I’d love to see adults across the country start hosting neighborhood planning committees for Halloween. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the houses on your block were on the same page, handing out healthier alternatives to the traditional trick-or-treat candy loot?
If you want to start the revolution in your neighborhood, you don’t want to appear preachy to other parents, so keep it casual and maybe even include festive fall drinks. You may not be able to get through to everyone but that’s OK. Some candy is fun and after all, it is a tradition. Maybe you don’t live in the friendliest neighborhood or you just don’t have time to plan such an event. That’s OK, too. You can do a lot by making small changes on your own.
For those of you who are resistant to change, try creating goodie bags with one piece of candy and some other treats mixed in. Or, simply have two buckets and allow each kid to pick one candy and then a non-candy treat. Remember, if you make it Halloween-themed or glow-in-the-dark, the kids will probably love it!
Consider the following candy alternatives:
- Individual bags of apple slices. They’re sealed, so parents won’t be tempted to throw them away when their child brings them home.
- Any other (individually wrapped) healthy snacks. Dried fruit, popcorn, pretzels, raisins, Goldfish, pita chips and nuts often come in suitable packaging. Bulk, discount stores are a great place to find this sort of thing at a relatively low price. Avoid the urge to hand out homemade treats. Most parents will instruct children to throw them out.
- Toothbrushes and travel size toothpastes are a little lame, but you may be able to pull it off. Look for fun characters and colors.
- Coloring and activity books (or single pages)
- Stickers and temporary tattoos
- Jump ropes
- Fake insects and spiders
- Yo-yos or bouncy balls
- Finger puppets
- Vampire fangs
- Pirate eye-patches
- Small papers with funny jokes or riddles
- Mini Play-Doh containers
- Sugar-free gum
- Pencils and erasers
- Mini pumpkins
- Juice boxes
What are your healthy plans for Halloween?