Halloween is two weeks away! Costumes are being purchased and the prices of candy are soaring! Do you plan to trick or treat with your family or offer treats to the children in your neighborhood?
I love Halloween and the traditions of giving treats on this holiday. Treats do not necessarily have to be in the form of candy, however. They can really be any type of small treat. Halloween really kicks off the season of overindulging and weight gain from high calorie often considered “junk” food items.
You can still participate in the “treat” part of Halloween without food items. I have been purchasing packs of pencils, stickers, glow sticks, and mini note pads in bulk for a couple of years and I have found that children do not miss the candy. They are often intrigued by the alternative items I am giving out and they like picking out their own pencil or other fun activity item out of my pumpkin pail. I tend to save money when I purchase non-food items because the candy prices are very expensive this time of year. Over the past few years I have stopped handing out candy or food items all together for trick or treating. As a nutrition professional working with clients and patients of all ages, I just did not feel right giving out food items in large amounts that tend to only provide extra sugar and calories. Children receive so much candy on Halloween and other holidays. Candy in my mind is non-essential and it is fun and tasty to indulge with every once in a while. This is impossible to do on Halloween and typically children become tired of the treats within couple of days of overindulging and then the candy ends up with the parents or other family members.
Also, if I have leftover “treats” I can just use them for the next year since they do not spoil! Offering non-food treats for trick or treaters are also a great way to show support for children who suffer from food allergies and cannot partake in the normal food treat traditions of Halloween. Learn more about these efforts from the Teal Pumpkin Project. I challenge you to get creative and offer non-food treats to your trick or treaters. I think you will find that they enjoy your alternative options more than candy treats and everyone can be included!
Here is a helpful list of 10 out of 27 healthier Halloween options compiled by the Wellness Mama (she included some food options to consider if you are opting to give out food items and I included some different non-food options too):
- Glider Airplanes
Mini airplanes are inexpensive and a great alternative to candy. My brother loved these when we were little and would have taken one of these over candy any day!
- Organic Juice Boxes
A consumable Halloween treat that is practical. After walking around the neighborhood, kids may be thirsty. It still has sugar and isn’t an everyday thing for us, but it makes a great treat.
- Nutiva Snacks
Another consumable treat. Nutiva snacks are about the same size as a piece of candy, slightly sweet and much healthier. They are more pricey though, so not a great option if you need a lot of treats to hand out.
- Bouncy Balls
My kids love bouncy balls and we don’t usually have them around the house because of all. the. bouncing. Grab a bulk pack for cheaper than a big bag of candy and call it a day!
- Mini Flash Lights
A practical idea for kinds walking around after dark! These are a fun idea for kids and a cheaper alternative to candy when you buy them in bulk.
Bubbles are a fun activity that every kid loves. They are also a great way to get kids outside to play.
- Mini Notebooks
Mini notebooks are handy for kids who enjoy drawing or taking notes on the go.
- Skeleton Bone Pens
These are unique and great for drawing and taking notes.
- Halloween Stickers
These iconic stickers are fun to use to decorate and wear during the Halloween season. If you have leftovers, you can just save the rolls or pages for next year.
- Glow Bracelets
A fun and practical option for Halloween. They also make kids easier to see in the dark during trick or treating evening hours.
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