Healthy halloween candy alternatives

Don’t get me wrong. I love tasty Halloween treats just as much as anyone else.

What I don’t love is Halloween treat ideas that are filled with high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, and other artificial ingredients… Especially in excess on occasions like Halloween.

This year my husband and I have decided to lessen the impact by choosing to provide Halloween treats for kids that are safe for children with food allergies.

These healthy candy alternatives for Halloween, non-candy Halloween treats, and other fun Halloween handouts, are much better for both our children and ourselves.

Come on… you know you dig into the Halloween candy bowl, too!

Provide any of these healthy Halloween treats, or non-candy alternatives, for party guests, and, hand them out to trick or treaters on Halloween night.

Related: Halloween Pumpkin Salt Painting

Related: Halloween Art Projects Kids LOVE!


Halloween Treat Ideas: Healthy Halloween Treats and Candy Alternatives for Halloween

In the next section, we have listed healthy Halloween treats that contain a healthier form of sugar than high fructose corn syrup. They are a great alternative to Halloween candy that contains high fructose corn syrup and other artificial ingredients.

If you are wondering what to hand out for Halloween besides candy for children with food allergies, we have also created a separate list of non-candy Halloween treats perfect for the teal pumpkin project.

For our favorite candy alternatives for Halloween have a look at the handout ideas that we have listed in non-candy Halloween treats. It includes non-candy Halloween handout ideas, such as Halloween toys and stickers, that won’t endanger children with life-threatening food allergies.

Related: Glowing Ghost Sensory Bottle

Healthy Halloween Treats for Trick or Treaters and Class Parties

The healthy Halloween treats listed below contain much healthier ingredients than your typical Halloween candy.

Some of these healthy alternatives to candy for Halloween contain a healthier form of sugar than corn-syrup, while some of the other healthy Halloween treats listed, may not contain any sugar at all.

Please Note: Not all of the healthy Halloween treats for kids listed in this section are safe for children with food allergies. Some children are allergic to wheat gluten and/or nuts that can be found in a few of the options provided below. A wonderful selection of Candy alternatives for Halloween, for children with food allergies, can be found listed in the next section.

1. YumEarth

This candy tastes much better than mass-produced chemical candy because they use real fruit extracts and planet friendly organic ingredients. YumEarth candies are made with all-natural ingredients, no artificial colors or artificial dyes, no gluten, no peanuts, and no tree-nuts–just award-winning taste!

Limited-Edition Individually Wrapped Yum Earth Halloween candy packs

  • Yum Earth Organic Halloween gummy fruits
  • Organic candy corn
  • Halloween lollipops

If their limited edition Halloween candy packs are sold out, they have a huge inventory of individually wrapped organic candies sold in bulk that also make a great Halloween treat alternative for trick or treaters.

Individually Wrapped Yum Earth Organic Candy

These organic candies also make fun lunch box treats for kids!

  • Organic fruit snacks
  • Yum Earth organic sour beans
  • Organic hard candy
  • Yum Earth organic Vitamin C lollipops

2. Annie’s Organic Halloween Fruit Snacks

Another great candy alternative for Halloween is Annie’s organic snacks. They are made with real fruit juice and do not contain any artificial flavors, synthetic colors, preservatives, pesticides, gluten or nuts.

Limited-Edition Individually Wrapped Halloween Bunnies and Bats

  • Halloween Fruit Snack Packs

Individually Wrapped Organic Bunny Fruit Snack Pouches

  • Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks

3. Bitsy’s Brain Food Spooky Snacks

These limited-edition Halloween cookies come in 16 individual treat packs. Bitsy’s Brain Food Spooky Snacks for Halloween are a fun, wholesome, healthy choice for trick or treaters everywhere.

If the limited edition Halloween cookies are no longer available, try any of the fun Halloween handout alternatives listed below! Give them out with a Halloween sticker

and you’re good to go!

Bitsy’s Brain Food Individually Wrapped Snacks for Kids

Like Annie’s organic snacks, Bitsy’s smart cookies and crackers are also great for children’s lunchboxes.

  • Gingerbread Zucchini Carrot Smart Cookies Multi-Pack
  • Orange Chocolate Smart Cookies
  • Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin Smart Cookies
  • Organic Smart Crackers

4. Halloween Garden Vegi Chips Snack Packs

These individually wrapped Halloween treat bags are filled with healthy veggie chips in fun ghost and bat shapes. Healthy ghosts and Bats like these are perfect for little and big trick or treaters alike.

With 30% less fat than leading potato chips, Ghost and Bat shaped veggie chips

are spooky, crunchy and totally eerie-sistable!

5. Goldfish Cracker Halloween Snack Packs

These cheddar goldfish crackers are a healthier choice for trick or treaters than candy. Each box of Halloween goldfish crackers

includes 24 snack pack pouches with fun Halloween graphics.

6. UTZ Halloween Pretzel Treats

These fun Halloween pretzels come in the shapes of bats and Halloween jack o’ lantern pumpkins. Halloween pretzels are great for both Halloween parties and make a healthy handout alternative for trick or treaters on Halloween night.

