I love fall. The weather is crisp, but not so cold that you can’t be outside.
That means my kids are able to run without coming inside completed drenched in sweat (which is still a novelty). Cider Mills are opening, and pumpkin spice everything is everywhere (even though I still think it should be limited to food and maybe a diffuser…the pumpkin spice air fresheners are awful!).
I love that we get to have cookouts, bonfires, and there’s football (which is life, y’all). What I’m not such a huge fan of? All.The.Freaking.Candy.
Now, I get it. It’s part of the fun.
And yes, I let my boys eat the candy that they collect during trick or treating…within reason.
By November first, my kids have had a sweets-laden party at school, have a bucket full of candy from trick or treating, and I’m about done with the meltdowns and begging for “just one more piece.”
Yes, I ration their candy intake…but it’s still a LOT of candy, y’all.
I definitely don’t want my boys to miss out on the fun of Halloween. I mean, they love the holiday as much as I do.
Which is why I’ve tried to get creative with the types of treats I give out for Halloween. I always hope that if I do it, then maybe next year, two or three more houses will do the same.
If we keep going like that, we can still keep the fun of trick or treating, but my kids won’t come home with enough candy to put a Clydesdale into a sugar coma.
On the flip side, I also don’t want the entire neighborhood to hate me. I’m not a party-pooper; I just feel like Halloween has become the gateway to so many months filled with sugary treats. I have some great non candy Halloween treats you might consider passing out.
If you’re also planning to jump off the candy train this Halloween, here are five ideas for treats that are alternatives to candy. Also, if you love Halloween like me, check out these spooky Halloween Eye Bath Bombs, kids go crazy over them!
The Best Halloween Candy Alternatives
Granola or Fruit Bars
Truthfully, some granola bars aren’t much better than candy. A fun-sized Snickers bar has 8 grams of sugar. A Quaker Chewy bar has 7 grams. The fun-sized Snickers even has fewer calories. But if you opt for a more natural option, like mini Larabars or ThisBarSavesLives, you are giving out better options with fruit, nuts, and whole grains.
Apples and Oranges
Funny story…when I was growing up, one of my neighbors always gave out mandarin oranges and stickers, and I loved trick or treating that house. I think that intuitively I knew that I was going to be sugared out. This year, I’m adding in some fruit to our mix of options. I plan to grab a few bags of apples at Costco or maybe sliced apples. Apples and oranges are sweet enough that they’re not a terribly trade out, and they’re far healthier.
I’m a total nerd, but I love glow sticks, so we’re including them in our treat offerings this year. Here in Michigan, it gets dark early, and having some fun glowsticks and glow necklaces (you can get bracelets, too) is a fun option that my kids are actually really excited about. You can buy them in bulk for cheap, and if you have any glow sticks left over, they’re great for a game of “glow stick tag” or even just because.
Remember punch balloons? Those huge balloons that you blew up and then punched repeatedly using the giant rubber band? I love them now, and I loved them as a kid (and Smalls is totally obsessed with them). Kids of all ages are going to love those. Punch balloons are fairly inexpensive, and a good option if you want to stay totally away from candy.
In our last four houses, we lived in neighborhoods that didn’t get many trick or treaters (shockingly). Because I didn’t have to buy hundreds of pieces of candy, I used to put together little trick or treat gift bags. I included things like pencils, hand stamps, and light up LED toys, all of which can be purchased at reasonable prices on Amazon or at your local party supply store. The neighborhood kids always thought that getting their own goodie bags was really cool.
Don’t Be That Mom…
I have tried a lot of “alternative” treats over the years, which means I’ve also got a pretty good grasp of what you should avoid if you don’t want to give out candy. Those pretzels that come in cute Halloween wrapping? Literally, no one takes them. The “novelty assortments” that you can buy on Amazon and Oriental Trading are hit and miss. If you opt for things like stickers or temporary tattoos, make sure that you include other things like spider rings and pencils.
Dealing With Candy
Whatever you decide to give, you may want to have a plan for dealing with the inevitable candy. We allow the boys to keep 10 pieces each, which they get to choose, and the rest of the candy goes to work with hubby. This ensures that the kids aren’t overloaded on sugar, and keeps the parental snacking to a minimum, as well (I never claimed to hate candy, you know). Check out my Essential oil blends for your little spooky goblins!
What are you giving out this Halloween?