While most every parent wants to be known for giving out the best Halloween treats on the block, the good news is that you can earn that reputation without giving out king size candy bars or handfuls of mini ones.
With a growing concern about childhood obesity and the safety of food given out during trick-or-treating, many parents are opting to give out nonfood items to the trick-or-treaters who visit their homes this year.
If you’re considering passing on the candy and giving an alternative treat to your trick-or-treaters, here are a few of my favorites.
1. A coupon for a free ice cream cone
If you’re torn between giving candy and not giving candy, a coupon for an ice cream cone can be a great choice. Many local ice cream parlors will sell coupons for free child size ice cream cones.
2. Mini bags of pretzels
BJ’s, Target and other large department stores often stock containers full of mini pretzel bags, complete with Halloween decorations on them. If you can’t find pretzels, individual bags of Goldfish are a good option.
Fill up your candy bowl with an assortment of Halloween stickers. If you can’t find Halloween themed ones, consider stickers with some of today’s popular characters like Dora and Elmo.
Sticks and necklaces that glow in the dark are fun for the kids to play with and have an added bonus of offering the kids some additional safety by alerting drivers and others to their presence. Children should be instructed not to put these items in their mouths.
5. Halloween jewelry
Spider rings, pumpkin necklaces and more make for great fun. For little kids who love to play dress up, these tokens will be much appreciated and will be used year round.
6. Halloween themed mini-crafts
The Oriental Trading Company always has tons of affordable, Halloween themed individually packaged crafts (like necklaces and foam projects) for sale.
7. Mini pumpkins
Support your local farmer and purchase a bunch of mini pumpkins to give out. Consider attaching a recipe for pumpkin seeds that your visitors can make after they decorate their pumpkin.
8. Colorful Toothbrushes
Perhaps you have a better, longer lasting treat that you want to share this Halloween with your visitors. If you don’t particularly care for Halloween, instead of shutting the lights off and locking your door, consider giving out inexpensive or disposible toothbrushes….you may not be such a hit with the kids on these, but the parents are sure to appreciate your practical twist on offsetting the sugar content of all the Halloween treats.
9. Coloring books
Have a local dollar store? The dollar store can be a gold mine for finding great Halloween themed coloring books for you guessed it, under a buck a piece.
10. Mini flashlights
Again, your local dollar store can be a huge resource for purchasing neat usable items in bulk at an affordable price.
While many parents have never considered giving out alternatives to candy on Halloween, a growing number of parents are opting to give out healthy snacks or nonfood items to their trick-or-treaters. If you’ve been on the fence, consider passing on the candy this year and trying something new. You may be pleasantly surprised how popular your house becomes!