UTZ pretzels are sold individually wrapped in a large 70 count barrel of Halloween pretzels

, or you can purchase 2 barrels with 140 individually wrapped Halloween pretzel pouches.

Related: Giant Stick Spider Web Halloween Decoration

Non-Candy Halloween Treats for Kids with Food Allergies

Give children the gift of treats without the sweets for Halloween this year. This list of non-candy Halloween treats is just what the doctor ordered for many children suffering from food allergies.

In other words, this list of candy alternatives for Halloween is a perfect option for homes participating in the teal pumpkin project. Non-candy Halloween treats are a much safer alternative for children with food allergies–and a necessity for children with life-threatening food allergies!

Not to mention the fact that too many sweets can also cause wild children on Halloween night, and cavities for years to come. For a fun and safe Halloween, add any of these candy alternatives for Halloween to your bucket of Halloween handouts this year.

If you decide to provide any of these non-candy Halloween treats for kids, don’t forget to place a teal pumpkin on your porch to let parents and caregivers know that your home is safe for children with food allergies.

We hope you enjoy the alternative ideas for Halloween candy that we have listed in this fun collection of cool Halloween handout ideas for children and adults of all ages!

1. Temporary Tattoos for Halloween

Temporary Halloween tattoos

make a wonderful alternative to candy that kids love to put on at school parties and find in their trick or treat bags on Halloween night.

2. Halloween Stickers

This colorful collection of circular Halloween stickers

features a variety of Halloween themes. Each unit consists of five rolls of 100 stickers for a total of 500 stickers per unit.

3. Self-Inking Stamps

Another safe candy alternative for children with food allergies on Halloween is self-inking stamps. Try any of the Halloween self-inking stamp ideas listed below.

  • Halloween self-inking stamps
  • Self-inking stamp variety pack
  • Holiday’s and occasions self-inking stamps

4. Halloween Slime

Slime is a super cool Halloween treat for kids, and makes a fun alternative to the typical Halloween sugar-filled treat.

Give trick or treaters Glow in the Dark Slime that comes in four neon colors – yellow, orange, green, and blue!

Or, handout Halloween Slime with fake spiders, eye-balls, cockroaches, worms, and more!

5. Halloween Bag of Play-Doh

Fill trick or treat bags with cans of Halloween Play-doh

modeling compound, instead of sugar-filled treats, with this cool Halloween treat for kids.

6. Glow in the Dark Bouncing Balls

These green glow in the dark bouncing balls and multicolored glow in the dark bouncing balls

are easy Halloween party treats for kids. They also make a fun Halloween candy handout alternative for trick or treaters of all ages.

7. Glow Sticks

Hand out glow sticks

for fun and safety on Halloween. Glow sticks and glow sick party supplies of all kinds make great Halloween party treats for kids, and candy alternative to hand out to trick or treaters on Halloween night.

Not only do children love glow sticks

, glow stick jewelry can help them stay safe on Halloween night. Win/win!

8. Flashing Halloween Rings and Finger Lights

These fun flashing rings

and finger lights are another easy Halloween treat idea for kids. Like glow sticks, finger lights can provide a safety light for your trick or treaters on Halloween night.

  • Flashing jewel rings
  • Glow flashing rings
  • Halloween Rings that flash
  • Bumpy flashing rings

9. Halloween Bubbles

Small Bottles of Halloween bubbles

are fun Halloween treats for kids. They are a perfect non-candy alternative to hand out at class parties and make a great handout alternative on Halloween night.

  • Halloween bubbles
  • Zombie finger bubbles
  • Neon bubbles
  • Bubble wand party favor pack

10. Skeleton Paratroopers

This Halloween treat for kids is a fun Halloween party favor that also makes a perfect candy alternative to hand out to trick or treaters on Halloween night. Throw these skeleton paratroopers

high up in the air, or drop them from a height, and see them deploy their parachute and to fall gracefully to the ground.

Related: Ghost Crafts and Decorations for Halloween

Fun Trick or Treat Bags and Trick or Treat Buckets for Halloween

Don’t forget to provide trick or treat bags or trick or treat buckets for your trick or treaters this year!

Easy Halloween Treats for Kids: Healthy Halloween Treats & Candy Alternatives for Halloween

Provide healthy any of these Halloween handout ideas for your trick or treaters, at school, and Halloween parties with this awesome list of healthy treats and fun alternatives for Halloween.

Children are sure to love this collection of healthy Halloween treats just as much, if not more than other not so healthy Halloween handout ideas.

If you are looking for fun ways to keep the kids calm on Halloween night when all the ghost and goblins come out to play, try a glowing jack o’ lantern sensory bottle!

You may also like this collection of Halloween art projects that children LOVE! Art therapy is a great way to reduce anxiety on Halloween.

Don’t forget to have a look at our Fall Bucket List full of fun fall activities for kids.

Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!

