The Only Halloween Candy I’ll Buy (Plus Other Alternatives)

I am actually not even handing out candy this year, but if I were going to there’s only one type of candy I’d be spending my money on.

Check out my recent Charlotte Today Show clip below to see…

  • The “cleanest” Halloween candy on the market.
  • What I am going to hand out this year.
  • Other fun alternatives to candy.
  • What my daughters would choose out of all these ideas.

Plus for those who know us you better watch out because my 8-year-old now thinks she is “famous” after her 5 (silent) minutes on TV during this clip. The girls were just going to the studio to watch me do this segment, but at the last minute (to their delight) they were invited to join us on stage. :)

Oh and PS – I know the mention of handing out “bouillon cubes” seems really random, but the host (Colleen) was joking about giving those out earlier in the show! Definitely don’t hand those out – ha!

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150 thoughts on “The Only Halloween Candy I’ll Buy (Plus Other Alternatives)”

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  1. Love these ideas! Fortunately, it’s getting easier and easier these days to find healthier treats to hand out. The biggest challenge is finding treats that are not wrapped in plastic or come with straws. All the plastic waste that Halloween results in is a far greater danger to our health and well being than a little candy, or even a month’s worth of candy.

    I went with those little boxes of nerds, because at least the cardboard boxes are biodegradable. And I was able to order them online, packaged in cardboard, as well. So no plastic whatsoever.

    I know this is a “Real Food” blog and not a plastic-free blog, but I wish people who were focusing on health would also talk about trying to reduce plastic waste, since that kind of pollution has a direct and negative affect on our food and water supply. The two are inextricably linked.

  2. We plant Zombie Plants with the kids. The plants actually play dead when you touch them by closing their leaves and lowering their branches. Search “The Zombie Plant” to see a live one in action and to get your own growing kits. A great alternative to trick or treat candy.

  3. My cousin has a huge bowl of pennies and the can get one handful which means the small children get less than the larger kids. House was never egged so I guess it was okay. They said the kids liked it.

  4. Love these ideas! We are very lucky that no one comes to our house for Halloween so there’s no pressure for us to keep candy in the house. Plus, because of where we live there’s nowhere to go trick-or-treating so if we want to go get candy we have to put the kids in the car and drive to a plan to go house to house.

  5. Love all these great ideas. Have been following (ahem…most) of the real food rules for about 2 months and was inspired to create some non-candy printable tags for my Etsy shop here: I did some pencil topers with halloween jokes, glow stick tags and vampire fang tags. An easy way to make the non-candy treats a little cuter and more fun!!

  6. I was already planning on getting the little boxes of raisins this year for trick or treaters! I love the idea of the pencils and glow sticks as well! Thank you for the great ideas!

      1. The entitlement mentality of the world (regarding Kristen’s unnecessary comment)

        Linda, give whatever you want! The fact that you give anything shows you are a generous person because you don’t have to give out anything at all. I think raisins are a great idea!

  7. Thank you for the great ideas. I think that we are going to make popcorn balls (al natural of course) for our nieces and nephews this year (we don’t hand out candy).

    We started the switch Witch last year, although we allowed the kids to each pick 6 pieces of candy to keep. They got to take one in their lunch each day until they were gone. I personally don’t like the idea of just letting them eat candy one night, because I think that they over do it.

    Also, just a little thing, but a Huge step for my daughter (who loves sweets). We are on week 5 of real food. We talk about what is offered for snack at school and how they should make their choices, but we also don’t demand that they only choice real food. We are hoping that they will choose real over fake more and more as they learn about it. Well, yesterday my daughter (who loves sweets, right?) passed on a snack at school that had chocolate in it! What a huge success!!! We are so proud of the changes she is making!!! Thank you for your continued support!

  8. I love the idea to focus on non-junkfood treats for halloween, but you know what concerns me? Glow sticks, vampire teeth, spider-bling… it’s all plastic ‘junk’ that will end up in the trash within a few weeks. We don’t need more plastic waste on this planet! Plus, cheap plastic is often toxic plastic, too.

  9. I do a little bag of treats for the kids each year with raisins and a Halloween sticker and a couple of the things you showed in the video like the vampire teeth and spider ring or Halloween pencils etc. Everyone always seems to like it just have to have something a bit different for the babies/toddlers. And the good thing is if you do not give them all out, everything but the raisins or other food are fine to save for the next year.

  10. I love this! I recently bought the cookbook. I am slowly but surely making changes. As a grandmother of 9 and other of 5 I wish I had this site years ago. Two of my children are type I diabetics diagnosed as age 3. I really , obviously, try to stay away from sugary treats. This is a great page and I hope I can set an example for my adult children/grandchildren. Thank you Lisa!!

  11. Where are you able to find unreal candy? I absolutely LOVE it! But we can’t find it anywhere and their website has said since February that they are temporarily off the shelves!

    1. Tiffany, I have always found it at Target…specifically the Target’s with a grocery side. It isn’t usually out with the “Easter” section or “Halloween” section though. I usually find it on the candy isle in the grocery section.

