There are many reasons families avoid giving candy to their kids on Halloween. Some children have food allergies, special diets, or can’t eat at all by mouth. Some families avoid candy for health reasons. Some people are lactose intolerant. Some children have oral motor dysfunction are only able to eat certain foods safely.
Other families are nervous about commentary in the news telling parents to inspect candy because it could be tampered with. Many families hope to at least limit candy but are fine giving some to their kids.
Even if half of your neighbors stopped offering candy (and they won’t…), there would still be plenty of candy to go around!
You may be okay with your children eating as much candy as they desire on Halloween, but what about your neighbors? Why not be a considerate neighbor and offer choices? You can of course offer candy too! Candy on Halloween is the expectation for most kids and that’s ok.
When my son was 16 months old, I thought he would have fun walking around the neighborhood and seeing all the kids dressed up on Halloween. I wanted to take him out, but I wasn’t ready to give him candy yet.
It occurred to me that this was probably the case for many other families in our neighborhood. I knew there were a lot of very young kids on our street, and I thought it would be nice to offer some non-candy options for them. This also got me thinking about all the families who avoid candy for other reasons and I want all the kids in our neighborhood to have fun on Halloween!
As an occupational therapist, many of my patients have feeding and swallowing disorders, are tube fed, have allergies, and some are just extremely picky eaters. Those children should have some solid options to pick out of a treat bucket!
I now offer a variety of options on Halloween and I think it would be amazing if every home did the same. I created this list to make it easy for you to do just that!
If you are looking for alternatives to candy for Halloween (whatever the reason!), check out our list! I have broken my recommendations into two sections, food and non-food options.
The Teal Pumpkin Project
Have you seen teal pumpkins on Halloween and are wondering if they mean something special? Well, they do! The Teal Pumpkin Project was started by FARE (Food Research and Education) to help make Halloween more inclusive for children with food allergies. On their website they state that 1 in 13 children have food allergies and that many more are affected by food intolerances.
By placing a teal pumpkin on your doorstep, you are signaling to children and their parents that your family offers non-food treats. You can even add your home to the map online so families dealing with food allergies can easily find houses to stop at. For more information or to add your home to the map, check out Foodallergy.org.
You can find teal pumpkins at CVS and Walmart and of course there are several options like this one on Amazon as well.
Non-Candy Food Options for Halloween
All food items below are healthier alternatives to candy, are free from common allergens, and come in bulk packs. They all have minimal ingredients (many only have 1-2!) so it’s easy to identify if it does contain something a child is sensitive to. You can also find some of these at Costco or Sam’s Club and they may be cheaper there!
If you’re like me and prefer the convenience of online shopping, click the links to go straight to Amazon! See below for some great alternatives to candy for Halloween!
Fruit & Veggie Based Snacks
Bare apple chips have 1 ingredient–apple! They are allergy friendly and a delicious and healthy snack.
Freeze dried fruit is one of my favorite ways to expose kids to different fruits. Tastes like a crunchy snack, but the only ingredient is the fruit it contains!
These BEAR fruit snacks are made from real food and only have 4 ingredients!
That’s It bars only have 2 ingredients–the 2 fruits that each bar contains!
This 72 pack of golden raisins is an affordable and healthy option.
What is it about pouches that kids love? This 20 pack has 3 different flavor options of applesauce.
How about some fruit juice to wash down all these snacks? This 32 pack from Honest Kids is a unique option for your treat bucket.
Pea Crisp Snacks are one of my favorite ways to expose hesitant kids to veggies. Green peas is the first ingredient and these have 5g protein per 1oz bag, pretty good for a snack!
Chips & Crackers
Veggie Straws are free from common allergens, but do read the ingredients if your child has food sensitivities!
These kettle style potato chips only have 3 ingredients and are made with avocado oil.
Hippeas are made from chickpeas and are vegan and gluten free!
LOVE CORN crunchy corn snacks are non-GMO, gluten free, and vegan. Their salt flavor only has 3 ingredients!
Fun Non-Food Options for Halloween
Small toys and trinkets are another fun thing to add to your bucket for kids to choose from. I try to provide at least a few options to satisfy kids of all ages.
These individual stickers (50 pcs) are small and will easily fit in your bucket.
These sticker sheets are affordable and are usually on sale right before Halloween.
Make a Face stickers are a fun activity for kids to do after trick or treating!
This pack of 144 individual tattoos is a convenient item to give one or two to each kid.
Silicone bracelets like these are safe for kids of all ages.
Slap bracelets are fun for older kids!
These spider rings are a great deal for a giant pack of 288 if you’re expecting a lot of trick-or-treators!
Pencils are a functional (but still fun!) option that kids can bring to school for writing activities.
You can’t have pencils without erasers!
Kids love bubbles and this huge pack of bubble tubes is an affordable option to share with all your neighbors.
These Halloween themed squishies are great for kids ages 3 and up.
Kids love Pop-its and they make a great fidget toy. They’re even great for young babies and toddlers to work on poking and pointing skills.
These bouncy balls glow in the dark which is extra fun!
Stress balls like this pack of 36 is another option.
Wind Up Toys
Wind Up toys are fun for kids ages 3 and up.
Stamps are fun and can be used for Halloween crafts.
Punch balloons like these or these standard size balloons would make a nice addition to your treat bucket.
Slinkies (or spring toys) like these are fun for kids 3 and up.
These sticky hands are fun for kids past the stage of putting toys in their mouth!
Playdoh, Putty & Slime
These mini 1oz Play-Dohs are fun for kids ages 2 and up.
This bulk pack of silly putty is fun year round!
Slime is a unique option for your bucket!
Glow Sticks, Bracelets & Necklaces
There is something about glow sticks that everyone loves!
These glow necklaces last 8-10 hours!
Glow in the dark bracelets is another option.
Krazy straws are fun to drink from and actually a great way to work on oral motor skills!
Witch fingers are a fun and festive option.
I always like to add coloring books to my treat bucket. Something fun to do the next day!
These spinning tops glow in the dark which would be fun on Halloween night!
I hope you found some good options from our list. Your neighbors will thank you! And your kids will probably want to grab a few too!
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