If you Liked These Easy Halloween Treat Ideas, You may also like:

  • Halloween Pumpkin Salt Art
  • Glow in the Dark Halloween Pumpkin Sensory Bottle
  • Tissue Paper Ghost Craft
  • Top 10 DIY Halloween Lanterns
  • Visit a Pumpkin Patch

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 Healthy Halloween Treats

Happy Healthy Halloween – have fun, learn some tricks, get some ideas and recipes for healthy Halloween treats.

The average US trick or treater takes home 600g of sugar, the equivalent to 3 cups!!! Americans alone, spend $2.08 billion dollars on Halloween candy. Many have asked for healthy alternatives to candy on Halloween.

Now we’re not saying don’t have fun, just don’t overload your children (and others) with excessive bags of sugar laden candy. If you hand out alternatives to candy, children will still end up with plenty of candy from others in the neighbourhood. It is your choice as to whether you participate or want to cut back on the candy, just please don’t put pressure and negativity on others who do choose to cut back.

Before you all say I’m a Halloween party pooper, things have changed over the last few decades. One night of fun and a massive sugar hit has become an issue because –

  • children have never eaten so much sugar. By the time a child is 8 years old they will have consumed as much sugar as an adult did in their lifetime 100 years ago.
  • sugar is in so much food these days, hidden in sauces, baked beans, bread, fizzy drinks, energy drinks, flavoured yoghurts, cereals, muesli bars and so many more day to day foods
  • Halloween is only 1 night but then there is Valentines day, birthdays, christmas, end of year events, bake sales, fundraisers, New Year, end of term, end of football season and now even Girl Guides are pushing Nestle sweetened flavoured milk. It never ends.
  • obesity, T2 diabetes and tooth decay are at record levels because of all of the above
  • most children don’t eat all their candy in 1 night so end up eating it over the next week or so, so it isn’t just 1 night, for some it’s an entire week
  • and don’t be fooled into buying organic sweets or those made with real fruit juice. They are seen by the body as sugar, plain and simple, and just as damaging.

Healthy Halloween Treats – how to limit the sugar to just one night

If you want to let your kids go for it on Halloween, it’s totally up to you, but maybe collect any uneaten candy the next day and throw it away. Let your children know it’s a fun treat for 1 night only. Or have you heard of Suzie Switch Witch? She will buy back your uneaten candy on Halloween night! Take a look at her cute poem on Natural Kids website and she will Switch your candy for money, a game or something special. This is a cute way to let your children have fun on the night, but Susie Switch Witch ensures it is only for 1 night.

I’ve collected the cutest healthy Halloween treats and ideas and posted them below. These are not intended for trick or treating but for get togethers or parties. They are so cute, they will be great for spooky birthday parties year round.

When I asked on Facebook what everyone thought of Halloween, what came though loud and clear was pressure. Pressure by parents to allow their children to go trick or treating and to accept and then eat all that candy. There was also huge pressure to buy and supply huge volumes of candy for those who knocked on their doors. So if more of us spoke up, it would take the pressure off both sides. Here in New Zealand, trick or treating is only just taking off. There is a huge marketing campaign by sweet manufacturers, supermarkets, by ‘The Warehouse’ and Kmart. If we all refused to buy them, it might stop NZ going the way other countries have gone. Here is a sign you may want to print and put on your gate.

Healthy Halloween Treats – alternative party bag ideas

For those who do participate, instead of handing out candy or a sweets to trick or treaters, how about these instead?

  • glow sticks
  • stickers
  • toys
  • spider rings
  • spooky playing cards
  • mini playdough
  • bottles of bubbles
  • pencils
  • erasers
  • if you’re a dentist, apparently it is OK to hand out toothbrushes

So here are the best of the best Healthy Halloween Treats to have at parties and gatherings. They are too cute not to have year round, so maybe plan a spooky birthday party to get to use all these ideas again.

Best Of The Best Healthy Halloween Treats

Jack-o-lanterns made from mandarins or satsumas. Draw their faces with a black permanent marker (it won’t penetrate the skin so won’t contaminate your fruit). Leave this one for your children to make. See how scary or funny you can make their faces. Pop them in their lunch boxes leading up to Halloween. No carving required, no mess and you can hand them out to trick or treaters because their are unpeeled. From Ditch The Carbs.

Watermelon Brain – By has to be my favourite. It is gruesome with the pink of the watermelon peeking out from the brain. See the website for instructions and step wise photos on how to carve the watermelon.

Orange Mummies by A Thrifty Mom are just the cutest little things and easy for little fingers to make. Wrap up an orange with tissue, bandages or crepe paper then glue on some googly eyes.

Cheese Pops – By Cute Food For Using a Babybel cheese, nori sheet and some black sesame seeds. Even adults would like this idea. I love the scar mouth.

Cheese Finger Food – from Spoonful (Disney) makes fingers out of cheese and green peppers. Realistic with carved knuckles makes them even more creepy and spooky.

