Halloween is just around the corner and parents everywhere are either a.) preparing a padded room for their kids to bounce off the walls after ingesting ridiculous amounts of sugar and food dyes, b.) figuring out how to get the majority of the candy out of the house without their kids knowing, or c.) looking forward to stealing their kids candy for themselves.

Regardless of which category you fall under, I think it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of parents would love for their kids to have a healthier or more fun alternative than copious amounts of chocolate and additive filled candy.  For other parents, like myself, Halloween is a brutal holiday because of my son’s multiple food allergies.  In fact, for many years we only took him trick or treating at family or friends homes, because they were prepared with safe treats.  Now that we do trick or treat, I am always THRILLED when he brings home non-candy items!

Here are my top 5 suggestions for non-candy items to share:

Non-Candy Ideas

1.  Hit up the party favor aisle at any store.  Mini-playdough containers, packs of crayons, disguise glasses, necklaces, are all super easy to find in bulk so they won’t break the bank, and give something fun for kids to play with after the candy is long gone.

2.  Temporary Tattoo’s or Stickers.  Once again, these are an affordable option to buy a whole bunch for really cheap.  Throw a couple in each of the kiddo’s pumpkins and they’ll be thrilled for something fun

3.  Glow sticks (or necklaces/bracelets).  You can get these super cheap now at Target in the $1 aisle, or at a craft store.  My kids LOVE these year round, so it’s one of my favorite things to give out, and just to have around the house.

4.  Fruit snacks or healthy treats.  Some people still give out apples or little cuties (clementines), but I am paranoid and wouldn’t let my kids eat something that wasn’t pre-packaged by a manufacturer, so stick with the individual bags of gummy snacks,  goldfish crackers, or pretzels.

5.  Halloween shwag.  Spider rings, pencils, small erasers, plastic eyeballs, wax fangs.  I remember getting these things as a kid and LOVING them.  Plus, they are another item that will last long past Halloween, so you are getting more bang for your buck.

With childhood obesity, juvenile diabetes and food allergies on the rise, it’s a great time to get a little creative with your holiday treat giving.  Not only will you avoid the age-old problem of having all of the that leftover candy that didn’t get given out taunting you, but you can rest assured knowing that parents all over your neighborhood will be thanking you for avoiding the sugar rush.  Happy Halloween!!

So, how about you guys?  What is your staple trick or treating item?  Do you stick with tradition and give out the sweets, or have you taken the other path and do non-candy treats?


  1. I give out small candies, but I also always give some kind of craft for the kids to do as well! I generally get them at Oriental Trading, so it is not difficult or expensive…


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