I have to confess that I struggle a little bit with Halloween and the candy overload that it involves. I absolutely love the holiday and the festivities, but it's the connection with eating yourself sick from candy that I just have a hard time stomaching. Truly, I am embarrassed to say this because I really believe in enjoying food, holidays and traditions without fear or guilt. But why just so much candy??
Alright, I have another confession. I've tried giving healthier foods to trick or treaters and it went OK, at best. Not only was my hubby embarrassed (he has a go big or go home mentality with Halloween) but I was pretty defeated at the end of the night. Most kids either hesitated when they saw what was in my candy bucket or made a comment along the lines of "what is that?"
Today I am making an appearance on First Coast Living about this very topic, so this year I was determined to find some GREAT (not just good) candy alternatives for trick or treaters. You tell me, but I think I put together some ideas that people may actually do. Here's the list and includes Amazon links to some of the products I ordered to make it easy for you. You can still get them in time for Halloween if you order right away. (FYI the Amazon links are affiliate links. Thanks for supporting FFP!)
Halloween Money Tree - This is my favorite idea. I can't take total credit because my colleague at UNF gave me the idea. All you do is wrap up a few coins in a little square of fabric and tie a loop around it. Hang them on a Halloween theme tree and let each trick-or-treater pick one off.
Little kids LOVE coins and get excited about even the smallest amounts. Get $10 worth of coins and you will probably spend less doing this than you would buying candy.
This is also a perfect idea for participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project that supports non-food items for children with food allergies. Download the Download Teal Pumpkin Sign 8.5x11 for your front door that alerts children with food allergies that you have non-food item for trick-or-treaters.
Temporary Tattoos - Tattoos are a fun alternative to candy. My toddler loves them. I know they will be a hit this year.
Justin's peanut butter cups and packets - If you are looking for an all-natural, organic Halloween treat, Justin's is the way to go. These PB cups are so delicious. Justin's is a company that I do not officially work for, but have been a huge fan for many years. I will be passing these out in my neighborhood for sure!
YumEarth Organic Fruit Lollipops - These tasty lolli's are free of everything you might not want in your candy: dyes, artificial ingredients, nuts, gluten, soy, and high fructose corn syrup. They are also vegan.
Mummy-Wrapped Fruit Squeezies - Simple wrap a fruit squeeze pack with strips of paper or crepe paper and draw a silly face to turn an ordinary snack into a fun Halloween treat. Picture and Idea from The Nerd's Wife.
Cabot Cheese Seriously Sharp Cheddar Snack Size - I think this is an option that kids may be surprised by but end up loving. I bet it will get gobbled up before they even make it home. The nice thing about cheddar cheese is that it contains almost NO lactose, so it's a great choice even for those who are lactose intolerant.
Bubble Gum - Gum is a fun and welcomed alternative to candy. Plus, you burn calories from chewing gum and strengthen your mouth muscles. Lame fact, I know, but it's something interesting to remember.
Somersault Snacks - I love these tasty, nut-free crunchy nuggets. They are made with sunflower seeds and come in a variety of delicious flavors. They do contain wheat so they are NOT gluten-free.
So, what do you think? Will you try one of these options? Leave me a comment if you have any other great ideas to share too. With a little creativity, Halloween can be super fun, super sweet and still support healthy living.