Banana Ghosts and Mandarin Pumpkins – from My Easy Recipes. Turn little mandarins into pumpkins by peeling and putting a stick of celery into the centre. Banana ghosts are simply bananas with chocolate drops stuck on.

Cheese Monsters by Danya Banya are easily made from mini Babybel, a sharp knife and a watchful eye if the children are involved. Stick on some scary eyes and create some awesome fangs. I know my children would adore to receive these.

Easy Halloween Eyeball Recipe from Lilly at KidsKubby. Mini Babybel, some drawn on veins and slices of olives. Imagine a plate of these all staring back at you?

Olive Spider Cheese Balls by Spaceships and Laserbeams . Top a piece of yellow cheese or carrot, with a cream cheese ball and a spider made out of black olives. To make it even cuter, place a black bat on a stick into each one.

Cheese Pumpkins by Pop Sugar. Carve little balls of soft cheese into pumpkin shapes and add a stalk. They used pretzels, but I would add a piece of salami stick or something similar. Arrange them on a plate with a few winter leaves scattered around.

Crunchy Halloween Mummies by Betty Crocker are adorable cream cheese mummies wrapped in slices of ham, lying on a celery bed. These would require some patience, but the results are amazing.

Veggie Skeleton by Feeding Frenzy. Arrange sliced vegetables into a skeleton shape with the head being a cream cheese dip. You could even add slices of ham for the ‘skin’ to make it more gruesome.

Spooky Spider Eggs by Devilled eggs are scary enough, but add some tarantulas made from chopped up black olives and you have little devilled spiders.

Creepy Monster Eyeballs from the Gourmet Mama are made with mayonnaise and green food colouring, I would go a step further and make the centres with avocado or smooth guacamole then use a stuffed olive for the eyeball centre. Mwa ha ah.

Cheesy Halloween Snacks by Susie J are for those with absolutely zero artistic or culinary skill whatsoever. No excuses. Let your children loose on these ones. You don’t even need to buy the orange processed cheese seen, use a cheese slicer and make your own slices of edam, mild or colby cheese.

Apple Bites by Oh She Glows. A cute sweet treat to end it all off. Slices of apply with peanut butter, nut butter or some berry puree instead of jam.

I really hope you have enjoyed these Healthy Halloween Treats which I have posted from the best of the best food websites. Please visit their sites for full instructions and leave them comments on their fabulous Healthy Halloween Treats. Be sure to mention you saw them on

FREE part bag toppers

Just print the party bag toppers onto card, cut them out and fold over the party bag. How cute.

All the neighbors are handing out Halloween candy — that’s a given. So why not stand out from the crowd and give kids something that isn’t packed with sugar? These options are just as fun, give allergy parents peace of mind, and are guaranteed to get children excited long after they’ve taken off their costumes and are ready for post-trick-or-treat adventures.

1. Glow sticks.

100 8” Non Toxic Glow Sticks PartySticks $9.99

Here’s a not-so-fun fact: Children are most at risk for being hit by a car on Halloween night, according to TODAY. While you can’t control what costumes other kids wear (though light-reflecting options are ideal), you can toss glow-in-the-dark accessories into their bag to help them stay visible. Plus, who doesn’t love a glow necklace?

2. Stickers.

Speaking of stickers, what kid doesn’t love decorating their notebooks with fun adhesives? Sheets of festive stickers make for fun treats that won’t weigh down trick-or-treaters’ bags.

3. Honey.

Nature Nate’s 100% Pure Raw & Unfiltered Honey Nature Nate’s $7.88

In a happy coincidence, Nature Nate’s Raw & Unfiltered Honey comes in cute orange-and-black packets that pair perfectly with your Halloween decor. It’ll give the kids an energy boost that won’t keep them awake later — some evidence even suggests consuming raw honey before bed can help induce the production of tryptophan, an amino acid that makes people sleepy.

4. Snack bags.

If you don’t have a ton of time to shop, prepackaged individual servings of pretzels, fruit snacks, and Goldfish are all great non-candy Halloween treat options.

5. Pencils, erasers, and pencil toppers.

School supplies in fun shapes and patterns give them something to enjoy after Halloween ends.

6. Bubbles.

Zombie Finger Bubble Bottles Fun Express $12.99 $7.19 (45% off)

Pick up Halloween-themed party-sized bottles or grab packs of plain white ones and decorate each with Halloween stickers.

7. Spooky accessories.

Think plastic vampire teeth, plastic spider rings, and other age-appropriate goody-bag fillers you can easily nab at the party supply or dollar store.

8. Mini bottles of water.

Walking from door to door can be a workout, so help the kiddos stay hydrated while they make the rounds. Slap on a festive label and you’re ready to go.

9. Play dough.

Whether you hand out a mix of shades or opt for Halloween colors only, kids will love playing with the goods inside these iconic canisters long after the holiday has passed.

10. Temporary tattoos.

EaNy Toys Halloween Temporary Tattoos EaNy Toys

Halloween-themed tattoos are safe for the kiddos, easy to press on, and they’ll have a blast showing them off at school the next day.

