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. Great post. Organic juice is a great option (but Honest is owned by Coca Cola so I’d skip that). Pencils or erasures are fun too. Overall anything non-toxic is good. Like you said, even a little “unreal” candy. I have to try that one… sounds great!

  2. Great ideas! And if you think about it, if you stop by the dollar store, it may be cheaper to buy $10 worth of bags that have high item count in it, than purchasing only large bags of candy that can only take you so far with passing out on Halloween night. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. I wouldn’t bother either with the ‘Honest Kids’ juices, beside the fact of careless hands discarding plastic all over the neighborhood, but the ‘Honest Teas’ company is against publicizing GMO ingredients on products. Just FYI.

  4. I am the mom who hands out anything but candy. I am slightly ashamed to admit that I hand out all my kids discarded little oriental trading like toys. This year I am also handing out pencils. I would alos caution about handing out glow sticks if you are wanting to save the environment. They are good for one to two days and then end up in the trash. Or worse yet, they break and leak their chemical ooze.

  5. I really like your healthy Halloween ideas, but I have to agree that giving out plastic toys or plastic water bottles, is very wasteful to the environment. I also believe the kids should have fun and live a little on Halloween and enjoy candy. The crap that is put in candy is far from perfect, but plastic waste isn’t any better.

  6. My hubs could not believe last year when I decided to give out single serve hummus packets, single organic no-sugar added applesauces, organic and fairly traded chocolates, oatmeal breakfast bars and raisens. He kept thinking we would get toilet-papered that night – we did not. More expensive sure but I thought if I have to cut the treat-giving short (due to less inventory) that night, so be it. We have a 3 y/o and a 4 m/o and I realized I don’t want to give junk anymore. I have since become vegan so, now I have to make sure treats are without dairy as well but I may just keep it simple and keep it down to two items. Happy trick or treating!

  7. Since we live in the “country”, we don’t get any trick or treaters. In the past, I bought the Yummy Earth Organic lollipops, they are made with real sugar and even I think they taste good! I’m not normally a lollipop kind of person. I love some of these new tips. I will use them for Trunk or Treat events.

  8. Loved the presentation, however, we can’t get into the flavor of Honest Kids, it tastes so bland :( Maybe we’re consuming too much sugar.

  9. Loved the video! Your girls are just adorable!
    I notice the Honest kids pouches on there which I have been buying for my kids (we all love them) but have stopped recently bc it has ‘natural flavors’ listed in the ingredients, not once but TWICE! ..I am confused as to what to make of ‘natural flavors’ in certified organic products???

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi there. Here is the “official definition”: from Title 21, Section 101, part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations is as follows:

      “The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”

      So, it can be just about anything approved for consumption that a company wants to call proprietary. I know that doesn’t help much. ~Amy

  10. I LOVE this post! This is the first year we’ve lived in the city to be able to have Trick-or-treat kiddos. I bought glow bracelets and Angrybird tattoos to hand out rather than candy. I’m still searching for little things like these to incorporate into our “goodie bucket” that are cost efficient and not food related.

  11. We’ve done glow sticks the last 2 years and the neighborhood kids LOVE it! It was our first time being somewhere that we’d actually have trick-or-treaters, and it was a hit. I didn’t want to hand out candy. We love the unjunked candy here, too. Our local zoo gives palm oil free candy to the kiddos, and it’s always unjunked candy, larabars, and pirates booty snacks. I feel okay with my son eating those things. Last year was the first year that my son actually trick-or-treated, and the Switch Witch came to visit him. He didn’t mind at all.

  12. Please dont give out water bottles and add to the landfill. The glow sticks is a good idea but I have to think about being that 1 house that doesn’t give out halloween candy. Kinda risky when we are new to the neighborhood.. :) But again.. please dont give out plastic non degradable stuff.

  13. Great Ideas!

    What I am going to do is to give my toddler some unreal and forest chocolate bars instead of what he’ll get.

    Glow sticks and water was brilliant; that’s what I am given away. Love your website and Facebook page by the way. I have shared your posts always.

    Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing!

  14. I am an elementary school teacher and for the last 2 years, we have collected Halloween candy from our students for Operation Gratitude. Check their website to find a local dentist who is participating. They will pay children for their candy (usually $1), and then the candy is sent in a care package to our troops still overseas. We always included thank you cards written by the children. It is a good lesson in giving back and a great way to get rid of all that candy. http://www.operationgratitude.com/halloween-candy-buy-back-2012/

  15. THANK YOU so much for being so realistic about this topic! I clicked on the video, dreading that you would talk about handing out apples or orange slices or something like that for Halloween treats. The vast majority of trick-or-treating kids are expecting CANDY and anything that looks “healthy” would likely end up thrown on your lawn! But your ideas are great — stickers, glow sticks, and juice boxes … What a great idea! And thank you for saying it’s OK to just eat the darn candy that night! I love that you acknowledge that junk food is a normal part of everyday life but it shouldn’t stress us out. Eat it, enjoy it, be done with it and move on.

