For kids, Halloween is all about dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating, and coming home with plastic baskets, bags, or even pillowcases filled with candy. However, for vegans this presents a problem since most candy is not vegan. Now there is a perfect solution for vegan parents…as well as parents who just don’t want their kids to eat ridiculous amounts of candy filled with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, carnauba wax, and other chemicals. Enter the Switch Witch.
The Switch Witch is a pretend character just like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. It's similar to the Tooth Fairy, except instead of exchanging a tooth for money, kids exchange candy for a toy. Here’s how it works:
When kids come home with a big bag of candy, parents have a few choices. You can let your kids have a few pieces of candy, you’ll just have to swap out the non-vegan pieces for vegan pieces. Or you can skip the candy altogether and just plan on the Switch Witch taking it all. I don’t recommend the latter because I think it’s important for kids to participate in the ritual of not only collecting the candy, but also eating some (in moderation). If you’re not going to let them have any of the candy they collected (or you swapped out), then it’s probably not fair to even let them trick-or-treat in the first place.
After kids enjoy a few treats, then it’s time to prepare for the Switch Witch. Have kids put all of their leftover candy in a special bowl, or keep it in the original trick-or-treat bag. Right before bedtime, kids put the bag outside of their bedroom door, or the front door. While they’re sleeping, the Switch Witch will fly in and take their candy, leaving a toy in its place. When kids wake up, they’ll be excited to find a special present! Be creative, and add your own touches to help make the tradition fun and unique to your family. Vegan or not, it’s a common sense approach to dealing with too much candy.
Halloween is a favorite holiday among kids, and incorporating the Switch Witch just makes it better. Kids get to trick-or-treat, eat some candy, and they get a special present the next morning.
So what do you do with all that leftover candy? Without kids finding out of course, parents can take the stash to work for co-workers, donate it to a shelter, give it to friends or family, or just throw it out since candy is garbage anyway and not beneficial to anyone's health.
Some parents might feel that it’s only one day when kids get to eat candy, so we should let them eat whatever they want. However, it's not really just one day of candy-- when you spread out the amount of candy that most kids collect, it can, and usually does last for weeks. Seriously, do kids really need that much candy? Won't a few pieces, combined with a fun night of trick-or- treating, and a visit from the Switch Witch suffice?
Incorporating the Switch Witch into your Halloween tradition is a great idea for many reasons. With 1 out of 3 kids being overweight or obese (triple the rate from 50yrs ago), and rates of other food-related diseases and illnesses rising, letting kids consume pounds and pounds of sugary candy (and chemicals) is hardly a smart decision. This, on top of the fact that most candy is not vegan, makes the Switch Witch a perfect solution for parents looking for a healthier, safer, more compassionate Halloween. Start this year, and make it a new tradition that kids look forward to every year.
NOTE: If you think that your kids might be scared of a witch coming into the house, you could revise it and do a fairy, or some other animal. You could even do a "magic box." Kids can decorate a cardboard box, and then leave it outside of their room-- then overnight it magically disappears and in its place is a toy!
Create your own story about the Switch Witch, or pick up one of these books below to share with your kids:
Try this amazing recipe for homemade vegan candy corn. I made it last year (and plan on making it again this year ), and it came out perfectly. It tasted just like the original
Here's a list of vegan Halloween candy.
Recipe for vegan pumpkin cupcakes narrated by Petey the vegan.