    2. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Tiffany. We don’t have any inside information, unfortunately, but it looks like they are coming back soon. :)

  12. What great ideas! My mom always gave out DARE pencils when I was in High School. I always told my mom our house was going to get egged or tp’d lol Never did tho!

  13. What great ideas! I can’t wait to get your cookbook:) My husband, 3 boys, and I love your Pumpkin Spelt Muffins recipe. Eating healthy is important to us and 100 Days of Real Food has great advice and recipes. Thanks for sharing your world by encouraging families to eat better.

  14. I think that these are great ideas, and certainly our children don’t need anymore candy. Water and juice is also a wonderful idea. My son will ask for that about 5 minutes into our trick-o-treat night. Keep up the good work fellow Charlotte mom!

  15. What great ideas! Letting the kids indulge for one night then getting rid of the candy, glow sticks and water – I’m using these!

  16. I bought Annie’s organic bunny-shaped fruit snack bags in my daughter’s favorite flavors to hand out. It costs the same as a large candy bar, but it is healthy and delicious. My kids ate them all the way through the college years. They are well known and loved. I really doubt the kids or their Moms will through them out. It also sends a message that I think my neighbors’ children deserve organic treats for Halloween. That is being a good neighbor. Of course, I can only give out 1 to a customer because they are pricey. I really doubt the kids will say, “what another one of these?”

  17. Did you see that Angie’s Popcorn has also made smaller bags for Halloween this year? That is what we are going to bring for my 4 yr old’s birthday at school next week. I was also excited to see Halloween size Pirate’s Booty, Cliff Bars, Annie’s Gummie Bunnies at the store as well as all the stuff you featured!

  18. Just wanted to say your daughters are mega cute and I like all the ideas, because let’s face it they are JUST YOUR ideas. So thank you xxxx

  19. Good ideas, but I have to agree with many of the other people here about the waste generated from the plastic toys. Kids are happy with them for a day or two and then they go straight to the land fill.

  20. I agree, with other posters, please avoid the the glow bracelets as the toxic chemicals could leach out when in landfills. Also the little plastic toys are usually played with for a day before then end up cluttering one’s house and then being tossed into the landfill. Not to mention the plastic toy was probably made in china or other third world country where people were paid pennies to make that product.

    I don’t love the loads of Halloween candy either. We let our kids enjoy a few pieces after trick or treating, pick out 20 of their favorites and bring the rest to the candy buy back program offered by a local dentist.
    The kids still get to enjoy some candy, but it’s gone in 2 weeks.

  21. Our halloween school party will focus on healthy choices: I’m dressing as a mad sugar scientist and presenting kids the opportunity to guess the amount of sugar in their favorite snacks stacking sugar cubes. Then, will have a 2 plates set up–one full of healthy snack ideas and the other just full of candy. Hoping to teach a lesson on balance and good choices in the midst of a sugar shower! (Note –often the kids at school are bringing loads of processed junk for “healthy” snack, (cheese-its, chips and packaged crackers/hostess products show up constantly) so trying to educate them with some new ideas)

  22. Good ideas… but I’d modify the Switch Witch poem, or at least be very careful with how I presented it. Some kids might misunderstand and think that cats like to eat candy and try feeding it to the family pet, not understanding that chocolate will make their pet very, very sick – or worse!

  23. Wow–bad ideas en masse! Glow sticks–can we say “toxic chemicals,” boys and girls? Plastic, plastic, plastic–95% of that crap is gonna be in the landfill poisoning our ground water by November 1. Boxes of raisins–WAY too easy to tamper with. If you don’t want your kids to have candy, here’s an idea: don’t take them trick-or-treating. Plenty of kids don’t participate in this activity, and you can easily give them something else to do at home that’s every bit as fun and still jives with your parenting philosophies. And if you don’t want to give out candy, just turn off your porch light.

  24. Last year I gave out Annie’s organic kettle corn and it seemed to go over well! I plan to give that out again, along with glow-in-the-dark bracelets. If I run out of kettle corn, I’ll give out Clif Kid fruit ropes. For my son’s candy loot, we usually go through and keep what I feel are the least harmful candies and throw away the rest. It’s a great teaching moment to talk about why we don’t put certain ingredients in our bodies.

  25. We LOVE unreal candy!! My kids are big fans. I trade their candy in for this candy. I also really love your idea of the switch witch! Great ideas. Thanks Lisa.

  26. The Sugar Fairy visits our house once my daughter is asleep on Halloween. The Sugar Fairy leaves some of the chocolate and takes all of the candy and the rest of the chocolate.  She then uses her magical fairy power to send it to the U.S. military abroad. This is called through You can find lists of local dentists that will accept the candy at the above website. Also, your child can write a note thanking the soldiers. 
    The Sugar Fairy leaves a present, such as a book. Your child feels good, because they have filled someone’s bucket by giving away much of their treats,, they keep some chocolate and get a present. It’s a win win!

  27. OH MY GOSH I love the switch witch idea, definitely wish I had that as a kid.. definitely would have saved me from a lot of halloween candy eating. I am also going to buy some Unreal candy! Never heard of it before, but I have a massive sweet tooth and want to treat myself on halloween!