Guest Author - Nicki Heskin
As a breastfeeding advocate, I do my best to avoid Nestle Products (Why? See my related article "Breastfeeding and the Nestle Boycott," linked at the end of this article.). This can be difficult any time of year, because Nestle owns so many unexpected subsidiaries for so many different types of products. But during Halloween, it is especially challenging to avoid Nestle. Here are some ideas for having fun as Halloween while showing your support to the Nestle boycott.
My personal choice for giving out Halloween candy is Organic Lollypops. It's not really healthy alternative… let's face it, organic or not, sugar is sugar. But I do avoid Nestle and support organic agriculture. The price is also really reasonable (see my link below to the product I bought at Amazon) and they store successfully from year-to-year, so you don't feel like you have to dump sugar on the older kids at the end of the evening just to get rid of it.
Halloween-themed pencils are typically one of the items that gets saved when kids empty their candy sacks at the end of trick-or-treating. My daughter always keeps and uses these, so you know your money isn't going directly to the landfill. This is a bit of a pricier item, although 10 or 12 packs can be reliably found at the dollar bins at Target or at most dollar stores. If you don't get too many trick-or-treaters this might be a nice option. Or save these for the neighborhood kids and buy a less-expensive item for the roving bands of kids you don't recognize.
Halloween Novelty Items
Plastic spider rings, vampire teeth and similar items are appreciated by many kids, and parents who limit candy consumption do tend to allow their kids to keep these items. They can be purchased online at places like Oriental Trading Company, or bought at Target or party stores pretty inexpensively. The downside of these is that they don't have as long a useful life as something like a pencil, and will end up eventually in the trash. Some kids are too old to find they of interest and will dump them upon emptying the bag. But if you are trying to avoid candy, these might be a good option.
NOT Nestle Candy
If you really want to give out chocolate, consider buying fair trade, organic minis through Global Exchange (link coming soon, below). They are pricey, but you can feel good about what you are handing out. 150 minis are roughly $35. If that's out of the budget, I tend to feel good about sticking with Hershey's. It can be tricky to know what candies are associate with Nestle (Wonka brand candies for example are Nestle, I was dismayed to discover while planning my daughter's Willy Wonka themed party!), but Hershey's definitely is not.
Be careful about buying big multi-packs of candy at places like Costco as they tend to combine brands and I have yet to find one without Nestle in there. But grocery store-sized smaller bags of minis can be bought for just Hershey's.
Have a Happy Nestle-free Halloween!
Here's a link to the organic lollipops I hand out at Halloween...