Healthy Halloween Candy: What To Do?

October 22, 2013   56 Comments

This year, Snack Girl is in serious trouble. Her annual trip to Target to find a healthy choice ended in defeat.

Healthy Halloween Candy 2013

One of the big problems was that my school district is now eliminating nuts because of allergies. This got me to thinking about what I should be handing out.

Last year I promoted this:

But, this year, I couldn’t find them! And, I’m supposed to stay away from nuts. Of course, I could find these:


Yes, I suggested giving out individually packaged prunes for Halloween a couple years ago. The comments on the post were pretty hilarious. The best one was from Judy:

Yeah, if I knew that getting our house toilet papered would be the worst of it I might buy these to hand out (hey we could always re-roll it and use it!) but the kids in our neighborhood like to throw eggs on cars which ruins paint.

or maybe this one from April:

OK... I have to tell you (even though we don't do Halloween) that my son laughed his butt off about this post. Ya see.... prunes were a recent solution for some (ahem) issues he had, and of course, it worked for a smooth move. lol So this really cracked him up. (no pun intended) hahahahaha

If I am honest with myself, prunes are a terrible idea. I am in dreamland if I think I will convince anyone to hand out prunes.

I was stuck looking through all the candy at Target, and I decided on York Peppermint patties in the shape of pumpkins. Why? They:

1. Don’t have nuts (those lousy allergies).
2. Won’t stick to kid’s teeth like taffy or other sticky candy.
3. Taste strongly so you aren’t tempted to eat too many of them in one sitting.
4. Not so bad on the calories.

One fun-sized York patty is:

60 calories, 1 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 14.0 g carbohydrates, 11 g sugar, 0 g protein, 0 g fiber, 5 mg sodium, 2 Points+

These aren’t going to get your house toilet papered or win any awards for healthiest Halloween treat – but they work in a pinch. I am going to get flamed for this, but this year I am flummoxed.

Anyone find anything good to hand out this year? Please share.

Points+ values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.

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What about snack sized bags of pretzels? They cost about as much as a bag of Halloween candy. I fill my candy cauldron with both candy and bags of pretzels and let the kids decide.

How about the small single serving bags of Skinny Pop popcorn?

I usually do the regular candy, but last year I bought fingertip flashlights from Amazon and bought only half the amount of candy. Each child got 1 flashlight and 1 piece of candy. One of my neighbors gives the kids glowsticks instead of candy. Obviously if every house did a non-candy, non-food treat the kids would rebel, but I think some inexpensive non-food alternatives are fun. On the plus side I could see my kids down all the long driveways with the flashlights on their fingers.

If cost is not an object- String cheese and mini boxes of raisins are food too. Sometimes you can but animal crackers in bulk at Sam's club or Costco.

We live in the country so no trick or treaters! I think this looks interesting for all natural candy.

Not sure if these are all that much more healthy but at least they aren't "candy". This year I'm handing out little snack bags of Goldfish Crackers, Pretzels, and Glow-in-the-Dark bags of Cheetos Crunchy.

Thank you for suggesting an actual legit candy. Well played.

One year I handed out pencils that had Halloween designs on them. The kids loved them. They had something to use at school.

Maybe this is just one of those times when it might be ok to just enjoy something unhealthy for the day and not worry. Halloween used to be fun. Maybe setting time limits or portion control could be an easier way to maintain a modicum of healthiness.

Last year I gave out mini cans of play dough. This year I am giving out rice krispie treats. U don't like the high fructose corn syrup, but I at least know it's not a treat that will "call to me" from the cupboard if there are any leftovers.

Girl, I have to go with you! Peppermint Patties are the way to go. If I had to choose a candy that is what I would get. Prunes, ummm, not a great idea. I would be like what the heck is this, if I was a kid and ye, your house would get toilet papered.

As someone suggested, individual sized packages of pretzels, popcorn,raisins and I can't think what else! I'd stick to peppermint patties! :)

Chocolate covered marshmallows, pretzels, or popcorn balls work as well

We give away Halloween pencils and vampire teeth. This year we are also giving away snackfuls and motts fruit/veggie treats 0 point+. It's surprising how many children choose the toys over the treats.

Duckies! Oriental Trading has many varieties of these ducks. I have been giving out ducks for almost 10 years now. The kids love them. I have the repeat kids that will ask for a different duck, they know what they already have and so they want a different one to add to their collection. Nothing says it has to be a treat every time.

We don't get many trick or treaters out our way, but we still buy a box of chocolate bars just in case. It's Halloween and portion is what we should teach kids. If we have any left overs, I put them in the freezer downstairs. That way I have to go out of my way to get them. Or I buy something I don't like or can't eat(gummies or marshmallows).

i buy bag of individual sized containers of play doh. if i buy candy, i eat

Great topic!! They don't call you snack girl for nothing. For the people who wrote about non candy treats - u r my hero!!! I think the choc covered mints are perfect. I love dark choc cherries but they are hard to find.

