With all the different Halloween parties at school, for sports teams and at friends' homes, our kids are getting absolutely smothered in sweets this time of the year. Sometimes, I worry about the effects of all that sugar on my little guy's health, so I put together ideas for a candy-free Halloween. Don't worry, though. Just because you're losing the sweets doesn't mean you can't have fun!
Enter the Sugar Fairy
If your kids are still young enough, introduce them to the Sugar Fairy. When they come back with bags bulging with candy, have them pick out their 10-20 favorites. Then, leave the rest out for the "Sugar Fairy." She'll come in the night, take the sack of sweets and replace it with a gift. And if your kids are older, the gift/bribe will still work when the fairy ruse doesn't. Donate the leftovers bags of goodies to a local food pantry.
Cash for Candy
Many dentists run Halloween promotions where they'll pay your little ones for bringing in candy. Usually, they'll set a price per pound to promote a cavity-free holiday (We all know that the dentist's chair is way scarier than any ghost or ghoul, right?). Check in with your local office to see if they're running a candy exchange this year.
Passing Out Playthings
Help your whole neighborhood stay candy-free by replacing the usual basket o' treats with fun toy giveaways. Hand out mini-Play-Doh containers, temporary tattoos, glow sticks, or spooky wax fangs. Your local dollar store should have no end of cheap goodies to help break up the candy monopoly.
Host a Throwback Harvest Party
Way, way, way back in the day, we weren't buried under mountains of sugary temptations every holiday. Bring back some of the old-fashioned games with a fall Harvest Party—bob for apples, carve pumpkins and build a homemade "fright alley" that the neighborhood kids can run themselves. They'll be having so much fun that they won't notice there's not an ounce of sugar in sight!
The list of edible candy alternatives to pass out at your front door or bring to parties seems endless: raisin boxes, chip bags, trail mix, snack bars, roasted pumpkin seeds, and dried fruit should get you started. Start a new holiday tradition and get your kids involved in healthy baking and snack-making. They'll be proud to show off their own creations and have fun doing it, too!
If you have little ones with food allergies among your family or friends, Halloween can be a tough time for them since so many types of candy include traces of nuts or gluten. Check out this Care.com article on kids, food allergies and Halloween.
Are you trying to cut out the candy this Halloween? Or just trying to find a few alternatives to keep the kids (and yourself) healthy this fall? Let me know by joining the conversation with a comment below!