Halloween is around the corner and for parents who gag at the thought of their kids eating all that candy, I have some great ideas for keeping kids from gorging on sugar.
While I let my daughter do the yearly gorging, I have many friends who do not and I have heard/seen some really creative ideas over the last several years from my anti-sugar friends.
Trading Candy for Other Goodies: Otherwise known as the Switch Witch
Halloween isn’t just about candy. Like any other holiday, it’s about tradition, but most of all, it’s about making good memories and having fun!
One of my friends uses the “Switch Witch” every Halloween.
It’s pretty simple. They go trick or treating. Her daughter gets to pick out a certain number of pieces of candy, say 5 or 10. Then the rest of the candy gets switched out for something else her daughter wants. Like a new set of Legos. Or whatever it is that your kids crave outside the boundaries of sugar
Do a Food Drive Scavenger Hunt Instead
Rather than having your child trick or treat, but so they won’t miss all the fun, do a food drive scavenger hunt. They can still dress up and carry a bag. But rather than asking for candy, they will be collecting for your local food bank.
Keep it simple. Most people won’t be expecting to be digging through cupboards on Halloween night. But if your child shows up in a cute or creepy costume, asking for food for the homeless, it’s pretty hard to say no.
Make sure you bring extra bags and a wagon. That stuff gets heavy a lot faster than candy. So, make sure you have a way to carry it all home.
With this option, I suggest that you let your child also pick a few pieces of candy for all their hard work. And let them come with you to drop off the food when you take it to the food bank.
This is a great tradition and will build just as many good memories.
Make Your Own Candy Alternatives
For most kids, they won’t care too much about the actual candy if you have something else yummy to munch on. Make your own candy alternatives to fill up on after the trick or treating is done.
A few ideas for candy alternatives on Halloween:
- Sugar-free or low-sugar muffins or cupcakes
- Bananas dipped in chocolate
- Fruit skewers
- Popcorn balls
- Yogurt covered raisins
- Jello or pudding snacks
- Vegan chocolate mousse, made from avocado (We love this in our house. It’s great for dipping pretzels in.)
Find Alternatives for Trick or Treating
One more option, is just to skip trick or treating altogether. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have your own Halloween fun. There are lots of things you can do to enjoy Halloween that don’t involve candy.
A few ideas for alternatives to trick or treating:
- Host or go to a Halloween party.
- Tell ghost stories.
- Have a creepy family game night where everyone dresses up and then play spooky games.
- Host a festival Halloween game in your driveway for trick or treaters.
- Stay home and hand out candy alternatives to trick or treaters, like spooky Halloween toys.
- Attend a cultural event at a church or other local organization.
Halloween Doesn’t Have to be About Candy
The U.S. tradition of Halloween has been turned into a holiday of gorging on candy. And while this is super fun for many, it doesn’t have to be all about the candy. Making your Halloween have a larger impact on your kids’ creativity, social justice work, or making it all about creating fun for the rest of the neighborhood can be a fun way to celebrate with your kids.
Turn your Halloween into another time for connection with your kids and making memories!