Halloween is a great time of the year, but for some it can be a dreaded occasion. Let’s not make it that way by checking out some non-candy alternatives for Trick or Treat this Halloween season (and the ones to come)!
I am sure that if you follow my advice, you will still end up with really happy trick or treaters and maybe even much happier parents, who will appreciate what you’re doing.
According to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), 1 in every 13 children have a food allergy. And only eight foods account for 90 percent of all reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.
Can you imagine being a child who has a life-threatening peanut allergy, walking up to a home where the neighbor doesn’t know, looking down into a basket of treats, realizing that it is all Peanut Chews and Reese’s? This is devastating to that child, and heart breaking to their mom.
So what can we do? Let’s offer an alternative to the norm of trick-or-treating. Let’s create a new expectation that every child can benefit from the treats of Halloween!
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What trick or treat alternatives can you offer to the kids?
I’m glad you asked. What about toys? Not big toys, but small treasures that kids will enjoy.
Some ideas for you include:
We have given out all of these, some together – some individually. For example, when we gave out tattoos, we also gave each child a bouncy ball. But each child only received a sticky hand.
Some questions and concerns I get when I talk about this topic:
Where can I get ideas/toys for trick or treaters?
Target in recent years has started to include a whole section, mainly geared toward teachers, with classroom packs of toys and little fun items.
If not, the links above will take you to Amazon which is really convenient – low prices, tons of options… impossible not to find something good!
I get a lot of kids and I just don’t think it is affordable enough.
Ok so here are some calculations that I have done – bare with me, it’s math.
Candy Option – At our Target, a bag of 40 assorted candy bars (because we don’t want to be that ‘2 mini-tootsie roll’ family) costs around $7.99. We will estimate that you will need 3 bags for 100 kids. Total cost $23.97.
That comes to 24¢ per candy bar. (You get 120 candy bars so if you count them all it’s 20¢)
Amazon Toy Option – Amazon can be very cheap, especially if you already have Prime to benefit from free shipping.
At the moment of writing, you can get 100 party glow sticks for as low as $7 per pack. That comes to just 7 cents per stick! You can always find great discounts and prices if you shop around a bit. And you can end up paying a lot less than what you would for candy!
What if the kids don’t like the toys I have?
I suggest getting an assortment and letting them choose. They will find something they would enjoy.
The only problem I really had were the kids in middle/high school. If you have a lot of them that come, it is up to you if you want to offer something else.
If they didn’t want what I had, they didn’t need anything, but I always offered. (Our high schoolers loved the sticky hands – I can only imagine what they did with them)
Don’t forget – when you have extra candy, you need to eat it all. When you have extra toys, you can donate them to your child’s school, church programs or just give them away to your child’s friends as a treat.
3 Healthy Halloween Treats that Are Almost as Good as Candy
I have heard Halloween referred to as a “dentist’s nightmare”. With it being that time of the year where everyone is buying, giving out and eating candy, I can see why. But as we’ve seen above, there are options.
However, if you don’t want to go so much off the traditional bandwagon, there are still some much healthier treats for Halloween that will be appreciated just as much as candy would.
Healthy Snack Option #1 – Honest Kids Juice Pouches
Juice pouches are so much more convenient than sending in a jug of juice and cups. The kids can usually put the straw in themselves, depending on the age, and they can keep the juice inside the pouch and not all over themselves and the carpet.
We love the Honest Kids pouches because they are organic, GMO free and they contain less sugar than the popular brands.
Healthy Snack Option #2 – Barnana Organic Chewy Banana Bites
These are great snacks to send into the classroom or even give out on Halloween (if you have a smaller group of kids that come around like we do). Just dried banana, which tastes better than it sounds!
Healthy Snack Option #3 – Pop Secret Popcorn
In my classroom, our class treat would often be popcorn. These kids loved popcorn almost as much as they hated homework. A simple bag of popcorn goes such a long way.
These 100 calorie packs are perfectly portioned for a child size snack – so they would even be a great alternative for trick-or-treaters. You can even pop some popcorn and place them inside snack ziploc bags for school treats.
Why offer an alternative to candy and other sweets on Halloween?
In case that you’re still not convinced that you should maybe try to offer an alternative this Halloween season to all trick and treat requests… here is why you should:
1. Food allergies are one reason. As you saw above, this accounts for a good number of our kids in today’s society.
2. Excess sugar is another. We can offer healthier alternatives to the sugary chocolate bars and super sweet candies, but again, we don’t know about their food allergies.
3. Less for you to eat after the holiday. Let’s be honest, you buy the candy that you love the most to hand out to the kids in your neighborhood.
Then you have whatever is left PLUS the candy your kids bring home and either don’t want or you confiscate for yourself. Why put all that extra weight pressure on yourself? Just ditch the candy!
And if all else fails, or you really want some candy, you can always have a bag hidden… just in case. Ha!