11. Bouncy balls.

Opt for creepy eyeballs in the bouncy ball department if you want to stay with a Halloween theme.

12. Key chains.

Whether they slip it around their jeans in the coming days or add it to their backpack, the kids will love bouncing around with a pumpkin, vampire, or ghoulish key chain.

13. Slap bracelets.

Slap Bracelets Halloween Party Favors SOTEN $9.99

You loved them in the ’80s and ’90s, and now your kids will know the joy of a slap bracelet too. These festive versions keep the Halloween spirit alive.

14. Activity pads.

Instead of a treat that’ll last for all of five seconds, hand out 48 pages worth of assorted coloring sheets, puzzles, and games that’ll keep them occupied for hours.

15. Drink packets.

Give the kids a treat they can look forward to savoring later, like a mug of warm apple cider or hot chocolate on a cold winter night.

Too much Halloween candy got you spooked? Try some of these healthy tips for party snacks and trick-or-treats. Ideas so good, it’s scary!

Curb the Candy Craze

The kids look adorable in their costumes and are counting down the days until October 31! Are you ready for the sugar rush? With a little creativity, you can find fun ways to include some healthy options in the mix, whether you’re having a party with friends or trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.

Try these tips to make your Halloween festivities a little healthier for your family, party guests and trick-or-treaters.

For the Trick-or-Treater

  • Fill up first. What kid doesn’t want to eat their favorite candy right when it goes into their trick-or-treat bag? Having a healthy meal BEFORE your kids go trick-or-treating can reduce their temptation to snack while walking or to overindulge, because their tummies will be full.
  • Bag the monster bag. Choose or make a smaller collection container for your child and steer clear of the pillow case method. If you encourage kids to only take one piece of candy from each house, they’ll be able to visit more houses in the neighborhood.
  • Get moving. Get some exercise by making Halloween a fun family activity. Walk instead of driving kids house to house. Set a goal of how many houses or streets you’ll visit, or compete in teams to do as many as you can. Bring a bottle of water and a flashlight, and wear comfortable shoes for walking.
  • Look before you eat. Check expiration dates and inspect all edibles before allowing children to eat them. Don’t let children eat anything with questionable or unknown ingredients, especially if they have food allergies.
  • Have a plan. Halloween, and Eat Smart Month in November, can be a great time to talk with kids about moderation and making smart eating choices. Plan in advance how much candy they’ll be allowed to take at each house, keep, and eat. If they’re old enough, let them help decide what to do with excess candy. See our suggestions later on in this article.

For the Party Host

  • Up the fright factor. Serve healthy snacks dressed up in the Halloween theme. There are lots of creative ideas being shared online at this time of year, like banana ghosts, apple monster mouths, carrot witch fingers, and candy-corn-colored fruit popsicles or parfaits!
  • Play with food. Incorporate healthy foods into party activities, such as decorating oranges like Jack-O-Lanterns and bobbing for apples.
  • Keep ’em on their feet. Include plenty of physical activities, like a zombie dance party, three-legged monster race, spider crawl, or pumpkin toss.
  • Rethink the drink. Don’t forget that cutting back on sugary treats includes soda and sugar-sweetened beverages. Offer water, unsweetened tea, 100% juice, or fat-free/low-fat milk instead. Make a Halloween-themed punch from sparkling water and a splash of 100% orange juice, garnished with plenty of orange slices and black grapes or blackberries.

For the Stay-At-Home Crew

  • No self-service. Hand out treats to each trick-or-treater – one per child – instead of letting them decide how much to take. If you have more than one item, ask them to choose which they prefer. This can help you get control of your Halloween budget, too!
  • Avoid the whole mess. Want to avoid candy altogether, not to mention masses of kids at your door? Dress your family up in costumes and go see a movie or deliver healthy Halloween treats to your local police or fire station, nursing home, or children’s hospital.
  • Be that house. You don’t have to pass out candy on Halloween. Start a new tradition and give out healthier treats or non-edible items. Don’t worry, we’re not talking about toothbrushes! Get creative, and keep it colorful and kid-friendly. Here are some ideas.

    Healthier Treats:

  • Clementines, blood oranges, or oranges decorated like Jack-O-Lanterns (with non-toxic ink)
  • 100% juice boxes or pouches
  • Snack-sized packages of pretzels, popcorn, graham crackers, dried fruit or vegetables, trail mix, nuts, or pumpkin seeds
  • 100% real fruit strips, ropes or leathers
  • Squeezable yogurt tubes or pouches
  • Single-serving containers of mandarin oranges
  • Sugar-free gum
    Non-edible items:
  • Glow sticks or small glow-in-the-dark toys
  • Bouncy balls
  • Mini plush toys and wind-up toys
  • Crayons and coloring books (or intricate coloring pages for older kids)
  • Stickers or stamps
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Bubble makers
  • Spider rings or vampire teeth
  • Slime, putty or squishy toys
  • Friendship bracelets

Be careful to avoid giving very small items that could be a choking hazard to little ones.

