As a kid, I always looked forward to October. Not only is it the month of my birthday, but Halloween comes shortly after, and I’m a big fan of the dressing up and fun that comes with it. But it’s more difficult these days with the amount of added sugar our kids already have in their diets, not to mention the various allergies and sensitivities to ingredients and artificial colors in candy.
I know that as a mother, I struggle to find the balance between the fun that comes at this time of year, and keeping my kids as healthy as possible. So I decided to find some good Halloween candy alternatives that would still provide fun for the kids, but without sugaring them up and making them sick.
If you haven’t heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project (or you have heard of it but weren’t sure what it was), here it is in a nutshell; with so many kids having allergies today, it takes the fun out of them being able to trick-or-treat with their friends and family if all they get is candy they can’t eat.
It’s estimated that 1 in 13 kids have food allergies today, and that number has increased dramatically over the past few decades. Between 1997 and 2008, peanut and tree nut allergies have more than tripled in U.S. children, and when you take into consideration the amount of candy with either peanuts or tree nuts, you can begin to see the issue.
This issue hit us personally this year, since our oldest son has been severely reacting to red food dye since last January. And while the doctors say the ‘jury is still out’ on whether or not it’s the red food dye (something about it not having proteins to react to), I have no doubt in my mind that’s what it is.
This poor kiddo breaks out in FULL BODY HIVES after being exposed to red food dye, and these hives last for at least 5-7 days. So regardless of what about it is making him break out, he is allergic to these artificial colors, and therefore must pass on almost all Halloween candy.
So these Halloween candy alternatives are personally approved my my 5 year old, and I think they’ll be a hit with your kiddos too!
Halloween Candy Alternatives
Glow in the Dark Fun – Kids will love getting these and playing with them as they Trick or Treat! You can easily find tons of options if you go somewhere like Amazon or Oriental Trading Company.
Temporary Tattoos – I don’t know about you, but my boys love these. They’d be thrilled to get tattoos for Halloween, and I think they’re just too cute.
Mini Play Doh Packs – I saw this at Costco and thought it was a fantastic idea! Kids love play doh, but it’s not going to spike their blood sugar or make them break out in hives. Just make sure you don’t let them play with it on carpet. It dries, and then it stains, and then you’re on your hands and knees cursing the makers of play doh for thinking it would be a fun toy to play with. Not that I know from experience or anything…
Individual Raisin Packs – If you want to give out treats instead of tricks, then this is a good, healthy option! My youngest one loves raisins, and his day would be made if he got some of these while trick-or-treating. And even if they don’t, you can’t please them all anyways.
Halloween Bubbles – Bubbles are always a huge hit with kids! My boys use them year-round, and it gives us an excuse to get outside. You may want to totally stock up on these like I do. Do your kids seem to find more joy in just dumping the bubbles than blowing them some days?
Donate the Candy to Our Troops – This one is awesome for the candy that you’ll inevitably get while out trick or treating. You can donate it to Operation Gratitude and they’ll create care packages to send to our troops overseas. I think that’s a great way to get rid of the candy without eating it, and to bless the troops that are away from home protecting our freedoms.
What are your favorite things to give out to kids on Halloween? Do you have any favorite Halloween candy alternatives for the Teal Pumpkin Project?