Healthier Halloween Treats

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I may look forward to Halloween as much as my kiddos do. This year will be my youngest’s first Halloween to trick-or-treat and I can’t wait to see her toddle up to the neighbor’s front doors and say, “Please” and “Thank you” and hold out her little bucket. I can’t wait to come home and dump all of the candy out on the living room floor and sort each piece by their categories. And as we’re sorting and inspecting my momma bear eyes can’t help but read the back of each package to see what the ingredients  I’m about to let my kiddos to ingest are.

Now, you may be reading this and thinking, “Oh, what’s the big deal? A few pieces are harmless.” I once thought that as well. I was the mommy that wanted to let my kids live a little and experience all of the commercialized holidays and everything that came with it. And then my twins got older and started having issues. Migraines, tummy aches, and eczema are just a few of the side effects the twins started experiencing. When I became pregnant with my youngest I was older, too, and much more aware of what I was consuming as well.

I enjoy reading and would start reading everything. Boy have times sure changed! When I expected to read ingredients like milk chocolate, sugar, and peanut butter I was thrown for a loop as my eyes would scrunch up trying to pronounce words like tert – butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) and polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR). TBHQ has been linked to the rise of food allergies and PGPR is fairly new on the scene. It’s a slimy, yellow, fatty substance used to stretch cocoa by making it go further.

I’ve composed a list of healthier Halloween goodies that you can feel better about handing out to your trick-or-treaters or bringing to your child’s class party.

Annie’s Halloween Bunny Grahams

Made with organic wheat flour, Annie’s bunny grahams are non-GMO verified and don’t have any artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives. and no high fructose corn syrup.


Annie’s Organic Halloween Fruit Snack Packs

USDA certified organic made with real fruit juice, no artificial flavors, colors, or high fruit cornstarch and are gluten free.

Right now Cartwheel is offering additional savings on Annie’s Halloween fruit snacks and Halloween grahams. You can save 20%!

Yum Earth Organic Gummies, Lollipops, and Candy Corn

Special edition gummy jack o’lanterns and bats and candy corn that are non-GMO, gluten-free, and USDA organic.

Justin’s Mini Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Certified USDA Organic and gluten free, Justin’s peanut butter cups are AMAZING! I actually prefer them to Reese’s. These perfect cups are made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa and sustainably sources palm fruit oil.

OCHO Candy

All treat and no tricks with these delectable candy bars! Ochos Candy bars are certified organic, non-GMO, and the coconut and dark chocolate peanut butter bars are certified vegan. They come in bite=sized minis or full sized candy bars. My favorite is the variety bag because there’s something for everyone in there! The guys scarf down the peanut butter while us gals savory the coconut and we all share the caramel. These guys do not disappoint and definitely do not last long in our home.

UNREAL Halloween gluten-free, vegan, Non-GMO Dark Chocolate Crispy Peanut Butter Cups

These are like peanut butter cups but with a crispy twist! Think Nestle Crunch bar with peanut butter.

UNREAL Halloween Non-GMO Chocolate Gems

An M&M alternative! Woohoo! The guys at Unreal have created some of our favorite treats with nothing artificial, all certified organic, fair trade, and sustainable ingredients, They’re non-GMO verified, vegan, and the peanut butter and almond butter cups are certified gluten free. It it unreal how amazing these goodies are!

Glee Gum

Made in the USA with all natural ingredients, sustainably harvested rainforest chicle, and are gluten free. So absolutely no scary ingredients found here!

Glee Gum now offers Gum Pops! Remember Tootsie Pops? Here’s their healthier twin!

There are even mini box options to hand out this Halloween. Cute things come in small packages!


Non-Candy Treats

Non candy treats make great items to hand out at Halloween! They allow for extended fun and no added sugar. Oriental Trading and Target have awesome options!

Christian non-candy Treats

I really love the idea of handing out Halloween-themed goodies to share the light of Jesus on an otherwise scary holiday!

Baby & Toddler Options

Ever wonder what those adorable little trick-or-treaters may have when they came strolling or toddling up to your door? I have and I always feel bad when I don’t have something for the little ones. So I got to thinking and came up with a few tot approved treats.