What to Do with Excess Candy

Afraid you’ll be dealing with an excess of Halloween treats until long after Valentine’s Day? Here are some ideas for enjoying the evening’s haul responsibly and getting rid of leftover candy:

  • Let each child keep enough candy to have one or two pieces a day for one or two weeks (long enough for the excitement to wane). Throw away, donate or re-purpose the rest.
  • When your child asks for a piece of candy, pair it with a healthy snack: an apple, a banana, some nuts, or celery with peanut butter.
  • “Buy back” candy from your child with money or tokens they can trade in for a fun activity: a day at the zoo, an afternoon playing at the park, going ice skating, or a day at the pool.
  • Some dentists’ offices have buy-back or trade-in programs, too.
  • Save it for holiday baking.
  • Save it to fill the piñata at the next birthday celebration or give out with Valentine cards.
  • Use it in an arts and crafts project or to decorate a holiday gingerbread house.
  • Donate excess candy to a homeless shelter, children’s hospital, or care package program for troops overseas. A familiar sweet treat from home can be comforting at the holidays.

Have no fear – you got this! Let’s make Halloween fun, spooky, and a little healthier, too.

Whether you’re giving out candy this year or going out with your kids as they collect pounds of sweets, you can help everyone be a little bit healthier this Halloween. We don’t expect any kids to completely give up all candy, but as Honolulu diabetic dentists, we do think it’s important to stay as healthy as possible. So rather than telling you to ban all candy for your kids, the next best thing we can do is pass along a few tips for healthy Halloween treats.

Take a few minutes to see how you, your loved ones, and those little monsters and ghosts visiting your house can keep healthier, happier smiles this Halloween. For any more tips or help, call A Downtown Dental Group at 808-797-3680 today.

Toss These Tricks, Not Treats

Let’s start with the tooth terrors! We only mention these because we know the real damage they can do to teeth, whether that’s leading directly to cavities, loosening fillings, or breaking teeth. We’ve seen many a dental emergency and treated many teeth from their effects, and we want to do our duty as your dentist to pass along these “tricks” disguised as treats:

  • Sticky candy like bubblegum and gummies
  • Chewy candy like caramels
  • Acidic candy like sour gummies
  • Hard candy like suckers and jawbreakers

If you’re sorting through your kids’ or grandkids’ candy, or if you’re going out soon to buy candy for your little visitors, consider this list and think twice before letting the kids indulge. In particular, sticky acidic candy can do more damage than the rest. Cavities are caused by sugars that stick to and collect on teeth – especially hard-to-clean back teeth. Bacteria feeds off those sugars and creates acid. That acid destroys tooth enamel. When you add more acid to your teeth, it’s hard for even brushing and flossing to fight it off.

Take These Treats In Moderation

There are better options than the tricks we mentioned above. Always choose items with less sugar, especially if you’re going to end up with leftovers. You’ll see that many of these contain lots of carbohydrates, which tend to get stuck in teeth. However, because they contain less sugar, they aren’t as detrimental to oral health.

  • Snack-size bags of multigrain chips
  • Snack-size bags of pretzels
  • Snack-size bags of crackers, like Goldfish
  • Snack-size bags of trail mix (watch for nut allergies, of course)
  • Snack-size bags of fat-free popcorn
  • Fruit leather with 100% real fruit
  • 100% juice boxes
  • Tangerines or mandarins
  • Dried fruit like raisins, cherries, or cranberries
  • Chocolate-covered raisins and nuts
  • Yogurt-covered raisins and nuts
  • Milk chocolate bars
  • Milk chocolate nut or crispy bars
  • Chocolate peanut butter cups
  • Coconut treats

If you buy your kids snacks and food for their lunches, you might brainstorm those kinds of foods for other ideas, too.

Treat Yourself To These Halloween Goodies

There are tooth-friendly Halloween options you can choose and not have to worry about their effect on teeth. A few of those are:

  • Dark chocolate bars
  • Sugarless gum, especially gum containing xylitol
  • Apples (choose small ones for kids)
  • Bananas (make sure they’re ripe but not too ripe)
  • Individual peanut butter packs (for kids without allergies)
  • Snack-size bags of nuts (for kids without allergies)

If you want to pass on snacks or sweets altogether, your Halloween goodies are sure to stand out and please kiddos! Consider some of these non-candy Halloween treats:

  • Small toys like yo-yos and balls
  • Arts & crafts, like small drawing pads and crayons
  • Stickers
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Small games and puzzles
  • Packs of cards, especially Halloween themed
  • Keychains
  • Bubbles
  • Jewelry (boys and girls like Halloween-themed jewelry like spider rings, as well as glow jewelry and light-up jewelry)
  • Glow sticks
  • Mini Play-Doh packs

Take Care Of Trick-Or-Treated Teeth With These Tips

Whether your kids eat healthy Halloween treats or not-so-healthy treats, you can do a few things to keep decay and other dental problems at bay.

