The Trick-or-Treat Store


The Trick-or-Treat Store hit its pinnacle last night. We’ve been avoiding, throwing away, or trading out the Halloween candy for the last 6 years but this year I took the Halloween store idea to another level.

The Trick-or-Treat store had a variety of goodies including dark chocolate squares, rice brownie bites (I know!), suckers colored with fruit pigments, her favorite erasers in the shape of – you’ll never guess – fast food items, animal erasers, an easel, acrylic paints, and canvases – all things she really likes to eat or to play with.

We headed out to go trick-or-treating, Evelyn dressed as a lady bug, me as a cowgirl, and Julian as Tony Stark (Maya just slept in her carrier). She collected a ton of candy that none of us would eat in a million years and returned to the Trick-or-Treat store to play make believe until the Halloween candy currency was all spent.

What did you do this year to keep the high fructose corn syrup and food coloring out of your kid’s mouths?

Author: Peggy the Primal Parent

The blog owner!


  1. My daughter is also 6 and is in Waldorf kindergarten. They have a really great All Hallow Eve celebration every Halloween as an alternative to conventional trick or treating. The teachers came up with the following for the parents: On Halloween night, when all are asleep, a Halloween fairy (or knight, king, princess…) comes to the house of kids that collected bunch of junk, (sorry! true really!) takes it with her and leaves them a REAL treat or whatever you, as responsible parent, fancy ;-) It is magical for kids and no candy fight for parents ;-)

  2. Fabulous idea! My kiddos would love this idea. We walked through our small rural community in the afternoon to gather a few supplies. They dressed up as a pirate and ballet dancer. I…the Goddess of the Forest (even though nobody knew, but the kids):~ We celebrated Autumn by talking about-reading stories of our ancestors by beeswax candlelight. Played drop the acorn in the jar. Made natural caramel apples with sticks they harvested themselves. Danced. Played with clay. Sang. Talked with family by phone. And THAT was our lovely evening. No ‘trick or treating’…..just creating our own traditional fun!

    • That sounds like such a lovely evening! Trick-or-treating is cold here usually and tiring for kids Evelyn’s age. I would love to see what she thinks of staying indoors next year. Sometimes you get sucked into trick-or-treating, though, because that’s what everyone else is up to… As long as kids know they won’t be eating that candy but using it as money, then it all works out in the end.

      In addition to trick-or-treating this year we also went to the fall fundraiser for her school. All the kids dressed up and there were booths of games to play. The prizes were all little toys.

    • How do you play drop the acorn in the jar?

  3. Sounds like a fun little halloween you had Peggy! I am 18 and partially raising my almost three year old brother. I am usually in charge on halloween and we make fun little crafts like paper bag lanterns and paint/carve pumpkins and skip the trick or treating, but this year someone asked him if he was excited to go, and of course he wouldn’t drop the subject, so I felt obligated to take him so he never feels like he missed out when he’s older. He was so tired after about ten houses that we went home straight to bed and this morning he never asked about his goodie bag full of junk. I plan on giving him a little bit of dark chocolate or almonds if he asks if he can have some.

  4. ^^^^^^^^^ In response to Waldorf Mom’s post:

    I was waldorf educated myself from kindergarten to 9th grade when I left to homeschool myself. I had that kind of halloween growing up and was very thankful for those sweet experiences. The school made a huge effort to make our halloween’s special and not about candy. We had harvest festivals and an event like what you described called Wanderer’s way. I had a wonderfully magical childhood with waldorf, but I unsure if I should send my brother there as I know it will be a struggle to maintain our paleo lifestyle. We had oatmeal for breakfast in kindergarten each day, baked bread in class to eat with vegetarian soup for our lunch, and ate rice as a snack. It was so much fun to cook and make food, but the whole fun of it was eating what you made. The school fed us what they considered healthy, and they were very pushy about how kids ate at home as well. If a child had a food allergy they would feel terribly left out when they couldn’t have a birthday treat or something like that. I want so badly for my brother and any future children to have waldorf experiences like I had but I don’t know how to keep the kiddos sheltered from unhealthy lifestyles. Waldorf has great philosophy’s on many aspects of childhood, but the one thing I do not agree with is how they think children should be fed. It was almost non-negotiable with them regarding diet. I notice dramatic differences in the behavior of my brother when he is accidentally fed wheat or soy, even one bite. I am so convinced paleo is right for my family I do not want a school to dictate differently.

    Sorry to ramble on like this but I have never heard of another waldorf mother raising their family paleo and am just so curious as to how you do it with your child in school. We have been paleo for three years now and I always assumed I would homeschool to keep the kids away from feeling left out. Any advice would be very much appreciated! Have you experienced any negative reactions regarding your child’s diet? Although I am not technically a mother, I am a legal gaurdian to my brother who has been paleo since birth. I would love to hear about how you are managing!

    :-) Blanca

    • I had wanted to put my daughter in Waldorf as well but the whole food thing really bothered me too. As I understand it, at least the Waldorf in San Jose is more WAPF but even still, there is a lot there I don’t agree with – wheat being the biggie.

