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  1. These totes and bags are so neat!! I love them and what a great idea,I love that you are getting two for the price of one ,because they are rrsaeveble. I really like them all ,one of my favorites is the Sushi Charmer Tote,too cute and fun. Count me in to win!

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  3. I think it would be a great idea to have a mini series on food and healthy eating. The relevance to mental health practitioners is significant. Food can be a source of joy, a way to self-care and to nourish both body and spirit. But when our relation to food and eating is distored and unhealthy, it can have a huge negative impact on both mental and physical well being. I applaud Michelle Obama for her efforts in this area. The future of our country depends in large part to the mental and physical health of our future citizens.

  4. Also should you decide to do a series on nutrition Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD author of GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) would be an excellent resource.

  5. I would definitely be interested on the nutrition series…and as for what we hand out on halloween…we have found that it isn;t real difficult to find some fairly high quality trinkets reasonably priced that the kids seem to really like in contrast with all the candy…we do novelty erasers, pencils, super bouncy balls, usually we take the grandchildren and have them select what they would like…so far it’s worked everytime…

  6. mini Larabars….my only reservation about these is the nuts for those with allergies 🙁

  7. Ditto to Arlene’s (10/27) response. We give little trinkets on Halloween. In fact, we collect ample trinkets from pinatas at parties, Easter, previous Halloweens, birthday party favor goodies, etc. etc. throughout the year, that I recycle it all at Halloween. I also have taken to spray painting little rocks gold, giving out “magical sea shells”, and those little round “treasures” (glass pebbles) that you get at Michaels for vases/fish tanks. The kids love these items as they get plenty of the candy elsewhere. We don’t buy candy in our house (excluding 89% dark chocolates) so our kiddos love Halloween treats. We used the ‘Switch Witch’ (put your candy out and the next morning, a toy appears and your candy goes to a toy factory to make more toys) as one tactic when the kiddos were young. Now that our kiddos are getting older, however, I’m more mindful of how candy can become that forbidden fruit. So last year we filtered out some of the excess and just let them keep their bowls of candy in plain view in the kitchen play area. They tend to have a piece here and there (post meal or healthy snack) but have yet to finish off the small amount that they do keep. In other words, they still have candy in a basket from last Halloween, Christmas, and Easter. My hope is that now, if they eat it, it will really taste bad ; )
    All for a nutritional series. BTW, I read a spiritual teaching that really stuck with me. It related to the fact that every meal, one should fill their belly with 1/3 food, 1/3 water, and 1/3 Spirit. You can interpret Spirit however you like (Wisdom, Love, God, Song, Compassion, etc.)
    Pardon typos – I don’t have to to re-read for edits.

  8. I recommend interviewing Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. http://psychologyofeating.com/ He is both knowledgeable and very compassionate about the complex relationship we have with food.

  9. There are many alternatives to giving candy to trick or treaters on Hallowe’en. There are excellent ideas in these responses. I gave pads of plain paper and boxes of crayons one year. Another year I gave small hallowe’en toys (spiders and spider rings, etc. that I bought in a big bag at the local drugstore) and also gave packets of stickers. Both the kids and their parents seemed happy with the small gift treats.
    Thanks for the mindfulness teleseminars. I’m enjoying them very much and getting inspiration for my own meditation practice along with daily mindfulness practice.

  10. Hi Ruth
    I would love a series on nutrition. Ditto about what Marylynn is saying about mental health/addiction and diet. The mentally ill are lost in the web of cheap foods and addictions. I don’t know to reach them.

  11. I don’t eat sugar and high carb foods. I don’t therefore support Halloween after spending money for years on sweet treats and making multiple runs to the store on the same evening to refill the candy dish.
    I choose to spend money and focus on gratitude for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
    I would appreciate a series on nutritional and delicious foods that are simple to make and not too expensive.

  12. Yes – I have been asking for a series on really current info on nutrition including supplements data. Thanks!

  13. My plan is to dress like a baby carrot (idea from “Family Fun” magazine) and to pass out baby carrots in a snack bag. I also have Halloween pencils and little Halloween puzzel books. I very much welcome a series on food.

    • Really? Many of these women still look really good in their \ young\ petcuris, and most of the ones who don\’t look good look that way because very few people would apply the label \ sexy\ to an 8 year-old.