  • Make sure your kids brush twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. They should get all surfaces.
  • Make sure they floss once a day. Fun flossers can make the process easier.
  • Have them swish water around after eating any candy or sweets, and make sure they drink water throughout the day and with their meals.
  • Start talking about healthy and less healthy options for their teeth now. Make it fun rather than a lecture. You can even print Halloween coloring sheets from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that can help them remember the effects of sugar on their teeth.
  • Limit how much candy they can eat in one day.
  • Throw out candy, especially the less healthy options, after a set amount of time.
  • Donate candy with our annual Halloween Candy Buyback! A Downtown Dental Group buys back extra Halloween candy at $1 per pound. This candy is sent to our troops overseas.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these tips on healthy Halloween treats – and that you enjoy Halloween with your loved ones! For more tips from Dr. Wilfred Miyasaki, Dr. David Miyasaki, or our team, call A Downtown Dental Group in Honolulu at 808-797-3680. You can also contact us online.

Fun, Healthy Alternatives to Halloween Candy

Keri Tidwell

I have a love-hate relationship with Halloween. Growing up, my mom loved the holiday. Every Halloween I can remember my mom would greet me at the bus stop decked out like a scarecrow, a chef or a witch. Then, we would eat a quick bite, put on our costumes and head out to trick-or-treat. Later that night when we were back at home, my brother and I would trade candy and eat Whoppers and Sugar Daddies until we got sick.

Now that I’m the mom, I am not too thrilled with all the sugary treats my children come home with. In the U.S. today, 18.5 percent of children are obese (CDC). Consider also that type 1 and type 2 diabetes are on the rise for children and teens (NIH). Do we really want to contribute to these scary statistics or might there be some healthier options? And what about the growing number of children with food allergies and sensitivities to food dyes? Surely, we can find some better, healthy alternatives.

Here are some healthy but still fun ideas for trick-or-treat goodies. You can buy many of these alternatives to candy in bulk or at the dollar store for an economical option.

  1. Granola bars: Granola bars are great to grab for a quick snack on the go. Be sure to check the labels, because some brands can be loaded with sugar.
  2. Cheese sticks or string cheese: Another healthy, yummy snack kids love.
  3. Clementines: As sweet as sugar and easy for children to peel.
  4. Little flashlights: You can buy mini flashlights on key chains in bulk on Amazon. Perfect for trick-or-treating in the dark.
  5. Tattoos: Fun and inexpensive. Look for the glow-in-the-dark ones.
  6. Slap bracelets: These were all the rage when I was a kid, and they have recently made a comeback.
  7. Glow sticks or bracelets: These are also great to use while out trick-or-treating. You can find packs of six for $1 at the dollar store.
  8. Mini Play-Doh cans: If you have a small neighborhood and can afford to pick these up, this treat would be a real hit with the younger crowd. Look for bulk bags online or in retail stores.
  9. Bubbles: Who doesn’t like to blow bubbles? Find these cheap at the dollar store.
  10. Hot cocoa or hot apple cider packets: Perfect for after trick-or-treating!
  11. Bouncy balls: A favorite for kids of all ages.
  12. Stickers: Look for favorite cartoon characters at the dollar store.
  13. Spider rings: Every year we come home with a couple of these rings, and there’s a fight to see who gets them.
  14. Wacky pencils and erasers: Because these always seem to disappear at our house.

Don’t worry that your house might be rolled because you are not handing out the traditional Halloween candy. Give the neighborhood kids (and their parents) a break from all the sugary sweets with these healthier, but still fun, Halloween candy alternatives! And if you’re the parent, why not dress up with your kids this year? Make a memory they will cherish forever.

40 Alternatives to Candy for Halloween Treats

Today, we’re talking about non candy Halloween treats for kids. Join in and share your favorite ideas!

In our house, we try to keep candy to a minimum. My kids don’t need the sugar rush, and I don’t need the extra temptation for my sweet tooth.

During the Halloween season, our children have loads of activities and opportunities for receiving candy. There is an annual trick or treat at the zoo, trunk or treat with our granny, various Halloween parties and more, all before the big day.

Are you looking for ideas for your Halloween activities that DON’T involve candy? I’ve compiled a list of non candy treats and fun things to share during trick or treating, as well as holiday parties.

1. Halloween Bubbles

I don’t know any children who don’t LOVE bubbles! These party favor sized bubbles would be perfect to hand out.

2. Stickers

Add these fun Halloween stickers to any goody bag for a sugar free treat.

3. Tattoos

My children are obsessed with temporary tattoos – I use them in my house for a reward for chores.

4. Play dough

I’m a fan of home made play dough, instead of store bought. If you have time, check out this recipe for homemade play dough. If you’re in a rush, you could grab these party sized Play Dohs in fun Halloween colors.

5. Pencils

My daughter loves seasonal Pencils — we always hand them out for holidays like Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s day and Easter.