    • Hi Blanca, I am pleased to hear you are a well dedicated Paleo/Waldorf person. This is my daughter’s 4th year in Santa Fe Waldorf school. All these years I have been able to get around the heavy whole grain approach of Waldorf. When my daughter started I was raw vegan which is so sad looking back…I would pack fruits and more fruits for her snack. She ate brown rice once a week on Mondays, I sent my homemade soup in thermos on Wednesdays and sent buckwheat porridge on Fridays. No grains outside of that. Last two years she has been in school 5 days a week and it is more challenging. We have been paleo last few years. I work with kindergarten teacher closely. My daughter still eats rice on Mondays, vegetable soup on Tuesday. Wednesday is baking day and teacher makes a separate dough for my daughter. It is coconut flour, water, butter. Not ideal, nutmit is part of hteir curriculum. So she does not feel left out. Kids don’t bother her why she has different things, they are used to it and does her. Thursday is a sourdough bread day. My daughter participates in making it on Wednesday afternoon, then kids eat the bread on Thursday long walk along with lots of butter, almond butter and carrot sticks. So she eats all except bread and never complained. They makes croutons for soup day from leftover bread, which teacher leaves out for my daughter. Friday is oatmeal day and I send my buckwheat. again not ideal, even this amount of grain she gets at school is too much for my taste, but next year in 1st grade she will not have any of this as parents send lunch every day. I grew up in a different country/culture and I am used to often times not fitting in. I guess my daughter is the same way even though my husband is American. Her teacher is a WAPF nutritionist, she uses tons of butter for kids and agrees that whole grain approach as Steiner proposed it at the turn of the last century does not serve American kids these days. She serves a lot of fats in the form of nuts and seeds prepared Nourishing Traditions style, raw butter and cheese. She bakes flourless carob cake from Nourishing Traditions for birthday celebration at school. they have 15 kids in class, so 15 cakes a year! Eventhough each child gets one thin slice along with seasonal fruits and cream whipped by teacher, it is way to much cake for my taste. I bake Paleo just 2-3 times a year myself. First two years in preschool my daughter didn’t eat cake, just fruits, as we were raw vegan. When you start all this so early, kids don’t have anything to compare with. Sure they start to notice things in other people houses, but “this is how we do things in our family”! Waldorf community is not huge here and when your kids attend Waldorf school you are viewed as a weirdo, but same when you are Paleo and on top I am an immigrant from Europe. So I have not been fitting in for the last 10 years I have lived in U.S. I personally don’t care and raise my girl the same way. She never experienced the conventional Halloween, never went trick or treating, never had ANY junk, I mean any processed/packaged food. Here I am not even talking about fast food places and such as I do not consider it suitable for human consumption.
      I feel like I have been rambling and hope some of it makes sense. I would be happy to tell you more if you have any specific Waldorf/Paleo questions.

  5. We had a great Halloween! My son is 8 he was Harry Potter and my daughter 4 1/2 was snow white. I was a jelly fish. They went to dozens and dozens of houses and ended up with huge bags of candy. We came home and they made candy sculptures we took photos and they promptly threw them away. All of those nasty candies are quite colorful and pretty as art supplies. My son came up with the idea for the candy sculptures last January when he found the stash of candy that I felt guilty about throwing out.

    Today they each picked out a toy as a trade in for the rest of their candy.

    I love the idea of the Halloween store!

    • That is the best idea ever! We already threw the bag of candy away this year (actually the Great Pumpkin came to retrieve it during the night – a myth brought to us by Evelyn’s diabetic friend!) but next year we’ll be doing art with it for sure!

      My sister always used to do art with old makeup and fingernail polish. Candy is just one step beyond…

  6. I bought soy lethicen free dark chocolate and broke it into squares. Then I wrapped each piece in foil and put dinosaur stickers on for my little boys:) I brought this to their school “trunk or treat” and handed out organic fruit roll-ups (costco has 50 for 10.00), bouncy balls and pencils (at Walmart and basically as cheap as candy). After my boys did a round of trick or treating, they traded their stuff out for the dark chocolate.

    I also made sure that they ate a hearty, protein full meal before we left.

  7. My almost three year old got a visit from the Switch Witch this year! She loved it!! We put her candy out by the lighted Jack-o-lantern and the switch witch came in the night and took her candy and left her toys, crafts and better treats! It was perfect for this year. In later years I would like her to make the decision to not eat her candy (as in the store idea) instead of “tricking” her with the switch witch, but this year it was perfect as I don’t think she would have really gotten the whole store thing quite yet. :)

    • My partner and I were talking about that this morning. He said he likes our store idea best because it’s honest, but I don’t know if it’s reallhy so bad to entertain young children’s fantasies. They pretty much live entirely in fantasy land at Evelyn’s age anyway. I know some kids can be pretty disappointed, even devastated, when they find out that Santa Claus isn’t real but, personally, I just remember being thankful that my parents went out of the way to please me.

      • Yes, both my husband and I loved Santa Claus and were not at all disappointed when we found out he was not real. However, we like the idea of being honest as well as entertaining the magical and imaginary world we loved so well growing up. It’s way tougher to do both those things than it would seem. I think we are basically going to talk about the fantasy characters being pretend (when she can really understand that) but also read books about them, and still use them on the holidays. I have no idea if it will work, but we are hoping the magic stays, while showing her we want to be honest with her.

  8. We just did what we do every Halloween. We all (the kids, DH and I) went out trick-or-treating. We each ate a few pieces of candy (I think around 4 for DH and I and (gasp!) around 6 for the kids, mostly chocolate) while we we walking. It was a good 2 hour or so walk. When we got home the kids put out their candy bags outside by the door for the “Great Pumpkin” to come and collect (we don’t know what he does with the candy, we just know he collects it, o.k., it went to DH’s work:-)). The next day Great Pumpkin brought the kids a cool toy in exchange for the candy. Sounds corny but this is what works for us.

  9. Love love love this idea! I am new to your site and to primal/paleo, and we are doing this immediately! Thank you!