23 October 20193 expert tips on handing out healthier trick-or-treats

Why consider candy alternatives?

We all know that kids eat a LOT of candy on Halloween, the weeks leading up to it and the weeks following. One statistic from Coupon Follow says that the average kid out trick-or-treating on Halloween will eat about 3 cups of sugar from candy. That translates to 2300 calories or 600g of sugar! This is especially frightening because it's not just our kids who are eating all of this candy. As parents, the Halloween candy lands in our mouths too, making it that much harder to control our weight. Why not get creative this year and contribute to the growing number of parents who are setting a new standard by doing something different like finding healthy Halloween treats to hand out to trick-or-treaters. Take a look at these candy alternatives and find something that works for your family.

Try these colorful candy alternatives


We buy them at other times of the year so kids are sure to recognize them in their trick-or-treat bag. From a nutrition standpoint these little fruit snacks are a good source of vitamin C and potassium.

Fruit Leather

They are naturally flavored and have a longer shelf life than fresh fruit. You can easily purchase a box of fruit leathers in different flavors such as strawberry, apricot and apple.


There is a big push for parents to serve only water and milk to their kids as they move through childhood. This saves calories and sugar which is better spent on eating whole fruit which contains more dietary fiber and phytonutrients. Since juice is quickly becoming a special occasion item why not treat your neighborhood kids to a box of 100% juice this Halloween?

Non-edible healthy treats to hand out

Non-food treats provide a safe and fun alternative especially for kiddos with food allergies. So many of the candies out there contain peanuts or milk which are 2 of the most common allergens. Here are some non-food options that your kids are sure to enjoy!

  • Glow sticks or small glow-in-the-dark toys
  • Bouncy balls (of course be careful giving small items to little ones as they may be a choking hazard)
  • Mini plush toys and wind-up toys
  • Crayons and coloring books
  • Stickers or stamps
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Bubbles
  • Spider rings or vampire teeth
  • Slime, putty or squishy toys
  • Friendship bracelets

Healthier Snack Sized Treats!

Still want to handout an edible treat yet looking for something besides candy? From a nutrition perspective these candy alternatives are a better choice. They each provide some fiber, are made from whole foods and provide more nutrition than most traditional Halloween candies.

  • Snack-sized packages of pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Trail mix
  • Mini Lara bars™ (made with only fruit and nuts)
  • Justin's™ almond butter packets

Give yourself permission this year to be that house and pass out something besides sugar-laden candy. Eating less candy gives you and your kids more energy to enjoy finalizing decorations and costumes and getting out to enjoy the spirit of this super fun holiday!

Joanna is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator with a passion for supporting individuals as they move towards a healthier lifestyle.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.


Holidays / Parties/Halloween

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