    • So cute I love it, I also just got an order for a Halloween theme baby shower cake Could u share how u made the mummy with me? I am a self tghaut baker/decorater so I am learning as I go . If u don’t want to share I completely understand thank u . Jen

  14. For years, I’ve been giving out party favors- small puzzles, whistles, small books, yoyo’s, etc. I buy them at party warehouse stores. They’re not harmful for health- they can last to the following year if left over- and no temptation to eat what’s left (the after effect of having purchased too much candy).

  15. Recently I moved to Costa Rica and I needed to find a container that I had shipped abroad Ocean Freight. It had gotten “stuck” in customs and with Homeland Security in Long Beach. I was transferred to the wrong number in customs and the official I accidentally ended up talking to was telling me that ALL food coming into the US is X-rayed with high-powered x ray machines while it is still in the metal container. Those grapes from Chile? Irradiated. That melon from Central America? Irradiated. I found this alarming to say the least. The message? Eat local produce AND grow your OWN food. Very timely series, Ruth. We take SO much for granted in our food supply chain.

  16. We give out light microwave popcorn (3-4 packages to a box and inexpensive at the dollar store) and/or small individual bags of peanuts ( again about 6 to a box at the dollar store). We’ve also given all natural animal crackers or multi-grain snacks purchased in bulk. One year we ran out of these more healthy treats because word got around and people were coming from all over.

  17. I give out individually wrapped Halloween themed toothbrushes purchased in bulk from an on-line dental supply site. Most children are delighted!

  18. Ruth I truly appreciate all your programs. I do think that a series on all aspects of food/nutrition and mental health/addictions would be very worthwhile. I would appreciate information on what science is finding out about the effect of good nutrition (or lack thereof) on mental health and wellness. I am deeply concerned also about how poverty and the convenience and accessibility of cheap fast foods are affecting those with serious mental illness. I would like to know more about what those of us who work with that population can do to encourage healthy eating for overall emotional and physical wellness for those struggling with poverty as well due to their mental illness. Also I believe that Terrance Gorski has done some very interesting work on how nutrition can benefit those in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction – it would be interesting to hear from him about this topic if possible. Thanks again for all you do!

  19. I believe that doling out candy and sweet and salty foods as “treats” – whether at Halloween or other times – reinforces the notion of certain foods as “treats” and other foods as “non-treats.” Then some of us get fixated on “treats” in adulthood. (I speak from experience!)
    Instead of candy or other food, the last few years I’ve gone to the Dollar Store and purchased a variety of stickers that would appeal to girls and boys of different ages. The cost is 50 cents per package. The response has been pretty positive – I hear “ooooo – stickers!” when they’re received. And parents who accompany their little ones invariably comment “what a great idea!” I imagine there are other small toys or craft items that would be equally delightful!

  20. Hi Ruth,
    Regarding the tradition of Halloween….I don’t mean to be a pessimist butthe candy extravanganza is ingrained in our culture. It is a day where kids can have fun and get special treats. I don’t think we need to be so concerned about one day, but rather, address the source of the obesity problem; the food industry and marketing to those folks who are the most vulnerable. It’s all about breaking the cycle of addiction to highly processed foods with no nutritional value that contribute to chronic disease. It’s all about public policy. Tax soda and give that money to programs that will make a difference in changing people’s behavior. Don’t allow soda to be purchased with food stamps. Create a voucher system for food stamps that only allows healthier foods to be purchased. Significantly change the school lunch program by teaching cooks how to provide healthier meals, change the current government subsidies to corn and soy beans, and instead, give those subsidies to farmers to grow vegetables, educate the teachers about inapropriately using candy and soda, and other processed food as positive reinforcers for good behavior, and particularly for those who need address their poor eating habits, talk to food pantries about having mini cooking demos when people pick up their food. Folks do not know how to buy, prepare or make healthy food. They are addicted to the soda, chips and mac ‘n cheese. It’s about breaking the cycle, getting back to gardens, homecooking lke grandmothers did, eating family meals and celebrating with favorite foods. TV and advertising needs to be addressed as well. Nothing will significantly change unless we make changes like these. People with money, generaly do not understand how difficult it is for the underpriveledged to know how to change. They don’t want to be unhealthy but the food industry and TV has taken advantage of them. It’s all about making money off cheap foods. It has got to stop. I am feeling dismal about our current congress and their lack of insight and understanding about how, we as the people, need to care for all, rich and poor, in order to make the USA a healthier, happier place to live. We need to rise up against the those in political power,corporations and make a stance. Amen.

