Healthy Alternatives to Candy at Halloween

Healthy Alternatives to Candy at Halloween

Parents cringe on Halloween, envisioning all the sugary treats their child will bring home from school or Trick or Treating. Children are disappointed to receive things like apples or pennies, but there are other ways to give treats at Halloween and make them smile. Five healthy alternatives to candy at Halloween are listed below.

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1) Bake!

Make some peanut butter cookies!

A simple way to make inexpensive peanut butter cookies is to mix one 20 oz. jar of creamy peanut butter with two eggs, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Roll into 1/2 balls and space on cookie sheet.


Flatten cookies with fork. Parchment paper makes for less clean up. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. This recipe makes about four dozen cookies. Keep in mind that some people have nut allergies. Be sure to say they are peanut butter cookies, or wrap and label them if you are sending them to school with your child.

If baking is too much work, offer juice boxes and fruit chews. There are also many yogurts that are now marketed for children such as Trix and Gogurt. Fruit chews can be purchased in bulk and repacked by you, or prepacked in smaller packages. Most children enjoy string cheese, too.

2) Buy Dime-Store Trinkets Instead of Candy

There are an array of inexpensive plastic figures, soap bubbles, color crayons, bracelets, etc. that can be purchased at local discount stores or from companies like Oriental Trading. There could even be a game involved so participants could win their prize.

Buy Dime-Store Trinkets Instead of Candy

Think about non-competitive activities like dropping clothes pins into a jar or simply choosing one hand or the other, that way all age and abilities still “win.”

Glow in the dark skulls rings and small glow in the dark skeletons are fun on Halloween night! Glow Sticks and necklaces are fun and also help make children visible if trick or treating after dark.

3) Trail Mix!

Buy or make you own, package in cute Halloween themed bags. Raisins or dried cranberries can sweeten the mix, or a few chocolate chips can be sprinkled into the mix.

Trail Mix

Unfortunately a good trail mix may be too costly depending on the number of treats to be given, if so, consider bulk peanuts that can be packaged into Halloween themed bags, or popcorn.

4) Halloween Art Work Station

Set up a Halloween art work station in your mudroom or on your porch for Trick-or-Treaters to create a craft to take home. Search online for patterns of bats, Frankenstein masks, paper-bag ghosts and have the material out on a table along with directions.

Halloween Art Work Station

This may be a little messy, so consider a porch or garage as the work station. Provide glue, glitter, paper, paints, toilet paper tubes, and printed instructions for each craft. An easier, less messy way to do this would be to print out Halloween themed coloring pages, cross word puzzles, or other take home/do at home activity sheets.

5) And For Your Own Kids…

For your own children who you like to do a little extra for, buy books, t-shirts or movie tickets instead of candy. The local bookstore will surely have age appropriate Halloween themed books for sale in October. Stores will have Halloween wear available and the local theaters will have scary movies as well as animated Halloween movies.

Take your kids to a local haunted house! Many non-profit organizations run haunted houses to raise money for local charities. If your child is older, encourage him or her to volunteer at one of these. They will have fun and be giving back to your community.

For a less expensive Halloween

For a less expensive Halloween, go to you local big box retailer and look in the bargain DVD bins. Many B horror movies are available for purchase and some box sets as well. Local libraries may carry old classics that can be rented for free! Make a bunch of popcorn and cuddle up on the couch with your kids and watch these movies! Turn out the lights and share a popular movie from your childhood with your own children.

Halloween doesn’t have to mean eating tons of sugary candy without nutritional value. Put the emphasis on scary fun instead of candy, This is a way to show your child that this holiday can be enjoyed without over-indulging in sugar. Please consider these healthy alternatives to candy at Halloween.

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25 thoughts on “Healthy Alternatives to Candy at Halloween

  1. Hi Chris and thanks for the post regarding healthy alternatives to candy at halloween. My Wife and I are always fighting this battle with our kids and I like the alternatives you have offered. I will definitely try the movie and the popcorn route. And If we hand out stuff this year, I think trail mix would be a good idea too. Thanks again for the ideas and keep up the good work.

  2. I really like the idea of the dime store trinkets! Such a good idea instead of candy. Not sure about the trail mix as parents don’t care for things not in sealed packages. The art station sounds easy and fun as long as your not in a neighborhood with 100 kids. Love the website name.

