Who says you have to hand out chocolate bars? Think outside the conventional candy box with these alternative and much healthier ideas.
On Friday night, an army of little trick-or-treaters will be roaming streets and ringing doorbells, loot bags in hand. If you’re an urban dweller and expect trick-or-treaters, have you ever considered handing out non-candy treats? Not only would it make many parents grateful, but it also creates more interesting variety in kids’ loot bags.
Here are some alternative and definitely non-traditional ideas, brainstormed by the TreeHugger team. As you’ll see, there’s a whole world of options out there once you start thinking outside the conventional candy-box.
- Real fruit leather
- Pure honey sticks
- Organic juice boxes
- Boxes of raisins or dried cranberries
- Raw or roasted nuts (have another option for kids with allergies) or roasted pumpkin seeds
- Granola bars
- Individually wrapped organic herbal teas (some little girls love their tea parties!)
- Popcorn, caramel corn, or pretzels
- Mini bags of unpopped popcorn kernels
- Animal crackers
Things to play with- Little containers of playdough (consider gluing some googly eyes on top as a decoration) - Sidewalk chalk - Magic trick, Pokemon, or other collectors’ cards - Glow-in-the-dark sticks or bracelets - Homemade sparkly slime (see recipe here) - Confetti or tiny pots of glitter - Small wind-up toys - Stickers or temporary tattoos - Mini containers of bubbles (wrap in tissue paper for a ‘ghost’ look) - Markers or crayons - Mini cookie cutters - Little bags of colourful glass beads - Whistles - Wooden spinning tops - Small colouring books or puzzle books - Hacky sacks or balls - Little dinosaurs or action figures - Future Halloween costume items, i.e. fake teeth, fangs, claws, masks
Other items- Themed adhesive Band-Aids (pirate, princess, cartoon animals) - Creepy Crawly Spider Treat holding a pencil (see craft directions here) - Hair accessories or mini nail polishes (for girls) - Mini pumpkins or gourds (draw on funny faces or add googly eyes) - Planting kits or packets of seeds - Magnets - Candles - Bubble bath - Non-toxic face crayons or paints - Bracelets, rings - Small board books, or a copy of “The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything” (a favourite in our house)
Whatever you choose to hand out will depend on how many trick-or-treaters you expect each year. It’s easier to splurge on a nice handout if you get only a few kids, as opposed to dozens.
Just remember to think about reducing the amount of packaging, the potential recyclability of an item, and whether the ingredients are fair trade (in the case of chocolate, especially), organic, and do not contain artificial colours or flavourings. Give preference to locally made items, if possible, and try to hand out wooden or recyclable metal toys instead of plastic.