7 Alternatives to Halloween Candy
(that aren’t super lame)
A few years ago, my partner and I decided to stop giving out halloween candy. Not because we hate children or being festive, quite the opposite actually. We (okay, mostly me) didn’t want the extra candy running around the house with my insatiable sweet tooth and the fact that too much sugar makes me feel super crappy.
We also know plenty of kids with food allergies or diabetes. Aside from the obvious sugar content, most halloween candy has artificial colors and flavors, dairy, soy, gluten, and nuts/peanuts, taking a lot of the fun out the Trick or Treat tradition. Think about it: “Hey Jack! Let’s go around the neighborhood and collect free, delicious candy from our neighbors and friends that you can’t eat!”
BOO to that (and not a festive boo).
(Sidenote: have you heard about the teal pumpkin project? If you’re offering options, like those listed below, place a teal pumpkin on your porch! It lets people know you’re an allergy friendly stop!)
We also didn’t want to be the house that hands out raisins, apples and toothbrushes. LAME. (sorry if that’s your house, but LAME)
So we took the risk and put together Halloween goody bags for our neighborhood kids that had honey sticks, glow sticks, a couple dollar store toys etc. We got a solid 20 trick or treaters that year and much to our delight, got rave reviews. (We also learned that if you’re giving out honey sticks, don’t give out the identical looking glow sticks. Sorrrrryyyy parents.)
This practice has evolved through the last few years. We’ve become more aware of plastic waste and (as parents of a small child) of crap accumulating in the house. We’ve moved away from a lot of the plastic toys that were sure to get tossed or lost within a few days and incorporated some candy options, with more ideal ingredients than the standard fare. If you do want to give out candy and want an allergen friendly and less artificial option, our favorite brands are listed below.
Our goals each year are to give away something kids actually want, allergen friendly, simple to hand out, with limited plastic waste, and doesn’t make our wallets bleed.
We like these puffy scrapbooking stickers, they’re a little different than your standard sticker. They are easy to remove, so parents don’t have to worry about adhesive residue on furniture and cabinets.
Most farmer’s markets and co-ops carry honey sticks. Get them early in the season, as these are a popular option.
With replaceable watch batteries and a super reasonable price (80 here for 12.95), these are a big hit. We give these out instead of glow sticks now.
There are a million options out there, but I am loving these dinosaur tattoos with just 2 big tattoos per sheet. No need to cut anything out!
Check out your local craft store for more options, but these simple 6-10 page coloring books are awesome. You can find Disney, Pixar or favorite cartoon themed ones too if you’re willing to spend a little more. They are perfect for traveling and can be recycled when done.
I feel like we are constantly in need of crayons (though we have a crayon loving puppy, so it could just be us). Again, a small four pack is perfect for traveling with crafty kids and cost-effective!
We’ll definitely be adding this to the rotation this year. A 15-pack for $6 bucks? Yes please.