  16. Great info! We tried an experiment last Halloween and offered choosing from either a basket with candy or a basket with stickers, tattoos and fruit. Candy still won out, but the non-candy options were a hit, especially with the parents!

    Although this year my 8 year old son has already told me he only wants us to hand out candy! I think he would go for those fangs though!

    Here’s the link if you want to read about it!

    http://lovewell-livewell.com/2012/11/02/a-halloween-experiment-candy-vs-oranges-and-stickers/

  17. I loved your video clip!! Can’t wait for your cookbook to come out!! I know what I’ll be buying next year :) Do you know what the price point will be yet?

  18. I love the idea of the “unjunked” candy for Halloween. We have nut allergies in our family. Do you know of a product that is both real and but allergy friendly?

    1. Kathryn @ Mamacado

      Angie – as a mama of a 3 year old with multiple food allergies (nuts included) we stick with handing out organic lollipops and fruit snacks. We try to focus on real food all the time, but we also have to focus on what’s safe for my son! Here are a few ideas of what I bought for my son last Halloween to replace the candy he collected that was not safe for him.

      http://www.mamacado.com/2012/11/halloween-happiness.html

  19. I usually order things from Oriental Trading or hit a party store. This year i have halloween pencils, halloween stickers, bouncy balls, and halloween hand stampers. I do buy a couple bags of ‘mix’ candy and give the trick or treaters an option, suprisingly more of them pick the ‘toys’ than the candy. Personally I have a weakness for Dum Dum lollipops, I always buy a big bag at Halloween and whatever is left comes to work the next day where I walk around going ‘dum dum’, ‘dum dum’. You know it’s the little things. :)

  20. Please don;t hand out water bottles/drink packs… just plan ahead! Those bottles are so wasteful. Those little bottles take 700 years to decompose when they end up in landfill. Same for all the cheap plastic toys.

    We gave out organic lollipops last year. :)

  21. Hey Lisa! Great video clip AND tips! You’re all lovely :) This post seems like a good place to share my last post — so more people can find out — about the terrible injustice of chocolate! SO sad. It’s about where it comes from and how kids (who have most likely NEVER before eaten a piece of chocolate as we know it) most definitely suffer from it’s production :( http://fresh-you.blogspot.com/2013/10/fair-trade-chocolate.html Happy Halloween!

  22. Great ideas!! Just want to say that what you are doing is wonderful!! You inspire me everyday! Thank you for all your hard work and helpful information, lunch ideas, etc!!

  23. In addition to trying to teach my kids about choosing healthy foods, I also think it’s important to steer children away from products that are not healthy for the environment. I included a link below about the ways glowsticks can harm the environment as well as other small plastic toys that add up and are (at least in my house) so quickly forgotten about…usually ending up in the garbage a few days later. I applaud your trying to find alternatives to the candy, however!

    http://greengta.ca/green-tips/glow-sticks-and-environment-halloween

  24. Thank you for all that you provide! I have been following you for about a year. We are blessed to have all your tips, resources, and positive spirit. This sessions was so sweet. Your girls are adorable. Thank you again. (I tell all my friends about your blog!)

  25. Connie Klinglesmith

    I buy beanie babies in bulk at garage sales all summer, tags still on, brand new. The kids scream every year saying “Mom, this is the beanie baby house”!

  26. Thanks so much for posting this! I get so tired of seeing all the candy go ’round and ’round. And now that I have a toddler who cannot have sugar (even fruit juice!), I am even more interested in alternatives.

    For the past few years we have been giving books for treats (see Booksfortreats.org for more info), which has gone over quite well. No egging of our house but rather thankful parents and greedy older teenagers! I stumbled across this Californian-born idea (I’m in Arkansas) one day and went with it. The first year I also gave out little plastic spider rings if they wanted it. AND one of the moms asked for a book! ha That was funny because I only collect books for infant through 6th grade. :)

    Thanks again for all the ideas in the video clip, and the extra ideas from commenters. Love the idea to fork over candy to the dentist for troops, and the clementines with food-safe marker faces!

  27. One Halloween a friend and I dressed up as snow white and the witch for our church’s trunk-or-treat. I handed out the candy in a witch’s cauldron and had apples among the candy for effect. You wouldn’t believe how many kids wanted the apples over the candy! I could definitely see kids liking the raisins! Thanks for the inspiration.