Halloween is my favorite fall activity and so this time of year, my Pinterest board is a smorgasbord of Halloween decor, treats, foods, party ideas, costumes, and more! We aim to be healthy parents so I try to keep the candy-eating to a minimum around the holidays (mostly because I end up eating it all!). Well fear not, my friends, as there are plenty of healthy alternative treats that our kids can still enjoy this month!
1) NON-CANDY TREATS
We are so used to buying an enormous bag of candy every October, dumping it in a big black cauldron, then crossing our fingers that we use it all up on the Trick-or-Treaters. Sometimes, it’s hard to remind ourselves that we could fill the cauldron with non-candy items! I know, I know – you’re thinking “She’s crazy! The kids will hate it!” However, I speak from experience when I say that I’ve had many kids choose the non-candy items over the candy, even to be excited to find a Halloween pencil in the bowl! (And yes, I still buy some candy to mix in the bowl – old habits are hard to break!)
There are a few reasons to choose non-candy items for your trick-or-treaters this year:
- The best reason is of course, for their health; their dentist & parents will thank you!
- We all know they will still end up with a ton of candy from other houses so why not mix it up a bit and give them a temporary tattoo instead?
- Finally, because this is a great way to help children with allergies to find a treat they can enjoy.
If you are participating in offering alternative goodies for children with food allergies, be sure to check out the Teal Pumpkin Project. This is a new campaign to spread awareness of food allergies and help parents & children find houses offering goodies they can enjoy this Halloween.
Here are a few non-candy suggestions to get you started:
- Beads & string
- Mini pumpkins
- Temporary tattoos
- Glow in the dark sticky eyes
- Glow in the dark bracelets
- Spooky crayons
- Halloween bubbles
You can see a ton more non-candy ideas at The Kennedy Adventures, 100 Days of Real Food, and Apartment Therapy. There are some really cute make-ahead ideas at Lil Luna that you can prepare with your children.
When your child does come home with enough candy to last until next Halloween, what do you do? We encourage the Switch Witch to visit our home on Halloween night by leaving out our extra candy on the kitchen table. Similar to the Tooth Fairy, she is invited to come in the night to make an exchange in your child’s favor. The Switch Witch loves candy so much, that she is willing to give children books, toys, or other non-candy treats in exchange for their delicious, sugar-filled candy! Be sure to talk to your children about the Switch Witch in advance so that they will be excited about trading in their candy.
You can also check out Halloween Candy Buyback to find dentists in your area that will trade your children candy for prizes. The dentists send the candy to troops overseas. If you don’t have a dentist in your area participating in this program, send them the link to the Halloween Candy Buyback but also check out the instructions on sending your own candy to the troops through Operation Gratitude.
2) HEALTHY TRICK-OR-TREATS
Many grocery stores will have healthier food treats readily available in “trick-or-treat” size bags. You can also package your own healthy treats in small baggies or plastic cups. Here’s a few of the healthy food treats you may want to hand out this year:
- Fruit snacks
- Pumpkin seeds
- Trail mix
3) HEALTHY PARTY SNACKS
If you are planning a Halloween party or bringing snacks to school for a class party, consider making some of these fun & clever Halloween snacks!
- Candy Corn Popsicles
- Goblin Grins
- Banana Ghosts and Tangerine Pumpkins
- Cheese monsters
- Witch’s Broom Cheesesticks
- Spider Fruit Kabobs
What is your favorite healthy Halloween treat alternative? What are your children’s favorite items to receive when they go trick-or-treating? Share them with us in the comments!