Fun Fact! – Did you know Halloween originated from the Irish Celtic celebration know as Samhain, meaning the end of summer?
These days Halloween is celebrated very differently compared to 2 000 years ago. Today it involves a lot of sweet treats, sugar rush and dress-up. And there is nothing wrong with any of that, but these days more and more children suffer from allergies, sensitivities and dietary preferences. Besides, moderation is not generally associated with Halloween, limiting the amount of processed sweets and chocolates containing preservatives, artificial colours and dyes won’t hurt one bit.
And to be more inclusive of those who cannot, or choose not, have the traditional Halloween sweets; we have put together a list of alternative and inexpensive treats to fill the baskets of all the boys and girls. Young and old…
- Spooky play dough! (Non-candy Option #1)
There are many inexpensive recipes that can be made at home and customised to your preferences.
Make a large batch and add essential oil, glitter or hide a surprise inside! Once you have your playdough you can cut out shapes and store in an airtight container to hand out on Halloween for a plastic-free option. OR you can place them in bags. You can get as creative as you want!
Some ideas to get you started!
- Edible Pumpkin Play Dough [BONUS: This recipe is also gluten free and does not use cream of tartar for sensitive kiddies]
- No-cook Natural Cinnamon Play Dough Recipe
- Natural Play Dough Recipe Without Cream of Tartar
- Sidewalk Chalk! (Non-candy Option #2)
Another fun non-candy option that will have the kids excited to play outside. Make orange, purple and green sidewalk chalk to get in the Halloween spirit when trying one of the recipes below!
- How to Make 3-Ingredient Sidewalk Chalk
- How to Make Your Own Eggshell Chalk (An alternative for when you want to avoid working with plaster of paris)
- Natural Sidewalk Chalk (This recipe uses arrowroot for a non-toxic option)
- Scary stickers or temporary tattoos!
You should be able to purchase these at most toy stores and they usually come in packs. The more, the scarier!
Note: When handing out non-candy options make it clear that they are not edible.
- Healthy juice boxes
These days there are plenty of healthier options when it comes to juice boxes and what better way to keep the kids hydrated during their trick-or-treating. Buying in bulk also helps to keep this budget-friendly.
- Healthier candy
So sometimes there is no way to get around it, you don’t have the time or an older crowd to appease (cue teens and tweens). If that is the case opt for the healthier alternative or a portion-controlled option.
I have not included homemade treats as those are controversial around Halloween time. However, if you are hosting there are plenty of healthy treats and snacks.
So why is it important to try and cut down on conventional Halloween candy?
The majority of hard candies, gummies and chocolates are loaded with processed sugar, artificial dyes, artificial flavours and colourants. And because these treats are consumed in large amounts during Halloween, cutting down whenever possible helps. Many children are sensitive to harsh artificial ingredients whilst others don’t respond well to the copious amounts of sugar.
Put that aside and those candies are still highly inflammatory, especially to the gut. For children this can be especially detrimental, even if your child is not normally sensitive. For more information on why it is important to maintain a healthy gut read: Why Gut Health Is So Important. I hope this has inspired you to have a HAPPY & HEALTHY HALLOWEEN!