BOO! Don’t be afraid – to use candy alternatives…

Halloween is around the corner and you’re probably beginning to think about what to give trick-or-treaters when they come a-knockin’ in a few weeks. Before you buy the cheapest bag of bulk candy you can find at Costco, consider providing non-candy or healthy alternatives to little ghosts, mummies, and fairies. There are dozens of items you can offer trick-or-treaters that you can find at prices comparable to or cheaper than that of candy if you know where to look!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of childhood obesity and related health problems have risen at an alarming rate over the past few decades.  Similar facts from the American Diabetes Association indicate that roughly 200,000 children in the United States have diabetes with an estimated additional 60,000 children that have not yet been diagnosed.  Add to this the pervasiveness of nut and gluten allergies as well as the difficulty that children with braces have eating hard or chewy candies, and you may be begin to wonder why more people are not offering non-candy treats.

The Institute for Applied Biomedicine has complied a broad list of alternatives that children said they would like to receive during Halloween:

  • Temporary tattoos
  • Stickers
  • Pencils
  • Fancy erasers
  • Pencil Toppers
  • Crayons
  • Coins (pennies, nickels, dimes)
  • Small novelty toys
  • False teeth
  • Superballs
  • “Slime”
  • Miniature magnifying glasses
  • Plastic jewelry/decoder rings
  • Necklaces
  • Glow-sticks
  • Tiny decks of cards
  • Plastic medals
  • Fake money
  • Origami paper & instructions
  • Bubbles
  • Play-Doh
  • Silly straws

Although this list is not all-inclusive, it is certainly a good starting point. Stop by dollar stores, party supply stores, craft stores, and wholesale retailers or look online at places such as Oriental Trading Company to see what you find! Now is the perfect time to scoop up leftovers from the back-to-school sales. Just be mindful of choking hazards for the youngest trick-or-treaters!

Consider providing kids with treats and candies that you won’t feel bad giving away, but remember that homemade or home wrapped treats are the first to end up in the garbage as soon as kids get home.

Take a peek in your local natural food store for Yummy Earth Lollipops and Candy Drops—they’re organic, allergen-free, wheat-free and made with all-natural ingredients (no high-fructose corn syrup here)! You can find them here.

Xylichew gum and mints are sugar-free and made with xylitol, a sweetener that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, is known to reduce tooth decay, and is safe for diabetics! Xylichew is sold at

The Natural Candy Store offers candy that is organic, vegan, gluten-free, allergen-free, kosher, and/or corn syrup-free. They have an outstanding bulk candy section and you get to choose free samples with every order! Their organic Natural Gummy Bears sound delicious, are processed in a facility that does not process any major allergens, and come in individual serving sizes! Check them out here.

Be creative with your Halloween shopping and consider the benefits of providing non-candy and healthy alternatives to trick-or-treaters! You may be surprised by what find!



  1. […] We hope you all had a frightfully wonderful Halloween weekend!  Did anyone come up with a creative alternative to giving out candy?  Our Halloween pencils were a big hit – check them out […]

  2. […] here for last year’s article on Halloween candy alternatives. Possibly related posts: […]

  3. […] you decide to give out Scarrots this Halloween, we recommend  looking at last year’s post on great candy alternatives and Stephanie’s tips for a healthy […]

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