Healthier Halloween Treats You'll Feel Good Handing Out

One of the great joys of Halloween when you are a kid is coming back from trick or treating with a bucket full of Halloween candy. And one of the greatest joys of parenthood is skimming the best stuff from said treat bucket ... mini peanut butter cups, anyone?

But there's a downside to all that candy: eating it puts kids at a higher risk for obesity, tooth decay, and flat-out sugar-crazed hyperactivity. If you want to discourage kids gorging on candy but don't want to be a party pooper (or have your house egged), here are some ideas for healthier Halloween treats.

  • School supplies like Halloween-themed pencils and erasers
  • Single-serving bags of sunflower seeds or trail mix ... or even pumpkin seeds if you can find them!
  • Granola bars; look for ones without high-fructose corn syrup or a lot of scary-sounding ingredients
  • Baby carrot snack packs
  • Single-serving bags of pretzels or pirate's booty (but not greasy, salty chips)
  • Toothbrushes (if you're not lucky enough to live near a dentist, since that is their classic Halloween giveaway!)
  • Glow bracelets or necklaces. Have them ready when the trick or treaters come by. We did this one year and they were a HUGE hit.
  • Juice boxes wrapped like mummies in white electrical tape or crepe paper. Make sure the flavor shows somewhere on the box, though, in case of allergies!
  • Small cans of Play-Doh ... I saw some at the store the other day for just this purpose.
  • Vampire teeth. Look in the party favors aisle at your favorite big box store.
  • Small toys like jacks, card games, or superballs.
  • Change. One year before I was married or had kids, I did this since I hadn't prepared, and the kids were sprinting up and down the block yelling, "Hey!! She's giving out MONEY!!!"

Do you give out candy or are you more of a health-conscious treater?

Image via Amy Kuras

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