So why shouldn’t you hand out candy on Halloween? After all, it’s basically a holiday specifically designed for kids to dress up, stroll around the neighborhood collecting candy and proceed to crash in their beds in a sugar coma.
“Sugar” is the key word here. Childhood obesity is skyrocketing at alarming rates and teaching kids that it’s socially normal to gorge themselves on as much junk food as they want once a year doesn’t exactly instill great principles about healthy eating. While it’s true that all kids deserve a treat every once in awhile, candy is being thrown at kids more and more. Rather than buying into the Halloween propaganda and feeding chemical and sugar laden foods to all your neighbor’s kids, try something different for a change.
You don’t need to turn off your porch lights and write off the holiday altogether, simply hand out a better alternative that won’t weigh heavy on your conscience.
Just because you’ve decided to skip the Twix, Twizzlers and Butterfinger fest doesn’t mean you can’t distribute some equally yummy goodies that aren’t nearly as damaging to a child’s health (and dental care). Whatever you do, don’t be the house that hands out raisins.
1. Granola bars
Kids will be grateful for a break from the Halloween routine and will munch on these crunchy bars as they finish their neighborhood rounds.
2. Organic Juice Boxes
Rather than being that unfortunate house that hands out water bottles, give costumed kiddos organic juice boxes instead. They still have some sugar but make a great treat, especially for thirsty trick or treaters.
3. Honey Sticks
Still guaranteed to satisfy any sweet tooth, honey straws are a fantastic alternative to sugar-coma-inducing candy. They even possess all of the benefits of honey in a convenient straw packaging. Plus they’re inexpensive so you can easily give kids two or three sticks each.
4. Apple cider or hot chocolate packets
Individually wrapped packages of hot chocolate or apple cider powder may not be the healthiest thing on the list, but all kids deserve a treat now and then. These are especially perfect to warm frozen pirates and princesses after a long Halloween night.
5. Chewing gum
Packages of sugar-free chewing gum are a fantastic option for older children who don’t stand a chance of choking. They can enjoy minty or fruity flavors to get rid of the lingering candy aftertaste.
6. Mini bags of pretzels or goldfish
While it may not seem like the most exciting Halloween treat, pretzels or goldfish create a great salty balance to all the sugar that kids will inevitably consume. Other snacks such as Cheese-Its or peanut-free trail mix work as well. Buy mini packets in bulk to cut down on cost.
7. Organic fruit snacks or fruit leather
Natural sugar is the best sugar! If you still want to give out a sugar snack, opt for naturally sweet items like healthy fruit snacks or strips of fruit leather. Kids will still love it for its sweet flavor and parents will thank you.
8. Organic Candy
If you are a true traditionalist and just can’t stomach the thought of handing out anything besides candy on Halloween but don’t want to buy into the next-cavity-in-the-making sugar fest that is trick or treating. Organic candy may be your best bet. These YumEarth lollipops are gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut free, contain no artificial flavors, synthetic dyes or high-fructose corn syrup.
9. Pumpkin oranges
If you’re feeling crafty one fall afternoon before the 31st and want to try something new this year, grab a natural black marker and some oranges and go to town! You can draw spooky, silly or strange faces on oranges to make them look just like jack-o-lanterns. Get your kids to help you with a fun family project.
There are a host of inexpensive, non-edible options that make equally awesome Halloween treats. Most of these fun goodies are reusable and can be purchased for less than you would pay for candy!
Cute, colorful, and practical. Kids will love clipping these carabiners to their backpacks or lunch boxes.
11. Mini flashlights
Speaking of practicality plus fun! Mini flashlights are a novel idea and a huge hit if you decide to go the absent candy route on Halloween night. You can order them in bulk for a reasonable price that won’t break the bank if you don’t live in a super busy neighborhood.
There’s just something about stickers that kids love. Maybe it’s the utter impossibility of removing them from some surfaces or the extra pop of excitement that they add to the wall, or the bed, or their sibling’s hair.
These will go over especially well with the younger kids who can play with bubbles for hours. If you want to stick with the scary theme, these Halloween bubbles will be perfect.
14. Slap bracelets
Somehow slap bracelets are still in vogue among the younger generation, and they just love snapping strips of plastic onto their wrists. Whatever the case, these spooky bracelets are great candy alternatives.
15. Fake mustaches
Every costume could use a mustache…right? While it may look strange seeing a mustached fairy strolling down the street, kids go crazy for this faux facial hair and will spend the rest of the night parading around in their new and improved costume.
16. Bouncy Balls
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with bouncy balls. Kids will play with these for hours, throwing them in the air, against the concrete and pretty much everywhere. Who needs candy to get kids hyper? Just give them a bouncy ball.
Kids will be so much safer strolling the dark streets while wearing a glow stick. Get 100 of these glow stick bracelets for the price of a couple of bags of candy!
18. Halloween Pencils + Erasers
If you have kids in school, you know that they’re consistently losing pencils and erasers. Themed pencils are a super practical, yet fun and exciting treat that’s sure to be used.
19. Rubber Rings
Halloween rubber rings are an excellent candy alternative, they come in shapes such as spiders, pumpkins, and ghosts and are incredibly inexpensive. Rubber rings automatically make you the coolest house in the neighborhoods.
20. Temporary Tattoos
There’s nothing more fun than sporting a temporary tattoo to school after Halloween. These spooktacular tattoos are super cheap so you can hand out a few to each trick or treater that comes knocking.
21. Lego People
Girls and boys will absolutely love these little lego people in cute Halloween goodie bags. Plus, they’re something they can play with all year round and trade with each other for their favorite.
If you’ve taken a few of these ideas for the upcoming holiday, good for you! Try talking with some of your neighbors and seeing if they’d be willing to go candy-free as well this Halloween. Happy haunting!