Alternatives to Handing out Candy on Halloween
From a kid's perspective, Halloween is probably the best holiday ever. You get to dress up in a costume and go around the neighborhood while people just give you candy everywhere you go. As a parent though, I cringe every year at the amount of candy that is brought home. It is to the point that I am looking at alternatives to candy for the trick or treaters that come to my house. Here are some of the ideas I have come up with.
Have you seen those 100 calorie packs? Pretzels, cookies, crackers and more come in these packs. These are a little better for you than candy (although not much). At least with these, they are easy snacks - and they are more of a snack than a piece of candy anyway. Next time you go to a warehouse club to shop look around at all the individually packaged products. These are all things that could be given out for Halloween. My kids have come home with hot chocolate packets, mini bags of popcorn and even fruit or applesauce cups. Food manufacturers are cluing into this and even making these with Halloween packaging now, so they really do seem like a treat.
There is a doctor in our neighborhood that gives out play-dough. My kids have brought home Halloween pencils as well. I have seen small sticker books and even packs of gum in my kid's pumpkins. McDonald's offers Halloween coupon books. For $1 there are all sorts of free coupons in them. This is a little pricier than candy, but a more substantial treat for the child. I have contemplated giving out money. Would it be tacky to just hand each child a quarter instead of candy? I don't know a kid that would turn away money, do you?
I haven't decided what I will do yet this year. The lead idea in my head is to give out a pencil and a very small piece of candy like a roll of Smarties. But is that any better than just giving out a large piece of candy? Another problem is that everywhere we turn there are opportunities for the kids to dress up and get candy. At school, downtown, neighbor's parties, finally culminating in a night of trick or treating. By the time October 31st rolls around we are already sick of candy. OK, maybe only I am, but how much candy does a child need? What are your ideas for alternatives to candy this year? I would love to hear them.