The Teal Pumpkin Project

If you haven’t heard of The Teal Pumpkin Project allow me to give you a quick rundown. Food Allergy Research and Education started to raise awareness for children with food allergies so that they, too, may still participate in the Halloween festivities without worry. Simply paint a pumpkin teal or display one of these adorable signs created by Dawn Warnaar over at Dawn Nicole Designs. A special thank you to Dawn for allowing me to share her cute printables!

Just click on the printable below to print out and display!


Candy & Non-Food Treat Sign

Non-Food Treat Sign

I hope this guide has been helpful, informative, and has given you some great ideas to make everyone’s Halloween a little healthier and safer. If you have an idea that you didn’t see listed, please comment and share below. I’d love to hear from you!

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

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How To Beat the Stomach Flu Quickly & Naturally

This post contains affiliate links. Please read more about my disclosure policy here.

Well, the stomach flu bug has invaded our home and prompted this post. I have found it nearly impossible to avoid all forms of illness as long as my twins are in public school. They’re the breeding grounds for rapidly growing and spreading germs. After working in the public school system, owning my own preschool, and being married to a Type 1 diabetic I have tried several methods for beating multiple illness that sneak their way into our home.

Today I’m going to specifically cover the stomach flu because it has made it’s most unwelcome presence.

Stomach flu symptoms

The stomach flu symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This can lead to severe dehydration which inhibits the body’s ability to regain strength and fight off those nasty flu invaders. When my family members come down with something icky I try to heal them with healthy and natural alternatives. You may already have these items in your pantry or refrigerator and they can also be much more cost efficient than traditional over-the-counter medications.

first measures

When the stomach flu hits it usually has the domino effect. It starts with one person and just keeps jumping from person to person. If you can give the other family members pure grape juice without sugar added that will be their best defense if the illness is already in the home and they’re not already showing signs of flu symptoms. If they are then it’s too late. Don’t give grape juice at this point or you’ll be dealing with purple puke.

Grape juice works by changing the pH in the intestinal tract so that the virus can’t multiply. It contains strong anti-viral chemicals as well as Vitamin C and antioxidants. Pure grape juice is supposed to flush and kill the virus and severely lessen the symptoms. When someone gets the stomach virus it really isn’t even in the stomach at all but is in the large and small intestines. The stomach flu keeps changing the acidity in the intestines and makes you feel sick to your stomach. By keeping the pH of the intestines slightly more alkaline can prevent the virus from taking its toll and making you sick.

So if your other kiddos and you are around someone with the stomach flu, start drinking the grape juice as soon as you know you’ve been around it.

***UPDATE*** As soon as the twins showed symptoms of the stomach flu my toddler*, husband and I started drinking pure concord grape juice and didn’t come down with the flu so I can personally attest to the grape juice working. It’s definitely worth a shot!

*My toddler is 18-months old, is still breastfeeding, and hasn’t ever been sick. You can read more about how to increase and maintain your milk supply here.

disinfect everything

In the past you would have found me hoarding bottles upon bottles of Lysol disinfectant spray. I used that stuff like it was going out of style when I owned my preschool and at the end of each school day I was wiping down tables, chairs, and doorknobs at school. Now, I can’t even stand the smell of the stuff. Commercialized cleaners have ingredients in them that I certainly have a difficult time pronouncing. I also have two dogs that live indoors with us and a toddler who is touching, climbing up on, and putting everything in her mouth. So, naturally, I had concerns about what I was spraying on everything in my home.

I’m new to essential oils but am really loving my experiences with them! Below is a natural disinfectant spray.

Natural disinfectant spray

1/2 cup Vodka

1/2 cup of water

15 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil

25 drops of Wild Orange Essential Oil

15 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

15 drops of Lavender Oil

Glass spray bottle

Mix all ingredients together and add to the glass spray bottle. Shake the spray bottle while cleaning. Spray all surfaces that are touched frequently in your home.

If you’re like me and  don’t drink alcohol and don’t have any at home get a inexpensive bottle for $5. Do not leave it out of the disinfectant spray. It will help sterilize all of your surfaces.

Be sure you’re using only the highest quality essential oils and buying USDA Certified organic oils.

