Candy-free Halloween


What sort of goodies will you be handing out this Halloween? For most people, pre-Halloween preparations involve purchasing large amounts of candy. Costumed kids aren’t the sole consumers of the sweet confections. Before the first trick-or-treater hits your doorstep, you’ve likely taste-tested your candy offerings. And if there’s a surplus of candy after the October 31st festivities it’s likely to be eaten by someone in your home.

There are 3 main reasons why we should think about non-food candy options for Halloween treats.

  1. Because most of us lack the willpower to withstand candy’s temptation, buying it to give to kids means we are going to eat more of it ourselves.
  2. We have a major childhood obesity problem. Candy doesn’t help.
  3. Trick-or-treaters will get plenty of candy from other people. So see #1 again.

Here are some ideas for non-candy (but still fun) Halloween treats:

  • Small toys, such as super bouncy balls or small plastic spiders or ghosts
  • Bracelets or hair accessories
  • Colorful pencils, erasers, or pencil toppers
  • Temporary tattoos or stickers

You can also choose to offer some healthy food items:

  • Snack size bags of pretzels or crackers
  • Individual packages of raisins
  • 100% juice boxes

You may be thinking that giving kids a pack of raisins in lieu of candy will motivate them to toilet-paper your house. Several years ago I ran out of candy on Halloween with a still-steady stream of costumed kids on my doorstep. Quick thinking led me to my pantry: I had raisin boxes and individual cups of applesauce. No one turned up a masked nose to my offerings. Offer kids healthy treats for Halloween. It’s not just about keeping kids healthy. Making your home a candy-free zone reduces temptation and makes you healthier, too.


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