  21. Ruth, I find this subject important and timely, but probably would not make time to listen to the interviews.
    The mindfulness series, on the other hand, has been riveting. I would like more and deeper on mindfulness and it’s applications. For example, a series on mindfulness and eating issues would attract me. Or mindfulness and couple/family issues, or mindfulness and grief (big issues for families around the holidays are previous loss and family cut-offs and other dynamics that get magnified by the holidays).
    Thanks for this incredible program.

  22. PLEASE include Health at Every Size (r) in a food/healthy eating series! The HAES (sm) approach is pertinent to eating, food, health, and weight. Many people are very confused about these subjects, and our culture in general promotes eating disordered thinking and behavior.
    While I support people of all ages enjoying healthful food and movement, I think Mrs. Obama has also increased stigma against larger children.

  23. Love the creativity that comes from asking this question, Ruth. Even as a kid, while I’m sure candy bars were my favorite, I loved receiving a big, shiny, juicy RED APPLE!

  24. I ordered some individually wrapped spider webs(you know the kind you throw at the wall and it sticks) and spiders with suction cups on the bottom, some halloween yo-yos, and the chinese yo-yos in halloween colors, some halloween stampers, and some amy’s organic fruit treats. my son isn’t supposed to eat sugar at all. we’re trying the GAPS diet(Gut and Psychology Syndrome) to help regulate his ADHD and dispraxia. he wants desperately to eat the candy he goes trick or treating for(he’s 8). i ordered some cool halloween puzzle books and toys for him, and some organic, dye free, high fructose corn syrup free candy to trade after he returns. there is still the issue of what he’ll eat at the school halloween party, but we do the best we can.

  25. A series on food would be excellent. Simple consciousness raising about basic common sense is a starting point. But deeper solutions than current food system media offers (beyond Michael Pollen) – greater understanding of food interaction and immune response, of the downsides of GMO, treated seeds, unlabeled additives, plastic packaging, metabolism, mental well-being, satiation and why we so often aren’t feeling it – would raise the bar. Maybe there’s a lot deeper subject mater yet. I’m a lay person/writer, just interested in advocating for local food and good health.
    I believe nutritionists, biologists, good science hold the keys to change the way we think about how we fuel our bodies. But most research is done by food producers who stack the deck. The USDA has enabled our unhealthy processed food system. And angry activists often lack credibility. If a well-expressed, scientific body of knowledge could be tapped and made available to influentials, maybe there could be a tipping point that would not only turn around the obesity epidemic in the US and slow down incidence of cancer and auto-immmune disease, but would effectively abate the damage the Western diet is causing as it spreads to the rest of the planet. The Food Slueth (Melinda Gemmelgarn) might be one who knows where such knowledge exists.

  26. Yes, would greatly welcome such a series!

  27. Since we have a long, vertical driveway, no one ventures up for goodies!
    I love the idea of an issues around food series…Geneen Roth, perhaps?

  28. When our kids were little, we’d go through the candy together as a family after Trick or Treating was done, and pick out the ‘better’ choices of candy which included chocolate and nuts. The rest were ‘donated’ to the trash. My 22 and 26 year olds learned what ‘candy’ was more healthy and to limit their intake from their very first Halloween. We also didn’t drink pop as a regular thing. It was a treat when we went to restaurants maybe 3-4x a year! We’ve raised them with healthier eating in general so this was Halloween candy thing was just a part of the total package.

  29. When my daughter was little, she had a milk allergy. I didn’t want her to miss out on trick-or-treat, so I told her about the “Halloween Fairy.” After trick-or-treating, she picked out a few candies that she could eat and then put the rest of them in the middle of the table for the Halloween Fairy. In the morning, a small toy appeared in place of the candy. The other kids in the neighborhood thought it was great and other families started doing the same.

  30. I must say that I don’t like that the American tradition of Halloween is starting to infiltrate my country in recent years – I don’t think the negative horror connotations are healthy for young children (and for older children as well), and with all our supermarket foods gradually increasing the sugar and salt content over the decades we need to promote appropriate eating habits for our young.
    Having said my peace, we buy a very small candy for the trick and treaters (they are children, and would be disappointed if they didn’t get some junk food), but we also gave them smiley-face badges. We told them it was something “nice and positive” to make them feel happy during Halloween. The kids loved them, and they only cost $2 for a bag of 25 at our local $2 shop – and no calories/joules!

  31. Last halloween I glued felt features on to tangerines, and put them into see through wrap with a ribbon to tie on the top.
    The effect was mini looking carved pumpkins in a sweetie wrapper! The kids loved them and chose them 9 out of ten times over cupcakes that were offered on the same platter!