  3. These are some good ideas for alternatives to candy on Halloween. I think to hand out to the neighborhood the small toy idea is the best. If you’re having a Halloween party – with people that you know – I’d definitely try the craft idea and baking some cookies. These are all great alternatives to try to make Halloween a little healthier.

  4. Hello Chris. I like your ideas about celebrating Halloween in a different ways. These candies are boring and seems duty to fulfill baskets of numberless armies of children, who knock on doors.
    Of course, baking takes time, but there are cookies which can stay longer time. We can prepare for this particular day one week ago.
    Making own toys or visiting local haunting house as you told is a great idea to.
    We can make own clothes too, just improvise and go out, meeting families, especially if a weather permits.
    Halloween is pretty close. Your article comes at the right time.
    All the best, happy writing, Nemira.

  5. Stay away from the sugary treats such as Skittles or Air Heads. If they are going to eat treats, go for Chocolate which disolves easily on your teeth. I have 4 kids and know what’s up.

  6. Halloween is certainly fun for kids and adults alike. As you point out, way to much sugary foods can be consumed…and there is always some leftover so the sugar binging continues long into November. In out neighborhood we have tried something different. We have a block party, and wholesome potluck foods are prepared and shared.

    1. Hey Mike!

      A block party is a really cool idea – gets the neighborhood working together and remains healthy for the kids. Brilliant!

  7. Hey Chris, thanks for a great article. I am always worried about my kids and sugar. They have such a sweet tooth and will happily munch on sweets all day.
    We don’t really celebrate Halloween in our country but it is my daughter’s birthday next week and then my son in December so this is certainly great tips I can use for then!
    I am busy planning my daughter’s party now and planning my shopping list for this weekend so I am going to take your advice! Thank you!

  8. It’s hard to keep your kids away from candy at Halloween. I know being a busy mom of two myself that the candy is everywhere in their lives. They get candy this time of the year at school, at parties, at grandmas. It’s so hard to keep it away from them, then you ad trick or treating to that. Impossible. I’m glad to see your article is full of ways to keep kids more healthy this time of the year. Thanks I’ll be using your tips.

  9. *excellent* post! I bake my own cookies using buckwheat flour, cinammon, maple syrup and peanut butter as well and good god are they good! It makes such a difference when you bake your own because you actually see what’s going into the food and you eat it right out of the oven.

    Loved the alternatives to Halloween candy. We need alternatives to candy – period!:)

  10. Hi Chris, Halloween always gives me the creeps when it comes around. Not for the trick-or-treating itself but for the the chemical-infused, multi-colored fructose syrup, popularly called candy, we give out to our kids. Thanks for the healthy alternatives you are suggesting. This will not only keep our kids healthier but will also help to keep the dentist away…after all, who wants to listen to the shrieks of a child on a dentist chair…even if it was a Halloween spoof. Best, Adam

  11. Wow, it never occurred to me that I could actually use trail mix as a healthy substitute for Halloween candies! And I absolutely love the idea of a Halloween art work station. I love getting my kids involved in arts and crafts so this is a perfect suggestion. I also love your recommendation to look for haunted houses with profits that go to money. Do you already know any that I could contact? Great post for moms just like me, thanks so much for sharing!

    1. I’m afraid I don’t know of any where I’m based at the moment Julie – I’m in Wales, UK!

      These haunted houses are more of a American theme at the moment! 🙂

  12. I love the idea of baking your own candies for Halloween! It never occurred to me that I can actually do this – I guess I’ve run out of ideas! Trail mix is also a great idea and assembling these healthy snacks together makes for excellent bonding time with my youngest kids. So glad I found your post as my husband and I made the decision to no longer give our kids sweets with too much sugar. This way we can control their intake too. Thanks!

  13. Hello there, Halloween is soon coming up so was really interested in this post. I was surprised to find that things like peanut butter cookies were a healthy alternative as they are quite fattening and sugary? What about diabetic sweets? Are these also a possible alternative? Also, what about sweets which dont have sugar but sweetners?

    1. No you are using the wrong type of peanut butter there mate – ALWAYS go for the organic labels as they are much better for you!

      I like the idea of diabetic sweets – great suggestion! The only problem is they can be quite pricey…

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