6. Erasers

These are the perfect pair with decorative pencils. You could go with these character pencil toppers, or mini erasers. (Caution for kids under age 3)

7. Mini note pads

Let kids take notes or doodle with these mini note pads.

8. Hot chocolate

Fall nights are cold … Warm up your little ones with some hot chocolate packs to take home.

9. Apple cider

Not a fan of chocolate? Try some hot apple cider.

10. Goldfish crackers

Satisfy salty cravings with crackers or pretzels.

12. Popcorn Packs
13. Popcorn cones

What did the baby corn say to his mother?
Where is POP CORN?

Hand out popcorn that kids can pop at home, or treat them to specialty popcorn.

14. Juice boxes

All those crackers and popcorn will make folks thirsty! I love the idea of wrapping them up like little mummies!

15. Glow necklaces

Kids will love these fun glow necklaces to wear on Halloween night!

16. Spider rings

Hand out these spider rings for a treat and a scare!

17. Vampire teeth

Have little vampires visiting your porch? Send them on their way with a set of teeth.

18. Bendables

Treat your visitors to these bendable monster toys.

19. Halloween Fortune cookies

Having a Halloween party? Hand out these ghoulish treats.

20. Halloween rubber ducks

Keep the kids occupied in the tub with these Halloween rubber ducks.

21. Mask craft

If you’re having a party, these mask crafts would be a hit.

22. Pumpkin decorating craft

Love decorating pumpkins, but hate the mess? Try out these foam stickers instead.

23. Monster squeakers

Make some noise around your house with these monster squeakers.

24. Monster pens

Add these monster pens to your collection – your kids will love drawing with these!

25. Bouncy Balls

Watch your head – these balls really bounce high!

26. Maze puzzles

Children can work on their hand-eye coordination with these fun Halloween maze puzzles.

27. Porcupine balls

Kids of all ages will love these fun porcupine balls.

28.Stretchy skeletons

Learn a little about the physics of stretchy plastic with these skeletons.

29. Yo yos

Learn how to ‘walk the dog’ with these Halloween yo yos.

30. Porcupine figures

Your kids will love collecting these porcupine figures in their Halloween basket.

31. Mini prisms

Teach your young ones about colors and refraction with these mini prisms.

32. Mini Paratroopers

I know my boys will LOVE climbing and letting these paratroopers fly!

33. Whistles

Let your little ones make some noise with these fun Halloween whistles.

34. Slide flutes

Want to make more noise? Try the slide flutes.

35. Whoopie cushions

I know some of you may cringe, but my husband once put whoopie cushions in all the kids’ stockings for Christmas. They LOVED them – you’ll hear peals of laughter for weeks!

36. Cookie cutters

Halloween cookie cutters are the perfect pair with some Halloween playdough, or even real cookie dough.

37. Grow a bug

Impress your little scientists with tiny bugs that grow in water.

38. Finger puppets

Kids can put on their own Halloween show with these fun finger puppets.


Keep your place reading scary books this fall with these bookmarks. Bonus? They also serve as tracers or stencils.

40. Stamps

Create some Halloween artwork with these Halloween stencils.

Do you have a candy free treat that you hand out on Halloween? Be sure and leave a tip in the comment box.

Fun and Healthy Alternatives to Halloween Candy

Photo: Caitlin Bensel

The “trick” part of trick-or-treating is usually a friendly warning to households that dare to offer sub-par candy or goods that seem more like prescriptions than fun – a plain apple? Really?

But finding the perfect, healthy substitute isn’t as easy as you’d think. What can you hand out to family, friends, and visiting tricksters that won’t have kids leaving your home in sheer disappointment?

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Here are a few non-candy ideas to keep your costumed creatures happy:

Glow Sticks

Image zoom LEON NEAL/Getty Images

Kids can break out these glow-in-the-dark sticks, wands, or necklaces right away. Get a variety of colors so they can choose and trade. A bonus is that the life of a glow stick is temporary; this won’t be another toy that’s destined for the clutter pile.

Popcorn Kits

Image zoom Photo: Caitlin Bensel

Fill Halloween-themed baggies partway with popping corn and top with a small condiment container of homemade dry seasoning with flavors like barbecue or ranch (umami popcorn is a big hit). Parents and kids can have fun popping the corn on the stove and dressing the kernels themselves.

Pencils or Crayons

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The great thing about pencils and crayons with Halloween themes is that they’re fitting for the holiday, yet still useful months afterward (plastic spiders? Not so much). Include mini kid-safe sharpeners with the pencils that can also be used for a long time.

Temporary Tattoos

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Tattoos have the same allure as stickers but won’t end up all over your house (and they’ll wash off in a day or two). It’s also an activity to do right when you get back to the house, rather than gorging on candy.

Crazy Straws

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Fun, festive straws will encourage little ghosts and goblins to stay hydrated. Extra points if you can find paper straws, as they are much better for the environment and our oceans than plastic.

Attach small bottles of water and/or a sugar-free powdered drink packet so they can brew their own beverage “potion.”

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