That being said, Halloween is going to be here in three days and there are going to be lots of little (and maybe not so little) people coming to your door looking for a goody to put in their bags. As a kid, I'd come home with my loot and dump it out on the table then sort it according to type: candy bars in one pile, tootsie rolls in another, etc. (I still sort my M&Ms by color and then eat them in a pattern. I'm weird, I know.) Then I'd pick a few, eat them and save the rest because I remembered my mom's warning: "Eat as much candy as you want, but you'll have to have milk of magnesia afterwards." That right there stopped me from eating more than 3-4 pieces. (Have you ever had milk of magnesia? Imagine trying to swallow an entire mouthful of pasty chalk. Disgusting. Just the thought of it makes me cringe. *shudder*)
Now that I am a parent and I have to worry about my own children's health (and pay the dental bill), I've been thinking about alternatives to candy that I can give out on Halloween and I've put together a list for you to consider if you'd like to give out something different.
Hot Chocolate/Hot Cider: One year, my mom had the brilliant idea to fill our big thermos drink dispenser with hot chocolate and give it out to the kids who came to our door. She got the little Dixie cups and filled a few at a time so they were slightly cooled by the time someone came to our door. It was a cold night out and everyone who came to our house was so happy for a warm drink. There were even a bunch of kids who came back for another cup before the night was out.
Pinata Fillers: There are bags of small toys that you can buy to fill a pinata with items such as, rings, mazes, bouncy balls and noise makers. I've seen some at Walmart in the party section right next to the pinatas. You could buy a 2 lb bag with both toys and candy for $6. (You could also browse the party favors and there can be good deals there too.) You definitely get more for your money and kids can choose if they want candy or a toy.
Stickers: I know a lot of little kids who would choose a sticker over candy. The great thing about stickers is that you can buy so many for so cheap! My kids go through stickers like crazy so I just buy sheets of them from the dollar store. Then you can cut them up so they get a few on one smaller sheet.
Wendy's Jr. Frosty Coupons: Wendy's sells a coupon booklet for $1 for 5 free Jr. Frosty coupons, plus $.85 goes toward the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Obviously these don't have to be purchased just for giving out at Halloween so you could also stock up on a few for yourself as well. But don't wait because they are only sold from about mid-September through October 31, then they are good from November through February.
Peanuts/Pretzels: This is a fairly healthy alternative to offer if you want to give food but not candy. You can buy individual bags like the kind they give out on airplanes. If this is what you decide to give, you may want to have at least one other option available since there seem to be a lot of kids out there with peanut allergies.
Fruit Leather/Fruit Snacks: I guess some people might count this as candy because of the sugar, but at least there is fruit in it too right? *wink* I love the Stretch Island Fruit Co. fruit leather from Costco, which is about $10 for 48. Costco also sells boxes of fruit snacks for around $10 for 80.
Are there other non-candy alternatives that you like to give out on Halloween? Please share so I can add it to my list!