Wash up!

Get everyone to wash their hands and frequently! I’m the Soap Nazi at my house with this one. I’ll admit that I’m guilty of constantly asking my kids if they washed, how long they washed, did they get between their fingers, when they get home from school, after they use the restroom, before and after they eat or help out in the kitchen.  I’ve even noticed how many people I know personally that I have observed first hand NOT washing their hands or getting their fingertips a little damp. C’mon guys! Eww!

Just like with disinfectant spray, hand soaps contain several harmful ingredients like triclosan and octylphenol. Here’s an easy and safe antibacterial hand soap you can make right at home.

DIY Antibacterial hand soap

2 Tbsp unscented castile soap

1-2 tsp fractionated coconut oil

10-15 drops of essential oil of your choice

1 foaming soap dispenser


  1. Pour the castile soap and fractionated coconut oil into the soap dispenser.
  2. Add the drops of essential oils – I like lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary because of their antibacterial properties.
  3. Fill the soap bottle up with water.
  4. Screw on the pump lid and shake gently to mix all of the ingredients together.
  5. Give the lid 2-3 pumps and wash thoroughly.

The fractionated coconut oil helps moisturize your hands while the essential oils smell great!

I wash my hands even more frequently when someone is sick in the home. More than usual! I feel like I’m washing my hands every few minutes and I notice my hands start to get dry. I absolutely loveThe Honest Company’s Organic Healing Balm. This balm truly is the all-purpose ointment and can be used for a multitude of reasons. They recently changed the name to All Purpose Balm because of it’s many uses.

Hydrate and rehydrate

As soon as the sicky can tolerate sipping on liquids I grab a box of coconut water. Coconut water has more hydrating properties than a glass of tap water and helps bowels. It also can fight off viruses because of its anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Its a rich source of electrolytes and natural salts, especially potassium and mangesium, which is crucial for rehydrating especially if that nasty flu bug attacked at both ends. Coconut water is a living food with easily absorbable electrolytes, sugars, antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, and vitamins. It’s very valuable in treating vomiting and is a much healthier alternative to sports drinks. I would highly recommend choosing the pineapple coconut water for kids since plain coconut milk may not be as fun for kids to drink down especially when they’re not feeling well. My kids lovepineapple coconut water and always ask for more of it!

starting solids

When said sicky is no longer making trips to the restroom you can slowly start to offer solids. Here’s a list of easy to digest foods:

Little Extras

My husband and I drink two tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar every morning to help boost our immunity. Make sure it has “The Mother” in it. If you’re not used to drinking apple cider vinegar be prepared for the smell and taste. It reminds me of stinky feet and is so vinegary that I always pucker and shudder after taking two tablespoons. Think of it as taking a shot and having a “chaser” helps to get it down. I like to follow up with the pure concord grape juice.

This, along with with proper diet, exercise, plenty of water, and good hand-washing practice has kept us well. We haven’t been sick in two years! When our twins come home from school with any ickies we have been able to avoid getting sick ourselves by implementing these steps.

When I’m out and about running errands and can’t immediately get to a sink to wash my hands I always keep hand sanitizer on hand. Think of when a kiddo gets sick in the car. It’s happened too many times to count and when I have to pull over to clean them up I spray a generous amount on my hands. Make sure to follow up with a good hand washing. This works well for the kids when they’re at school and aren’t allowed to keep getting up from their desks to thoroughly wash their hands.

What natural home remedies are tried and true within your household? I’d love to hear what has worked for you and your family! Please comment and share below.

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Best Halloween Books for Kiddos

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Yes! Fall is finally here! For our family the decor, toys, and books change each month in our home according to not only the season but also the holiday that comes along with each month. I set out a basket of books with my kids’ favorite seasonal reads.

My kiddos and I have enjoyed reading these Halloween favorites again and again since the twins were babies (they’re almost 10 now!) and have added one or two each year. Now my youngest can enjoy these reads as well. She absolutely loves when big sister reads to her!


baby & toddler books

mouse’s first halloween

Mouse’s First Halloween is great for little hands because it’s a sturdy board book that little ones can’t rip or chew apart. Mouse is out and about one spooky night and on his journey he finds things that “aren’t so scary after all”. I love how it helps teach younger children about their surroundings and to discover new things.

