While Halloween has long been synonymous with costumes and candy, some parents are looking for alternative treats. With a rise in childhood obesity and overall poor eating habits, many parents are concerned about the amount of sugar getting consumed on Halloween night and after. Plus, with fears of poisoning, razor blades, and other hazards from less than savory characters, it is no wonder that for some, candy is taking a back seat.
No matter the reasons behind your choice, you can still choose treats for your trick or treaters that are fun if not sweet. Here are some ideas of things that you can give out instead.
Pencils, pens, and erasers
Since many of the trick or treaters that you will see will be of the school-age variety, these can be a fun gift. You can often find these in fun Halloween themes at your local store. Look for fun designs with pumpkins, bats, and other Halloween themes. Shaped erasers can also be fun. You will just want to be careful that none would be considered a possible choking hazard for the little trick or treaters that will knock on your door.
Stickers and temporary tattoos
Nearly every kid loves stickers, and you can often find these inexpensively in bulk. You can look for Halloween themed ones if you would like, or simply of characters and items that are popular at the moment. For instance, Dora and Elmo are popular with the preschool set, while older kids may enjoy princesses, butterflies, superheroes, and cartoon characters. You can also find temporary tattoos with similar themes to hand out as well.
Game tokens and coupons
If there is a popular hang out in your neighborhood that has games kids can play using tokens, handing out a couple of tokens to each child can be a fun Halloween surprise. Also, some retailers will sell coupon books for a free item to hand out on Halloween – such as a free ice cream cone. This allows parents to save the treat for a time that is not so sugar-laden. Pizza coupons are a great opportunity to help increase a pizza business’s customer base while giving a gift that a family can use at their convenience.
Your local party supply store will often have a large stock of Halloween party favors available in October. Things like plastic spider rings, glow sticks, rubber bats, and fake teeth can all be fun alternatives to hand out in the place of candy. Again, make sure you have approved favors for the young tykes.
Clearance sales and dollar stores
Often, you can find a selection of small toys for very little money by browsing the clearance section of your favorite store and/or local dollar stores. Look for things like small toys, crayons, books, and other kid-friendly items. If you plan ahead and shop throughout the year, you can certainly develop a varied cache before Halloween. Kids will be so impressed with the cool items that you have they won’t even miss the few extra pieces of candy!
It may seem ridiculous but pennies are a fabulous Halloween gift. 10 pennies placed in zipper-type bags go a long way to bringing smiles to little ghosts and goblins. For children under three, choose one of the other items listed here.
Sugar free or single serving packages
If you still want to do an edible item, you could choose sugar-free candy. There are many more options in the grocery aisles for sugar free treats. Many grocery stores sell snacks in single serving packages. For instance, many companies are joining in on the 100 calorie pack trend, so you can find a variety of snacks that are still somewhat healthy. Fruit snacks, juice boxes, or even mini bags of pretzels can be a good option. It is usually advisable to stay away from things that include nuts because of allergies some of your trick or treaters might have.
With a little creativity, you can come up with fun Halloween treats that don’t involve sweets that your trick or treaters will love just the same.