Halloween Treats That Aren’t Candy: Wait, What?!
Yep, it’s true. I’m going to suggest you be that neighbor that passes out something other than candy. However, I’ve included several different options on the list and some are still very much treats. So no worries, there are more than enough ideas to keep kids happy and not add one more piece of candy to their already overfilled bucket.
It might seem like Halloween is all about the candy at times. I mean, when I went to Target earlier this week to scout out exactly what WAS available down that treat aisle it was nothing but row after row of candy. I felt kind of shocked at just the SHEER amount of it. Not to mention, it’s simple to pick up a bag at the store the day before neighborhood trick or treating, and it’s pretty cheap too.
However, believe it or not, there are plenty of halloween treats that aren’t candy that you can pass out to your neighborhood kids.
I’m sure the neighborhood kids will end up with more than enough candy from your neighbors and their classroom parties. I’m not suggesting we “deprive” kids of candy altogether, but rather show them that there are plenty of other fun treats besides candy!
And when I think back to my Halloween memories, I remember the costumes I wore more than the candy I gathered!
Halloween Treats That Aren’t Candy
1. Jack ‘O Lantern Cuties
So, I was falling asleep the other night and remembered my post on a healthier valentine’s day with the cuties and thought Jack O Lanterns for Halloween would be cute! And you really can’t get any less processed than a fresh fruit so this is officially my FAVORITE idea on this list!
2. Natural Fruit Leather
These fruit leathers are the perfect alternative to traditional fruit/gummy snacks. They contain no added sugar (other than that which occurs naturally in fruit) and are packaged individually, so they would make a fun halloween treat.
3. Small Boxes of Raisins
Raisins in small boxes are easy to find and definitely encourage “real food” eating habits. They make a perfect snack for little ones for later.
4. Mini Playdoh
You can always completely steer away from food and snacks altogether by giving away a small, fun item! There are tons of different ways you can go with this, but play-doh encourages creativity. Plus, it’s not just some cheap trinket that will create clutter in kids’ rooms.
5. Small Granola or Lara Bars
Cliff Kids Organic Z Bar were also in the Halloween aisle at Target. I love the ingredient list of Larabars more, but these would work too. However, Larabar does make mini bars (sans Halloween packaging, but that doesn’t really matter, does it?) like these which would be a perfect snack!
6. Honey Sticks
Honey sticks are usually pretty easy to find at a local market or at health food stores such as Fresh Thyme. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to buy them from your local beekeeper. They’ll certainly still give little ones something sweet and sugary to enjoy, but without all of the processing and from a more natural source! I remember thinking honey sticks were so fun as a kid (even as an older kid.)
7. Hot Chocolate Packets
So, you may be thinking hot chocolate isn’t much better than candy. However, hot chocolate is made with milk and therefore will give some protein and nutrition. I also love that they have simpler hot chocolate packets now (still made with sugar, but no corn syrup.) All the ingredients are more recognizable than the old school packets filled with all kinds of crazy stuff. Plus, hot chocolate packets would be a less expensive treat to pass out than some of the other ideas.
Both Boom Chicka Pop and Skinny Pop both have small halloween snack sized popcorn bags available for sale at my local Target. While popcorn may not be safe for young toddlers, it would be a great option for any older kids.
9. Individually Packaged Pretzels, Crackers, or Veggie Chips
Target also has goldfish, pretzels, and veggie chips packaged to give away as Halloween treats. While both the goldfish and pretzels are comprised of refined flour, they are certainly a less sugary alternative to candy that kids still really enjoy as treats. And veggie chips may not be the health food they market themselves to be, but potato flour as a first ingredient has to beat sugar. 😉
10. Mini Flashlights
Another non-food idea is mini or keychain flashlights. What kid doesn’t love to play with a new flashlight? Something about telling ghost stories on a dark Halloween night makes them even more fun!
Be the Difference
It’s so easy to get in the habit of thinking, “everyone does it.” Or what difference would it make if one person were to provide a somewhat healthier alternative to candy? But, over time if more people start offering other snacks, eventually our kids’ candy buckets could be full of treats that don’t make them sick or give them cavities.
Target even had a small aisle that included things other than candy. While some choices maybe weren’t better than candy (gushers and muddy buddies) or only marginally so, it’s encouraging that there is a market of people looking for better solutions.
And as a final note, I’m not really about restriction. I plan to let my little one explore candy one day as I think it’s an important lesson to teach moderation. However, I’m pretty sure plenty of parents would thank you if you provide a fun treat that isn’t candy as it makes that moderation lesson much easier!
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