Just a confused question.. Are you eliminating nuts because there might be kids who are allergic who come trick or treating or did the school district tell you not to hand out treats with nuts? All my favorite candy has peanut butter! Love some of these alternate ideas.

AH! We don't get a lot of kids in our (aging) neighbourhood, but we do get some - my challenge has always been to buy stuff that *I* won't eat. Turkish delight candy bars, for example. YUK. But non food items! I never thought of that! Glow sticks for all! (York patties would never last in my house, I love those things ;-) Thanks everyone!

We get so few children (if any) that I just make sure I have a cup of change -- kids like money. A friend gives out Halloween-themed bags of microwave popcorn, and the kids love them.

Meh, I give 'em CANDY. Good candy, too - Snickers, Milky Way, Peanut Butter cups, Hershey bars. It's the one night of the year where kids know they can get dressed up and fill a bag with sugar. Especially fun for kids who live in a healthy house like mine where they don't see candy all the time. After Halloween night, I put it in a container in a cabinet over the fridge and allow small amounts for after meal treats. Kids LOVE the idea of getting candy for trick or treat. Can we please not spoil this fun time by forcing our kids to eat prunes? Lol...

Around this time of year Pirates Booty is sold in large boxes of small, 35 calorie bags. I stock up when they sell them (I've only gotten them at Target) because they're great for snacks and lunches. My sister in law also takes those and a piece of fruit when she's supposed to provide snacks for my niece's classroom since they're peanut AND gluten free Has candies of all kind avoiding different allergens and different things people can eat. real food candy.

This year I am doing am mix of candy and temporary tatoos. They sell them individually boxed and they have a fun halloween theme.

I don't give out candy on Halloween because I take my daughter around Trick or Treating. I worry more about what she's going to be bringing back into the house. She ends up collecting alot of candy that she doesn't like (she really only eats Hershey bars, M&M's and lollipops). Everything else just sits there calling to me. I usually give it away (after I've had a sampling). Halloween is a true test of willpower.

I get a bag of organic lollypops; they're good plus I won't gorge on the leftovers. Food Babe has these alternatives:…

But I still love York Peppermint Patties, great choice, they are delicious!

My kids love candy. That's it. Candy. They don't eat it all in one day, it usually lasts until January when I finally throw any picked over leftovers away. The pretzels get a frown. Prunes would be a big frown. They know not to eat any homemade food, we throw it away at once. Pencils get a frown too, we get new pencils when school starts. Candy is where it's at. They don't get too much candy otherwise (our everyday lunchboxes are a simple sandwich, a milk and an apple or grapes, --every day) so Halloween is a special time. One snack-size candy after school lasts for months and they look forward to their Halloween candy stash.

AfterShocks popping candy! Throw one or two packets into their plastic pumpkin or pillowcase. These things have 1g sugar and only five Cals. They'll probably walk that off by the time they get to the next street.

All great idea, but i have looked most of the Fun Size candies up for WW points + and most all are 2 pts as well....portion control! :o)

I have eliminated nuts on my own because my school district is eliminating them from the school. I happen to love nuts but why give out something that kids can't eat?

Piedmont Candy Company's Soft Peppermint Puffs are safe for kids (and adults) with peanut, nut, dairy, corn and other allergies, and are also gluten-free. My son loves them! They come in the traditional peppermint flavor, as well as an assorted mix with flavors like watermelon, cherry and cotton candy. The colorful little puffs are individually wrapped, too, so there's not danger of cross-contamination from other, non-allergy-friendly treats.

The company even offers a little sign you can download and put on your door that says "Allergy-Friendly Treats Here!" You can download it for free at www.

I also have to vote for glow sticks. My son got one last year and loved it!

Wow! So many great ideas. I grew up in a time when a lot of people made their own treats. Of course today that's not possible. One year we gave out toothbrushes. One of our dentist in my town gives a dollar for every pound of candy the kids bring in and their school gets .50 cents. Then they take the candy and send it to the troops.

Yuck on the Peppermint Patties!! I LOVE candy, but the only sweet thing I will not eat is when it is mint -- not ice cream, not candy, not cookies. I also agree about the small bags of pretzels and I offer that along with big sized candy bars. I always loved Halloween, and the candy, so I see no harm in indulging once in a while!!

REALLY? Hasn't Haloween been messed with enough? We can no longer make those terrific home made treats that we as kids always loved and knew which houses were the best! We no longer have scary parties or can do any fun tricks and most schools call it a Harvest Festival. Some don't even allow witch costumes. Really? Hand out honest to goodness candy! It is ONE night!

This year we are passing out individual bags of fruit snacks, no fat and 100% of vitamin C!

