I brought my kids to the St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, on Sunday. There was music, dancing and mounds and mounds of candy. We left with our pockets and stroller pouch overflowing with candy! Although I don’t want to deprive my children of the fun experience of collecting candy, I don’t want them to eat a large quantity of artificial colors, dyes and sweeteners.
Photos By Sarah Lozanova
At Halloween, a fairy came along and traded dates and raisins for the candy stash. Thankfully my kids were asleep before the trick-or-treating ended, so we were able to pass the candy along to other children. For St. Patrick’s Day, we decided to make artwork from the candy collection.
We started out by making homemade glue, which contains water, cornstarch, corn syrup and vinegar. My children, ages 2 and 4, then glued the candy on thick pieces of paper. They really enjoyed the project and didn’t once ask for a taste. The candy is still edible if anyone wants it, as the glue is food grade.
I enjoy celebrating holidays with my children, but I keep the emphasis on spending quality time together and enjoying ourselves, and away from heaps of candy. My daughter’s Easter basket last year was filled with carrots and blueberries, and we used polished rocks for our dreidel games (instead of chocolate coins). It keeps me on my toes too, finding creative and fun ways to celebrate the holidays.
Sarah Lozanova is a mother of two, a holistic parenting coach, and a freelance environmental writer. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and has an MBA in sustainable development.