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Halloween Trick or Treat Candy Alternatives

Published by Kristen Andras

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Ready or Not Here Comes Halloween and Now is the Time to Start Selecting Trick-or-treat Goodies

Ready or not here comes Halloween and now is the time to start selecting trick-or-treat goodies. Don’t wait until the last minute. If you act now you have an opportunity to be creative instead of settling on just handing out candy. So hurry, you don’t want your home to be “that house”, do you? The one targeted for “tricks” for having lousy treats or even worse, not having any treats at all, do you?

Did you know that, according to the National Confections Association, 93 percent of children will go trick-or-treating this year and that 50 percent of those children prefer chocolate candy? Moreover, 80 percent of adults in the United States are planning to give out candy to trick-or-treaters and 76 percent of it will be chocolate candy and not just the bite-sized either. Fifty percent of the chocolate candy handed out will be the full-sized candy bars. And guess what? On the other end of the scale – the healthy end – the NCA reports that fruit, salty snacks, and toys are the least favorite items children like to get in their trick-or-treat bags.

But wait. Before you run out and spend oodles of money on sugary, chocolate delights, take a moment to consider some additional, potentially rousing, information.

First, as any shopper can attest, chocolate candy can be very expensive; especially the name brands. Second, parents are becoming more and more concerned about the safety of their children receiving candy from strangers. Third, at least according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over the past three decades the childhood obesity rate has more than doubled for preschool children aged 2-5 years and adolescents aged 12-19 years, and it has more than tripled for children aged 6-11 years. (“Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Children and Adolescents: United States, 2016-2016”; Oct. 6, 2016)

So now what? How do conscientious neighbors and informed parents manage Halloween? Good news! According to the Media Awareness Network reporting on Marketing and Consumerism, young people are collectors! According to them, Marketers have discovered something about children – they love to collect things. So there is hope! Therefore, have faith, and as an alternative to spending $122.00 on a gross of chocolate candy or $21.00 per bag for name brand chocolate, go ahead and consider non-food alternatives that tap into current child (under 8 years old), tween (8 to 11 years old) and teen (11 years or older) trends or interests.

To assist you in your search, below is a list of possible alternatives that are sure to appeal to your young visitors this Halloween. In fact, some of them are the very ones that my mother and I used to hand out during the 1980’s. Not surprisingly, the biggest hits with the boys were the bouncing rubber bats, any type of bug, and rubber poop. And, yes, you guessed it; the little girls seemed to prefer the bubbles, necklaces and putty. The best part of answering the door though, at least for me, was watching each child’s eyes light up as they dug around the bowl trying to decide on their one favorite toy. It’s sort of like Christmas and Halloween all rolled into one moment.

So here are nine items to get your collection started and you know what? These treats will probably even stay “fresh” if you buy end up with some left over and need store them until next Halloween.

1. Gag Works Doggie Doo Key Chain

2. Gag Works Jumbo Stick-on Cockroach

3. Oriental Trading’s Glow-in-the-dark Vampire Fangs

4. Costume Express’ Halloween Bubble Package

5. Oriental Trading’s Squishy Stretchy Bugs

6. Oriental Trading’s Rubber Snakes

7. Smile Makers Goofy Ghost Putty

8. Smile Makers Halloween Reflective Necklaces

9. Smile Makers Sticky Spooky Bats

I hope you enjoy handing out these Halloween mementos as much as me and my family did when I was a child. By the way, Halloween is on Saturday, October 31st this year so get out there and have some, safe, holiday good times!

Happy Halloween!

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