Whether your child has allergies or you simply want to avoid the candy fest and gorge that is Halloween there are plenty of alternatives to handing out candy this Halloween (gasp! No candy at Halloween?) Trust me there are plenty of neighbors out there that will still be passing out the Twizzlers, Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups and Dots. But for those of use that would like to get a little more creative in our treats for those little tricksters let’s think outside the candy box and find some spooktakular ideas for candy alternatives.
Coloring pages, word finds, crossword puzzles and mazes: Either purchase a coloring book and tear out sheets to then fold and hand out or print sheets out on your computer. It was inexpensive and easy to do. Once I found a few I would like I would print them in batches of 10 of each design. Need ideas to find coloring pages? Visit these for some very popular coloring pages, word finds, puzzles and mazes:
Free Disney Princess Coloring Pages
Free Sesame Street Coloring Pages
Spiderman Coloring Page Fun
Best Sources for Free Printable Children’s Word Search Puzzles
Free Printable Crossword Puzzles
Free Printable Crossword Puzzles: Eight Best Web Sites
Free Printable Mazes for Kids
6 Web Sites with Free, Printable Mazes
Trick or Treat with Healthy Treats
Organic Fruit Leather or Fruit Snacks: Sure they are a little more expensive but often I find them on sale at my grocery store! Purchase a few boxes every week and stock up before Halloween hits. Not only are they healthy, but they taste pretty good too!
Raisins: I admit this is one that I have handed out. My kids love raisins and I do to. They are sweet to eat and healthy too. Best of all the handy mini box packs don’t cost anymore than candy.
100 Calorie Packs and Individual Packs: Think Teddy Grahams, Goldfish, Animal Crackers, Potato chips, Oreo cookies, oatmeal raisin, and pretzels are worthwhile alternatives to candy.
Individual cereal boxes: If you have a Sam’s Club or Costco Membership purchasing cereal boxes in bulk can be easy, fast and even save you a little money. It makes a quick breakfast for the parents to have the next day and some of them are even good as a quick snack.
Dried fruit packs: The ones with pineapple are a persona favorite in our household but there are plenty with other fruits and flavors.
Cheese crackers or peanut butter crackers: if you are going for allergy free peanut butter is a no no but if you are simply looking for an alternative to candy these can make snack time easy.
Nut free or gluten free alternatives include candies by Vermont Nut Free Chocolates that include a variety of Halloween shaped chocolates, truffles, pretzel twists and lollipops. Kellies Candies are nut free options to chewy caramels, chocolate fudge, pretzels and lollipops.
Need more trick or treat ideas?
Pencils or Funky Pencil Toppers
Mini bottles of bubbles
Neon glow rods, the ones that can be transformed into a bracelet and glow in the dark during trick or treat provide the kids with instant gratification and may actually save an argument or two about opening up candy.
Hair bows or clips (at my grocery store in the 1.00 aisle I found packets of hair clips 20 in a pack for 1.00)
Skulls rings, plastic spiders, and eye patches – or go for the gross factor and find weird and wacky toys that make funny sounds or “pop” when you squeeze them.
Stickers /sticker scenes
Go for the bling in rings, bracelets and other jewelry items.
Mini Yo yo’s
Mini Play dough
Bean bag balls – not the bouncing balls those are can be a choking hazard and drive parents nuts.
Washable Ink Stamps
Stuffed animals: one of my children brought home a stuffed animal that was almost as big as her!
Coins -I’m not talking just pennies but really clean out the piggy bank. We have a jar we drop all our change in each day when we come home and it really adds up!
Where to find sweet treats for Halloween trick or treaters?
Visit your local dollar store and roam the aisle for ideas such as army men (you can hand out one or two to each child), matchbox cars, small notebooks for writing on, mini pencils, crayons and a variety of other toys. If you would put it in a goody bag it will also make a great trick or treat item. Look at the little “accessories” that many toys use like brushes and mirrors.
Oriental Trading.com is an amazing resource with a variety of everything you want to buy at very reasonable prices. The mini sticker scenes are a big hit with kids and the left over ones I can take to a restaurant to keep my kids happy and occupied long after the Halloween candy is gone.
For safety’s sake you may also want to consider having “big kid treats” and “little kid treats” you wouldn’t want to give a small child a ring that they may swallow or choke on.
Whatever your choice is for treat or treat, remember kids are easy to please. If you are worried about the costs, then mix things up purchasing some of the more expensive items and tossing in some free or low cost to spread the wealth of trick or treating, candy free, around.
20 years of personal experience taking kids trick or treating
Kids with Food Allergies