My kids get all excited about the halloween toys, so last year i went to WalMart, Dollar Stores, and Toys R Us AFTER halloween and stocked up on all sorts of toys, pencils, tracing things, rings, etc. and those are our fun things this year for school friends and trick or treaters alike. Also the plastic cups with halloween stuff on them are fun.

AND, BTW, today i got 2 new vocabulary words! "Modicum" thanks to @Robi and "flummoxed" thanks to SG. Those are awesome ones i need to start using!

It was ages ago, but my grandmother would give out nickels to children coming to her home in the 50's. This was when five cents could buy candy. I guess depending on how many children come to your home would decide on the denomination of the change. I like the idea of popcorn, pretzels or small boxes of raisins too.

My grandmother was very progressive and rather a feminist. I think she felt the child could make up their own minds what to do with the change and be able to buy the candy they liked or save it for a toy. She was wonderful.

Love the mini Yorks idea. Also, you may consider bags of freeze-dried fruit (a crunchy treat that's more fun than prunes or raisins) but if you want to go the non-food route, you can go with toy dinosaurs or green plastic soldiers for the boys, Lip Smackers (a brand of flavored lip gloss/lip pomade) or a pack of ponytail fasteners for the girls, or little boxes of crayons or watercolor paint sets for both.

Money. We get 80 to 100 T or T'ers here and I haven't yet met one who wasn't pleased to get a dime or a quarter. Plus, no leftovers for us to eat!

One of the favorite houses my family hit last year that had a TON of kids crawling all over handed out things. Spider rings, necklaces, glow sticks, flowers (carnations that had fake spiders in them, it was funny), etc. Stuff, not candy! Perfect!

I just cannot bring myself to buy candy to give out at Halloween. My kids love candy & are always looking for ways to get more. Last week we were at a parade where the floats threw candy out to kids & and they each came home with a big bag full. That felt like Halloween to me already.

Before I had kids, I would buy & give out healthy granola bars for treats. They are not prunes, but I am sure that in the eyes of many trick or treaters they are close. Now I tend to give out pretzels, cheese popcorn, goldfish, graham crackers, or something similar. They are more exciting than granola bars at least, plus if I have any extra, I can use them for school lunches. Next year, maybe I'll go with trinket toys instead. There are some great ones for Halloween.

What about Unreal brand? I love how they have worked hard to "unjunk" candy and GMOS, food colourings, additives, corn syrup, and half the sugar. They also taste amazing!!

A side note about candy collected:

Every year the SWITCH WITCH comes to our house. (Of course this works better with younger kids). My son, 6, will leave all of his Halloween candy out for the switch witch. She in-turn leaves him a special gift. Last year it was a Spiderman watch!

Target has the "UNREAL" brand of candy that does not have the artificial additives that all the other candies have. It's in the regular candy isle.

You, dear Snack Girl, introduced me to a DELISH treat called Somersaults! These are terrific because they are tasty, chocolaty, high in protein, only 4 WW points for 14 of them, and my peanut-allergic kids can enjoy them. has 2 oz snack bags. Problem solved! (unless you are unfortunate to have a sunflower seed allergy)…

I buy 100% juice boxes and what is left over my husband takes to work to give to a co-worker who has kids. The kids seem to like them, some open up right away. Plus they are safe around me!

Goodness gracious if you are so concerned about passing out unhealthy treats then try my solution to the issue of Halloween because I don't care for the holiday with kids wandering around at night taking things from strangers. It's called a light switch! You turn your lights off so you aren't going to harm anyone's children or your diet.

We gave out glow in the dark super bounce balls and vampire teeth, along with Halloween tattoos last year. Didn't get TP'd, so it must have gone over okay... :)

How about the mini Frosty coupons at Wendy's?

I am continuing with the little bags of Halloween pretzels. The kids have been actually excited when they get them. Even more so than handing out candy! Plus if there are left-overs...I don't mind having these in my pantry for my own kids.

I found bags filled with little boxes of tattoos at CVS for trick or treating. Each box has 4 allergies or sugar to worry about:) My 4 yr old daughter was very excited about them.

Do you guys remember the days when folks would hand out homemade goods? I remember candied or carmel apples, brownie (legit brownies) and popcorn balls and sometimes just plain apples. It is so sad to me the world is so crazy we can't even have special treats anymore!

I hand out plastic insects, boxes of raisins and keep a bowl of candy for the big kids who might throw, roll or smash stuff when the lights go out! Lots of the big kids chose plastic spiders last year. This year I have plastic roaches.

If we're comparing to york patties then you could also go with Dove dark chocolate. I haven't got one on hand right now for the specifics, but if I remember correctly they are just about the healthiest chocolate I could find.

(Have To Package May Put Off People) (In The Children's Aisle)(Generic Description) Baby Sized Fruit Flavored Puffed Rice Treats.

Toothbrushes! I've bought them from a local dentist and off Amazon. The kids love them!!

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