Do you cringe at the sight of candy dropping into your child’s Halloween buckets? Does the mere sight of the gigantic bags of sugary treats on the grocery store candy aisle make you want to run away screaming? This Halloween, fear not! There are lots of fun, healthy and creative alternative treats to hand out to those decked-out darlings who come to your doorstep.
But before you set off on a one-woman crusade to rid the world of sugar, local dietitian Kimberly Davis-Coniglio, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, and Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics recommends offering both a candy and a non-candy option. “Let the child and/or parent choose from a bowl of candy or from a bowl of non-candy options,” she explains. “You may also be surprised to see that some children will pick some fun stickers, crayons, or other party-favor type of option over candy anyway.”
Traditional non-candy options that you can use to fill your Halloween bowl include raisins, spider rings, vampire teeth, tattoos, bouncy balls, silly straws, glow sticks, erasers, play dough, bead necklaces, bracelets, and pencils. These are often available at your local party supply of discount store and can be purchased in bulk to reduce the cost per item. Crafty local mom and preschool teacher Melesa Beckham Dobbins also provides these great “out-of-the-box” ideas:
- Juice Box Mummies: Thirsty trick-or-treaters will love these fun drinks. Detach the straw from the box, wrap it in white paper and gauze, white tape, or white crepe paper (make sure you leave the straw hole accessible) then make eyes. Reattach the straw with hot glue.
- Decorated Water Bottles: Bottles of water are a great way to dilute the flood of sugar. Jazz them up with homemade labels, ribbon, crime scene tape, or designer duct tape. You can also a wide variety of free, ready-to-print labels online by searching for “DIY Halloween water bottle labels.”
- Vampire Toothbrushes: Tie vampire teeth and a toothbrush together to remind those kiddos to brush after assaulting their teeth with all that sugar!
- Cutie Jack-O-Lanterns: Use a permanent marker to draw a jack-o-lantern face on a clementine. Let the marker dry before handing out this frightfully fun healthy treat.
- Mandarin Orange Cups Pumpkin Face: Those hesitant to use unpackaged fruit can use a permanent marker to draw a pumpkin face on the top of mandarin orange cups. Add wiggle eyes or stickers for extra fun.
- Microwave Popcorn Bag in Decorative Sleeve: Give microwave popcorn a Halloween touch with a decorated sleeve made of fabric, ribbons, felt, cardstock, or even construction paper. You can also find commercially-available Halloween-themed mini bags of microwave popcorn, pretzels and other non-candy treats.
Another added bonus of these non-traditional Halloween treats? Your kids can help you decorate, glue, and design, adding one more element of family fun to the season. Plus, they make great handouts at Halloween parties and classroom celebrations—and there is nothing scary about that.