As Halloween rolls around, there may be some easy tricks to making treats at this fun time of the year less toxic for our kids.
While dropping off my daughter at school a couple of weeks ago I saw the sign-up for the “Orange Halloween Party” potluck. There were various options some healthy some not so much, but I was happy to bring in something healthy for my daughter to eat that day.
At the end of the page, I saw a list of ingredients to bring in for the “Witch’s Brew” including:
Hawaiian Punch (2 liters)
7up (2 liters)
Orange sherbet, optional served on the side (1/2 gallon)
I couldn’t help but wonder, why? Why Hawaiian Punch? …It’s red? …It’s cheap? …It’s easy? Why 7up? …Plain sweet carbonation, I guess. The real why being, why is this being served at school?
Not entirely surprised I went on with my day, rather relaxed knowing my daughter will be having her mother bring in a healthy, “Good” Witch’s Brew for her (see recipe below).
Coincidentally (or perhaps not!), that same day I happen to be doing some research online regarding Prop 65 (it’s list of cancer causing ingredients that must be labeled in California) and as I went through it I found numerous red and blue food dyes on the list. Naturally the Hawaiian Punch thought popped up in my mind, so I looked into exactly what makes Hawaiian Punch red these days. Here are the ingredients as listed on the label:
WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP AND LESS THAN 2% OF: CONCENTRATED JUICES (APPLE, CLARIFIED PINEAPPLE, PASSIONFRUIT, ORANGE), FRUIT PUREES (APRICOT, PAPAYA, GUAVA), ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), CITRIC ACID, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, PECTIN, ACACIA GUM, ESTER GUM, RED 40, BLUE 1, SUCRALOSE, POTASSIUM SORBATE AND SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE (PRESERVATIVES)
I did some more research; this is a report from the Center of Science in the Public Interest that has been submitted to the FDA regarding the health risks of artificial food dyes. This research only points out the dangers of food dyes, left untapped is the rest of the questionable ingredients on most labels these days. This is just the tip of the iceberg for most of these “treats.”
I thought about the parents that don’t know these details. I thought about the kids that don’t know this information and are being “treated” with this Halloween fare. So for these guys, I’m bringing in the following healthy alternative for the “Orange Halloween Party.” This may not be the end of their exposure to artificial colors and sweeteners but maybe the beginning of awareness for the parents and teachers. The recipe is so simple yet, and so easily prepared off the shelf reducing load on the kids systems drastically. Thrilled that most people will be able to replicate this without much hassle!
Off the Shelf:
Now for the “REAL FOOD” Recipe. Enjoy!
4 liters of cold brewed hibiscus tea sweetened w/ raw honey. Fermented (makes it bubbly) with regenerative micro-organisms 😉