again, I’m very conscious of keeping it clean. For example, Costco usually has organic fruit leather that you can purchase wholesale and Amazon has some treats as well, like organic vanilla/blueberry cookies 100 packets for $40
There are plenty of options to keep Halloween fun and non-toxic.
Stephanie Grutz, ARNP, FNP-C