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?
Love this stickers idea!!
Savannah (@HowHesRaised) says
AWESOME!!! My son is only 18 months old, so not really ready for the festivities this year, but I want to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project in the future! I think moving toward a healthier approach is SUCH a good idea-and I love the tattoos idea. I used to loooove those as a kid! Thanks for sharing <3
Thanks girl! Hope you get to use some ideas next year!
I am trying to fill their baskets up with non candy products… thank you so much or some ideas!
Glad to help! XO
Briana Marie says
These are some great ideas! Thanks for sharing.
Erin @LovePeaceBeauty says
These are great ideas! I was just thinking about this the other day so I’m glad I have this list to reference before shopping.
Glad to help! I especially love the idea about sending the candy to the troops <3
These are great ideas. I had no idea that you could donate your candy and they would sent it to the troops. That is awesome and I am going to spread the word! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks girl! I was so glad when someone told me about sending it to the troops, I love that!
Can’t think of a kiddo who wouldn’t be happy getting these! Love the candy to troops too!
Thanks girl! 🙂
Julie S. says
Playdoh and bubbles just sound like winners every time. Kids can’t get upset about that, fun!
And bonus- then I won’t eat all the candy while waiting for Halloween to get here 😉
Megan Zakrewsky says
Those are great suggestions and what a wonderful idea to donate the candy!
Thanks Casey! I love that part about donating the candy too. I bet it really makes a difference to those deployed.
Shann Eva says
Halloween has always been one of my favorites too. I love the individual Playdoh packs and also the glow in the dark stuff. My boys would be thrilled to get those!
My boys are thrilled to get anything at this age, so I’m hoping if I keep switching it up, that will stay 🙂
Easy Peasy Life Matters says
These ideas are so brilliant, love them! 🙂
Thank you! 🙂
Tiffany | shortsweetmom says
These are great ideas. The glow sticks are genius! Kids love those. I especially like the idea of the care package to our troops. Thanks for these wonderful alternatives.
Thanks girl! I love the part about the care package too… we are definitely doing that this year!
Becca @ Nappies & Nail Polish says
Great ideas for when my daughter is a bit older! Pinned for later x
Thanks Becca! 🙂
I would love that glow in the dark even as an adult too. Who will not be fascinated with it? ! Good list. I am bookmarking this for future use.
Thanks Sharira! My kids love glow in the dark EVERYTHING haha