Halloween doesn’t have to be all about candy. You can offset the spooky effects of too much sugar with healthy Halloween treats, snacks and toys.
With the alarming rates of kid obesity and hyperactivity, binging on too much candy isn’t a good idea, so why not make this the Halloween where your ghoulish holiday is fun, safe and healthy.
Longer lasting Halloween toys
Get creative! Hand out fun Halloween toys instead of treats. Novelty items usually found in party grab bags are a great alternative. Add one big item, something like vampire fangs, and supplement the bag with smaller items. You may want to avoid handing out very small items that pose any chocking dangers to younger children.
Temporary tattoos are always popular with kids of any age. Pick some classic Halloween themes like pirates, vampires and goblins. You can buy packages and cut up the individual tats to create custom grab bags. Kids also love self-inking stamps that give them the freedom to stamp anything, including their friends!
Stickers are also going to be a big hit. Plenty of local novelty stores have sheets of Halloween themed stickers with pumpkins, black cats, goblins and witches. Best selling brands such as Hello Kitty also sell sticker dispensers that are even more economical than the sheets. The choices are endless and plentiful – everything from favourite characters to animals and slogans. Oriental Trading has hundreds of choices to buy online that are very economical.
Kids and parents will eagerly accept glow sticks bracelets, wands and necklaces that give off extra light in the dark streets. You can also make up a grab bag of some glow in the dark bugs and other creepy crawlers for something to play with after the candy is gone.
Mini tins of Play-Doh or bottles of bubbles and pint-sized puzzles are also fun alternatives. Victoria based Glowproducts.com has hundreds of styles to choose from.
Halloween-themed pencils, erasers and rulers are practical and often much cheaper than candy. Kids will love using those ghoulish pencils, even when they pull them out during their least favourite classes.
Healthy Halloween treats
You don’t have to just give out sweet, sugary handouts. There are plenty of healthy Halloween treats that kids will love.
Pretzels: Snack-sized pretzels are a great low-fat Halloween snack for kids.
Raisins: Organic boxed raisins are sweet and healthy!
Fruit leather or fruit roll-ups: Delicious and easy to find in bulk.
Trail mix or mixed nuts: Offer some protein along with the sugar.
Hot chocolate mix: Buy some healthy hot chocolate mix in individual packages.
Local apples: Throw on a glow in the dark Halloween sticker to make it festive.
Guilt-free Halloween candy
Corn syrup, refined sugar and fat aren’t healthy anytime of the year. Fortunately there are some great options out there for handing out healthy Halloween treats.
Any kind of sugar-free gum is a great choice. Buy the bulk packs and break them up to hand out. To avoid artificial colors, flavours, preservatives, or aspartame, get some Glee Gum. This natural chewing gum is made with rainforest chicle – the natural ingredients that Chiclet’s used to be made from years ago. There are nine great flavours to choose from: cinnamon, peppermint, tangerine, bubble-gum, spearmint, triple berry, sugar-free lemon-lime, sugar-free refresh-mint, and sugar-free wild watermelon.
Canadian-based Pure Fun makes hard candies free of any chemicals and preservatives. The company replaces refined white sugar with brown rice syrup and organic cane juice to create yummy organic, kosher and vegan hard candies and lollipops. Pure Fun is sold in grocery and health food stores.
Surf Sweets makes a whole line of healthy gummy candies. Spooky Spider gummies are perfect for this time of year. Made with organic fruit juice and sweeteners, they are nut-free and contain no gluten or corn syrup, plus they are frighteningly delicious. Shop online for these treats or contact the company for a retailer near you.
Make your own Halloween goodies
Many parents are also breaking with the age-old tradition of packaged candy and handing out homemade treats, particularly in smaller communities where everyone knows their neighbour.
This is also a great option if you are heading out to a local school or community centre party for a pot luck Halloween.
Just be sure to package your goodies really well for transportation in pillow cases!
Check out some suggestions from fellow blogger StaceyMac, Halloween Baking Made Easy!
Shelly Wutke also shares some to go with all the treats.
Have a howling Halloween!