Halloween treats are known for being over-processed and full of sugar, artificial colors and artificial flavors. Many candies, especially the super-cheap ones or those that are designed to look like eyeballs or spiders, are made in places like China, which isn’t exactly known for putting out safe products. But your kids love trick-or-treating, so what should you do?
One option is to let your kids trick-or-treat and fill their bags with junk candy, but then buy healthier treats or toys and trade for any candy they collected. I find that a 2-for-1 trade usually provides a little more incentive. Or the candy that they collected can be donated to a good cause. Treats for Troops and Halloween Candy Buy Back work with local business to accept excess Halloween candy to send to service members. Most of the time, businesses such as dentist offices will “buy back” the candy with cash or other creative exchanges. Other charities that accept candy donations include Ronald McDonald House, food pantries, homeless shelters and nursing homes.
Or you can do science experiments with the candy! A great website called CandyExperiments.com has a ton of ideas for fun experiments and games that you and your child can do with leftover candy.
Does your child love the act of trick-or-treating but doesn’t really care much about the candy (I know this doesn’t apply to many children, but there are some out there!)? Your child can trick-or-treat for UNICEF. Kids will carry a QR code on their phones or printed out on paper and use that to collect donations from homeowners in lieu of candy.
And don’t forget to splurge for a quality, reusable treat bag that will last for all of your child’s trick-or-treating years. Or if you are especially crafty, you can make your own treat bag.
The follow edible treats are some nice alternatives to the Sour Patch Kids and Jolly Ranchers that they will inevitably collect:
- CLIF Bar Minis
- Yum Earth Organic Candy
- Annie’s Homegrown Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks
- Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies and Bunny Grahams
- MADE GOOD Organic Mini Granola Bars
- That’s It Spooky Fruit Bites
- Garden Veggie Chips Ghosts and Bats
- all-natural Glee Gum
Non-edible treats are another great way to avoid all of the junk candy. But just make sure to avoid junk toys. A lot of the dollar store type toys can contain toxins such as lead, cadmium and phthalates. Aim for more natural options such as all-natural playdough or non-toxic temporary tattoos. Check out the list below:
- Wikki Stix Trick or Treat Pak
- non-toxic temporary tattoos
- Natural play dough like Green Toys Dough
- mini bubble wands
- decorative erasers
- crayon rocks or Crazy Crayons Eco Stars
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