This year, NYC is running a Healthy Halloween campaign. “Working with schools and community groups, Healthy Halloween stresses the creative aspects of the holiday, expanding the vision of Trick or Treat beyond candy.”
I’m not sure what I think of this campaign, though I’m certain that their Healthy Halloween song really bites. I mean really, “We’re gonna focus less on candy… Doing things things that are creative/ and eating healthy/ to fight disease.”
I like the idea of incorporating fun, creative things into Halloween activities, sort of like turning Halloween into a big autumn festival type celebration. But all the fun and appeal of Trick-or-Treating is specifically getting to dress up and get free candy, and no amount of kitschy Healthy Halloween song will make kids want to Trick-or-Treat for fruits and vegetables.
I guess my issue with the campaign is that they seem to be trying too hard, with the song (I just can’t get over how bad it is!) as exhibit A. You can teach kids that candy is a treat to be eaten in moderation while still leaving the concept of Trick-or-Treating alone. Little kids will always think the house that hands out granola bars instead of Snickers bars is lame. And for heaven’s sake, if you’re going to try to trick them into eating less candy, don’t tell them that you’re going to do so. Then they’ll never fall for it.