Some Halloween traditions can be a little hard to participate in if you are not okay with feeding your child candy (or if your child has a milk allergy like Kat’s little girl Milena!). Lily’s first year we decided not to go out to trick-or-treat, but at the last minute I realized she would enjoy being home handing out treats to kids in costume. With no planning ahead, I ran to the store and came up with something (though I don’t remember what, now) that I felt fairly comfortable handing out, as well as having her try if she really wanted to.
Here are some things we’ve handed out, received, or heard as suggestions from like-minded friends:
Playdough– this is a huge hit. I feel like the kids we know that received Playdough we’re at least equally thrilled with this as candy.
Glow Sticks– these are fun, and if they use them while trick or treating at night, it’s actually keeping them safer by being more visible to cars.
Temporary Tattoos– Halloween themed or not, temporary tattoos are fun and festive.
Pencils or Markers– these are fun, and stand out in the sea of candy-loot the kids come home with.
If you want to avoid candy, but feel that the Halloween treat you give out should be food, here are a few options that this candy-phobic mama was happy to see in her 2 year old’s treat bag last halloween:
Mini boxes of raisins– yum!
Granola bars– for whatever reason, we had never even fed her a granola bar, so it was her first and now it’s a favorite. Nice treat!
Snack size bags of pretzels, crackers– Lily received some goldfish crackers, and even the small “snack size” bags felt like a substantial “treat”, with nice bright packaging and pictures, they fit right in with the less-healthy candy treats.
Milk, Juice, Water– especially nice for the kids who trick or treat for several hours, and usually start digging in to the candy en route. On a sugar high and tired, a small bottle of water or milk would really help.
My personal absolute favorite Halloween treat: Every year a house down the street gave away ice cold (i grew up in San Diego, so halloween wasnt necessarily cold) Hansens Natural Soda. It was the one thing my parents let me open while we were out trick-or-treating, it was so refreshing! And since I wasn’t allowed soda often (or at all?) as a kid it was a fun treat.