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Are you excited for Halloween but tired of handing out the same types of candy year after year?
If this seems familiar to you, I have several ideas to make this Halloween season unique and healthy while supporting local farmers. While children seem to enjoy receiving candy, it is typically all that they get, so a change in treat might be just as enjoyable for them as the receiver as it is for you the giver this season!
A couple of years ago as I was preparing for Halloween, I had the idea that I wanted to be able to incorporate my love for the dairy industry into my Halloween treat not only to provide a different type of treat for the kids, but more often a healthier treat, all while advocating for, sharing and supporting the farm industry. That year in particular I handed out yogurt tubes, pudding cups and string cheese. All of these items were a huge hit with the children! Many of the kids had them opened as soon as they received them. Not only do these types of treats serve as an easy snack while out trick or treating, but they also can easily be put in lunches throughout the week following Halloween. In subsequent years, I’ve switched it up and have done individual bottles of milk paired with cookies or granola bars.
As a dairy producer, I tend to incorporate dairy, however, and whenever, possible. But there are also several other ways to be different in your treat giving this year while supporting other local producers. Some ideas for that include apples, flavored honey sticks, apple cider chugs, or even pairing with a local farm market and providing coupons to be redeemed for a bakery item, ice cream pint, etc. Not only are these unique treats for the kids, but local producers are being supported and their business names and product are getting more circulation.
Many children and their families are not directly related to farms. With that, I feel it is extremely important to do whatever we can to support the individual farmers and the products they produce and sell. Not only are we supporting individuals and their families who dedicate their lives to feeding us, but we are helping to bridge the gap on informing consumers on where these products come from.
Some children may never get the chance on their own to go pick farm-fresh apples or get a specialty flavored milk chug, but if we provide these products for them or vouchers to go get them, it may be the perfect opportunity to open the door for educating on the farm to table.
Submitted by Julie Holler, a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau Board of Trustees.
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