Out and About

Best Trick-or-Treat alternatives

Looking for some non-candy treats for the kids? Go Ask Mom's Sarah Lindenfeld has a list for you.

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Halloween candy
RALEIGH, N.C. — My kids rank Halloween as their No. 1 holiday, even before the gift-giving extravaganzas that are Christmas and birthdays.

Why? Because they love candy and don’t get a lot of it during the year. And, there are nearly no other days during the year when they can run around the neighborhood after dark with some of their best friends.

I have no problem with my kids overindulging a bit with candy on Halloween. And, last year, after a few days of splurging and another couple of weeks of parceling it out, my girls were happy to donate the rest of their loot minus a few favorites to a local soup kitchen, who was glad to share something fun with the people they help.

When Kathy at Out & About asked me for my favorite non-candy Halloween treats, I balked. What? No candy? But, on those school days after Halloween, when the sugar high might be a little too high, I’ll admit that I’m glad to pack those Halloween-themed pretzels or Goldfish in their lunch bags.

So here are my (and my kids) five favorite non-candy treats:

  • Halloween-themed pretzels, Goldfish or other non-sugary snack. The kids like the Halloween shapes. Moms like the fact that it’s not sugar-filled.
  • Coins. Of course, these are not best for kids 3 and under and others who like to mouth items. They can be choking hazards. But my kids do enjoy filling up their piggy banks - pennies, quarters. It doesn’t matter.
  • Play-Doh. I’m not a lover of all things plastic, but I don’t mind a little can of Play-Doh in the house. At least I know that I’m not going to step on any sharp little plastic pieces after my kids leave it lying around the house. (Squishy little Play-Doh pieces are another story).
  • Glow in the dark items such as necklaces and bracelets. I like these because my kids will put them on immediately, making them more visible to others on a dark Halloween night. Plus, they’re pretty much spent by the next day when they go into the trash.
  • Small bottles of water or juice. You get thirsty walking through the neighborhood. They also come in handy for school lunches.
One caveat: Thankfully, we’re not dealing with any food allergies in my house. But Kira Kroboth, our Go Ask Mom Allergy Mom, is. She has some more suggestions for candy-free Halloween treats and writes about an effort to paint pumpkins teal to indicate when a house has treats safe for those with food allergies.

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