I don’t know about you, but my Purim was sweet, perhaps too sweet (as in sugary). Now I’m not denying that I have been able to start my blog thanks, in part, to the sugar high from some of the treats people sent over (and yes, I did have a chocolate bar for breakfast). However, I don’t think that the injunction that one should be joyful on Purim requires a sugar-induced mania induced by all of those Purim parties and the mishaloch manos (gifts of food). While it is true that adult men are encouraged to drink until they can’t tell the difference between “Blessed by Mordechai and cursed be Hamman”, I don’t think that kids are required to eat sugar until they spin like dreidels (oops, that’s Chanukah—another celebration often accompanied with a lot of sugar).
I’ve never really found a solution to this issue, and I have had to tolerate with patience my 2 ½ year old’s squeal over another basket full of unrefined sugar in disguise. Although I am not a Draconian type who forbids sugar in any form from passing the threshold of my home (how would one monitor parties and school?), I do find myself hiding great masses of candy in out of the way places that will hopefully be found before Passover (or solving the problem hypocritically by eating some of the nosh myself).
But would kids be as excited about receiving baskets of fruit as they are with parcels of toffee, chocolate bars and marshmallow treats? Whole wheat Hammantashen (a traditional Purim cookie) is a great compromise, especially if it is made with brown sugar, wheat flour, and homemade preserves, and my toddler is just as happy with raisins as he is with lollipops. Yes, there are healthy alternatives, but in our hectic lives, it is easier just to grab bags of nosh and arrange them in Purim baskets.
So, will you receive mishlaloch manos from me next year with organic fruit, whole wheat Hammentashen and raisins? Bli neder (no promises).