candy alternatives has been fueled by children becoming increasingly rotund by the generation. Each and every child that rings your doorbell will know the difference between you handing them a healthy icky granola bar instead of a delectable chocolate bar. What adults need to remember is that on Halloween children go trick-or-treating and these children are far from stupid. Candy alternatives need to meet two criteria to please children. The first is they must be fun, and second is children really need to feel like their getting treated and not tricked. For example raisins are a trick while yogurt covered raisins are a treat.
Candy alternatives are only limited by the imagination of the person distributing them. Just because they are alternatives to candy does not mean that the alternatives need to be another type of food or something that tastes sweet. I have compiled a list of the best alternatives to candy that a child could ever dream of. As a big kid who has worked teaching children from the ages of 3-17 for the past 10 years I feel like I have a good understanding of what will make your trick-or-treaters want to walk around the block and comeback for more.
Lets replace candy with other food –This list could go on forever but for the most part people are trying to offer healthier alternatives to candy so we will stay with that theme.
Animal Crackers – Children love animal crackers for many reasons. Children love animals, animal crackers are like cookies, and they are fun. I remember this summer I was sitting in the back of my friends truck eating animal crackers, having them battle each other, and trying to trade with my friends so I could get my favorite animals. This is an activity I have done since I was a child and something I hope can share with my children. Animal Crackers are a great treat to pass out to children because they have no idea that they are relatively healthy.
I was at the store earlier today and spotted 150 1oz single serve Kebler Animal Crackers for $30. That’s not bad at all you may even have leftovers. http://www.amazon.com/Keebler-Animal-Cookie-1-Ounce-Single/dp/B000YT9KMQ
Goldfish – Staying within the animal cracker genre Goldfish are also a nice alternative to candy. They are fun, delicious, and much healthier than candy bars. Goldfish may not be the most healthy alternative but children will know if your trying to put them on a diet.
Goldfish are slightly more pricey per package than our animal crackers but worth every penny to see the fishes trademark smile. A package of 72 1.5oz single serve Goldfish will put you back about $30. http://www.buy.com/prod/goldfish-reg-cheddar-cheese-crackers-single-serving-1-1-2-oz-snack/q/loc/66357/205788071.html
Rice Krispy Treats – Cereal Bars are alright but every child is going to be excited to get a Rice Krispy Treat. Snap, Krackle, Pop, Rice Krispy treats are fun, tasty, and somewhat healthy. What seals the deal on this being a great Halloween handout is they are called Rice Krispy TREATS. I’d like you to find me a child who gets that confused with some healthy rabbit food bar.
Kelloggs also makes mini sized treats. I have not seen them in the store yet but I found packages of 80 0.4oz bars for $15. If I was buying them for trick-or-treaters I’d give each child two because they are tiny. I’d also buy 160 treats for $30. Which isn’t bad at all. http://www.ecrater.com/product.php?pid=4897309
Popcorn Balls – Its sweet, salty, and popcorn shaped into a ball. It looks fun, it tastes good, and its a lot better for you than eating a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
I just found 100 1oz popcorn balls for $40 which I think is a decent price for a great treat to hand out on Halloween. http://www.blaircandy.com/pobaha10.html
Yogurt Covered Raisins – So good that you feel like you are eating candy. The only downside to this potential Halloween treat is that it may break the bank with each 1oz box costing about $2. If you have the money this would be a great hand out for trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
Chocolate Covered Pretzels – Its pretty much is candy but without the added calories and fat. Even now I get excited about the thought of having a chocolate covered pretzel in my possession. Nabisco even makes 100 calories snack packs that go for about $3 a bag. It’s a bit pricey but if you can afford the extra money it is an exciting healthier alternative to candy.
Sugar Free Gum– The way to make this work is to find fun flavors like watermelon, strawberry, blue raspberry, or good old fashion bubble gum. Sugar free gum is cheap, easy to find in bulk, and has zero calories so you don’t have to feel guilty about contributing to future heart disease. The best part about giving children gum is that they will definitely try to see who can blow the biggest bubble making this a healthy, fun, cheap alternative to candy.
McDonald’s and Wendy’s Halloween coupon booklets – Yes this seems evil and it is not healthy at all but these booklets have a lot to offer. If you are on a budget and reside in a cardboard box $1 will get you a booklet from Wendy’s of 10 coupons for free frostys. At McDonald’s that same $1 will get you coupons for 4 free Apple Dippers, 4 free Small Cones, 4 free Apple Juice or Milk Jug.
Not only is it cheap but the children love it. Imagine the feeling an 8 year old gets when he goes to the counter at Wendy’s hands the cashier the coupon and buys a frosty all by himself. I remember being 10 years old and walking 2 miles to cash in my McDonald’s ice cream cone coupon. I thought I was so cool.
Candy doesn’t need to be replaced with food – There are many alternatives to candy that have nothing to do with food. Non-food items can be hit or miss. I feel that these appeal more to younger children than to the older children who are more focused on getting candy. You need to understand your audience to be successful with non-food items and I have compiled a list that will excite most younger children.
Stickers – I have never quite understood the power stickers have over small children. When you hand a small child a sticker their entire face lights up. Children love stickers. Go out and buy an assortment of smiley faces, boy stickers, and girl stickers. It’s very simple, stickers will make all the little kids go wild and will cost you very little.
Temporary Tattoos – They entire premise is that same as stickers. Little kids love them, they’re cheap, and they will make you a hit with the Halloween trick-or-treaters.
Playdoh – A fun, colorful, cheap, and original Halloween treat. They sell these in packages of 10 for $5. http://www.entertainmentearth.com/prodinfo.asp?number=HPD22037
Bubbles – Bubbles, bubbles, everywhere, and smiling trick-or-treaters. I have never come across anyone that does not enjoy bubbles. They are fun for all ages and also on the inexpensive side. These are more expensive bubbles specific to Halloween. http://www.buycostumes.com/Halloween-Bubbles-Asst-24-count/35226/ProductDetail.aspx?REF=SCE-froogle
No matter what bubbles you get children will be very happy when you hand them over.
Coins – Hand out quarters. We live in the United States of America. I guarantee the capitalist in each and every child will be very happy with receiving 25 cents. When I was younger I used to hike 18 miles up hill in the snow to get to the nice little old lady that handed out quarters. Who knows, you could inspire the next Donald Trump.
Treats to Avoid – These treats you should avoid for 2 reasons. They aren’t treats and many children are allergic. The last thing you want to do is give a child something that doesn’t taste good and kill him in the process.
Nuts – You’d be nuts to hand out nuts to children. They aren’t much of a treat and many children are allergic.
Raisins – I like raisins but they really aren’t a treat for anyone under the age of 75.
Granola Bars – Hey lady, whats this? and where is my candy?
Cheap Plastic Toys – There is the potential for some of them to contain poison in the material but there is poison in everything we eat so the real reason to avoid these toys is because they will get thrown out, fill up our landfills, and kill cute animals. And then you will have to explain to little Johnny how mommy and daddy made Koala Bears go extinct.
Happy Halloween – If you would like to hand out an alternative to candy seriously consider the options I listed. I’d recommend having one food item and one non-food item so you can make everyone happy.
No matter what you do this Halloween remember to make a child happy you need to think like one.