Every year I think about the fun of Trick or Treating. All those cute kids out with their special costumes and carrying large decorated bags. I know those trick or treat bags are going to be full of traditional sugar laden candy so I don’t want to add to that largesse. Instead, for the past few years, I have chosen treats children enjoy that are not full of sugar.
Lunch sized packages of Potato Chips
I have picked up large packets of plain potato chips at warehouse stores for quite reasonable prices. I have discovered You do not want or need the added seasonings, artificial colors or flavorings. My article on plain potato chips is found here. Kids love a salty snack as much as a sweet one and it is a better snack choice. We moms are happy to add this to their lunch or let them have it as an after school snack without guilt.
Individual Package of Peanuts
Again, plain nuts. I have picked plain peanuts to give out, but you can choose, sunflower seeds, cashews or mixed nuts. Dry roasted are best but most children can handle the real deal. Even salted nuts are better than a moon pie. Always offer ONLY factory sealed packages so that you do not endanger the child who is allergic. For that child, always have an alternative as well.
I have never had anyone egg my house or played a trick but if you are worried about tricksters and feel you must do candy, choose Hersheys Special dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is amazingly a very healthy alternative. It’s the cocoa that is good for you and milk chocolate has about 30% cocoa and dark chocolate has about 70%.
Sugar Free Hot Chocolate Packets
We love cocoa and doughnuts at Halloween time. A fun treat is individual gourmet sugar free hot chocolate. Gourmet packets do come in Halloween colors! I have picked them up for pennies at Big Lots. Again, choose the dark chocolate flavors that have the most cocoa content, but here you will find fun flavors as well. Raspberry Cocoa, Minty flavors, etc. I always check for expiration dates when buying at Big Lots though.
Snack Size Applesauce or Fruit Chunks
A great choice to toss in your Halloween basket is fruit. Children should eat three fruits a day anyway. I like offering a natural product, without sugar added. When they are individually packaged, children can serve themselves just as they would a wrapped candy treat. I always include some fruit when I let children choose their treat and I rarely have any fruit cups left over. You just can’t go wrong with naturally sweet preserved fruit.
I’m not sure children are really crazy about the cheap plastic spider rings but you can buy a variety of inexpensive small toy cars and glitzy glamour rings and necklaces. Packets of trading cards are popular. Mini card games are sized just right for little hands. If you really prefer to give out something besides an edible treat, a big bowl full of toys will be exciting for your costumed guests. Sometimes I just add a few glitzy pieces of play jewelry to dress up my treat basket. It makes it look more fun.
I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m thinking of picking up some inexpensive books to add to my basket this year. I have noticed there are many story books and coloring books with Halloween themes. The dollar store and other discount stores offer new books at very low prices. Most children love to be read to. With a brand new book in that treat bag, it just might settle down little goblins after an exciting night of trick or treating!
Halloween is a fun night for me! The days of passing out homemade treats and fresh fruit have fizzled out long ago with today’s concern for safety. But I have found more options than the same bags of expensive sugar loaded candy everyone else is giving out. Healthy treats are in vogue right now so I like to offer treat they might remember. Putting a little more effort into this holiday and offering the best of the best does reap a reward of satisfaction, along with basking in the glow of ohhs and ahhs when they see my fun bowl of treats!