Thursday, November 01, 2012

#Halloween - Rural Style!

To be honest, the idea of trolling the neighbourhood for candy (and in our case, full-sized bags of chips and cans of pop) was a little unsettling to me at first.  Number one, Little One doesn't get to eat things like that at our home on a regular basis.  If we're at a party and people are serving those items, fine.  Once in a blue moon won't kill her. Number two, I just wasn't too keen on the idea of going around to people's houses and getting heaps of junk food.

Then I decided that I didn't want my child to live in a bubble.  I can't stop her from learning about the ways and practices of our society.  I can help her make good choices, but I can't stop her from learning about what goes on outside of our home.

Enter Halloween.

I should first say that we live in the countryside.  Here, people give out family-sized bags of chips (or Cheetos) and cans of pop.  Oh, they also give out full-sized chocolate bars!  When I was a kid, this would be an incredible score! Now that I'm a Mom?  *groan*

When Hubs and I were thinking of starting a family, I was adamant about only feeding our family wholesome foods -- food that I grew with my own hands and dishes that I made completely from scratch. Though I try to feed my family that way for the most part, occasionally a little handful of chips or a few bites of chocolate are okay for Little One.

This may sound crazy to you, but I have been thinking long and hard about how we talk about food in front of Little One. We already know she loves her veggies, fruit, dairy, and meat. She's a healthy eater with a voracious appetite. I used to banish sugar from the house. No fried food, no sugar, no added salt...none of that. Then I looked at my little girl and had this frightful image of her ten years from now, hiding in her closet, curled up in the corner with a piece of chocolate cake...all because I wouldn't let her have chocolate when she was a kid.

The thought disturbed me so much. At birthday parties, I used to not let her have any birthday cake. "The icing has too much sugar" or "She doesn't need that stuff. It's not even 'food'".  I realized I cannot shelter her from what other kids are eating. I can show her that fruits and veggies are so much tastier and healthier than gummy worms or sour patch kids. I can remind her that there are so many nutrients in greens and brightly coloured veg. I've learned to ease up a bit on the not letting her have a piece of chocolate every now and then.  Even at the age of three, it's all about learning to make good choices.

I've been living on "the Island" for eight years and I am still surprised at the Halloween haul.  Because where we live, there are so few children, the goodies are far more than what I used to get living in the city.  Another difference is that we know everyone whose houses we go trick-or-treating at here.  Everyone knows everyone and everyone is your neighbour.  People even give out homemade baked goods or homemade caramel popcorn and candy apples!  I was always taught as a kid to never ever take anything not packaged or that is homemade because it could be dangerous.  Like I said, here we know our neighbours.  Not to say we shouldn't exercise caution, be we only go to people we know really well anyway.

After all the trick-or-treating is done, the kids in the community head to the Community Hall where there are games, prizes, snacks, and lots of laughs.  There's always a Halloween costume contest for all age groups, and lots of Halloween-inspired games. The kids just have a lot of fun and it's great to see all the kids come out of the woodwork!

The best part? Little One has a blast and is so exhausted by the time we head home. Love it!
Of course, she fell asleep after being a little silly!

Hope everyone had a fun (and safe) Halloween!
Funny story:  We were on our way to our first house for the night and halfway up the driveway, I heard "MEEEEEOW". Then I heard Little One laughing like crazy! When I opened the van door to get her out of her car seat so she could commence her trick-or-treating, our cat, Spike ran out of the van! Immediately, our neighbour's (neighbour meaning one of the families that lives down the highway about 10 km!) dog ran after the cat. Little One had put the cat in the van to take her trick-or-treating with us! There we were, in the pouring rain, not even started our trick-or-treating and the cat was up the neighbours tree! Makes for an interesting Halloween story. I had to tell Little One that she cannot take the cat trick-or-treating!


Julia M. C-G said...

I'm with you, Christine! I let the kids experience trick or treating, but we already know what we're going to eat and what we're not going to eat. I weeded out the sketchy pieces and tomorrow they will have one piece each. (At least I will go with that for now!)

Christine McN said...

:) Thanks for the comment. Didn't want to feel like "that" Mama! LOL! I'm not really against the loot from Halloween (because we have been doing this for the past 3 years), but the overindulgence of it all. This said, Little One is pretty good at knowing that "one treat" means one treat.

Canadian Dad said...

That is a crazy haul! We had a couple people giving out full sized chocolate bars too and I couldn't believe it!

As for the Mama voice in your head, there is nothing wrong with wanting your kids to eat right. We took the candy bags, let them each pick two things and then put the rest away. We always go to the neighbour's house for a little party after, so the kids were kept plenty busy!

MrDisco said...

wow that's quite a haul! lucky kid.

caninecologne said...

Wow, no one does that here! Full size anything! I'm sure LO had a blast! What kid wouldn't? :)

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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