Biscuit’s pet & play halloween 

Biscuit’s Pet & Play Halloween is one of my personal favorites! It’s a wonderful book that explores sensory play. This Biscuit book comes with touch-and-feel textures that my youngest enjoys feeling over and over again. It’s also a board book – no soggy pages!

here comes halloween

Here Comes Halloween has adorable graphics and gives young ones idea on what they, too, could be for Halloween. Each costume idea has descriptive words to expand your child’s vocabulary. This particular book is geared towards boys but my youngest daughter loves it just the same. It cracks me up to hear her imitate the BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! sound the robot makes!

picture me happy halloween & peek-a-boo


Picture Me Happy Halloween and Peek-A-Boo are awesome because you can personalize these books. All of my kiddos love to see their own faces in these books! My youngest squeals out her older siblings names so I love that she has facial recognition down.

Children’s books



Fisher Price little people halloween is here


I am obsessed with any and everything Fisher Price Little People! My goodness are they CUTE! Not only does Fisher Price Little People make amazing toys for kids ages 1 up to 5 but they also offer super-duper cool books and jammin’ music CDs. They’re quality items as well because I have had this entire Halloween collection since the twins were one and this is the first year I’ve whipped them out for my youngest. It adds a bit of sentiment that I was able to pass this along to her and they are still as great as they were almost ten years ago.


The Halloween Is Here book is a hard board book with bright, colorful pictures. There are even flaps that your child can lift up to discover more fun within their reading. This helps build cause and effect skills. The book encourages counting, too. I say awesome-possum to that!

fisher price little people halloween sing-Along

The music lover in me went gaga for this!The Fisher Price Little People Halloween Sing Along includes Halloween favorites like Monster Mash, the Purple People Eater, and Ghostbusters along with classic preschool favorites with a Halloween twist.

Fisher price little people trick-or-treat surprise

Okay, how cute is this Little People Trick-or-Treat Surprise set??? Absolutely adorable! When my husband pulled this out of storage for my little one I told him that it felt like Christmas; our youngest had hit the jackpot with the new book, music and toy overload! It’s really good to rotate your children’s toys so that they don’t get board and receive new stimulation through play and discovery. Fisher Price even offers additional Halloween character sets on their website to add to the fun! Right now the Trick-or-Treat Surprise play set is on sale saving you $10. Woot-woot!


Room On The Broom


Who knows of the book, The Gruffalo? The same creators of The Gruffalo also wrote this fantastic children’s book. I love, love, LOVE books that rhyme and Room On The Broom executes this beautifully. There is even a Room on the Broom movie to go with the book! Read this book with your kiddos first then have a movie night as a family.

Happy Halloween, Little Critter! 

When I was just two years old I received my first Little Critter book when my mom was pregnant with my little brother. The Little Critter books bring back wonderful memories of reading as a kid and that’s why I’m even happier to share them with my kids. I like how Little Critter’s friends, Spider and Mouse, are hiding on each page because my kids like finding them. Happy Halloween, Little Critter! has lots of great illustrations with flaps to add more to Mercer Mayer’s holiday story.

The Berenstain Bears

Also a childhood favorite, the Berenstain Bears books always have a teachable moment for young readers. I like this 2-in-1 combo book from Target that features Trick or Treat and The Prize Pumpkin. The Prize Pumpkin even leads into the Thanksgiving season.

Pippa the Pumpkin Fairy

This wonderfully animated tale is a bit new on the scene. The vibrant cover first caught my attention at my kids’ book fair when they were in first grade and I just couldn’t resist. Glitter decorates the cover while bouncy fonts capture the readers attention and whimsical illustrations dance throughout this book. It’s modern day FAIRY tale approach teaches a valuable lesson. Pippa the Pumpkin Fairy is one that will surely please the little ladies of the house. Did I mention how much I love books that rhyme??

The kiddos also have these books in their Halloween library:

What are some of your children’s favorite Halloween books they enjoy reading this month? Please share some titles that are in your collection below!

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