Spoiler alert: toothbrushes are not on the list
Many of us have memories of the neighbor who gave out toothbrushes at Halloween. While this may have been disappointing as a child, there is a lot to be said for offering non-food treats at Halloween.
In our culture, there is a tendency to use food as entertainment and to allow food to be the centerpiece of every Holiday. Offering non-foods treats and games as part of a Halloween celebration helps encourage children to find other sources of entertainment and offers a break from eating candy.
There are also children who may feel left out on Halloween such as those requiring tube feeding or those with food allergies. Offering a variety of treats and toys for Halloween allows the holiday to be more inclusive and helps teach children that food is not the only source of entertainment during holidays.
We are not recommending banning Halloween candy. In fact, we encourage parents to allow their children to enjoy their Halloween candy. Allow children to taste as much candy as they like after trick-or-treating and decide what type of candy they like and what type of candy they don't care about. After Halloween night, allow your children to have a few pieces with meals or snacks until it is gone.
Try offering these non-food treats instead of candy or offer children a choice. You may be surprised how many choose the non-food option!
- Glow sticks or glow in the dark jewelry
- Halloween-themed accessories like spider rings or vampire teeth
- Fun pencil grips or erasers
- Mini containers of slime or playdough
- Stickers or fake tattoos
- Fun pens or pencils
- Stamps or stencils
- Halloween themed bouncy balls
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