A Candy-Free Halloween


TrickorTreatI am not exactly sure how Halloween 2014 will go down for our family, but I do know it will be different than last year. My two year old son is on a special diet, called the Feingold Program (another post for another time). He is restricted from eating foods with artificial food coloring, flavorings, or preservatives. Roughly translated, this means no candy on Halloween.

As of right now, my plan is to take our kiddos trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. Once that’s over, they will be strongly encouraged to trade in their candy stash for a few small toys and other non-candy essentials. Of course, easier said than done! In lieu of passing out candy to trick-or-treaters, we will also be giving away non-candy options. So I created a list of ideas for this upcoming holiday.

Small novelty toys:

  • Yo-yos
  • Slinkies
  • Slap bracelets
  • Bubbles
  • Bouncy balls
  • Finger puppets
  • Clackers or noise-makers
  • Spinning tops
  • Plastic soldiers
  • Water guns
  • Erasers
  • Hand stampers

Anything glow in the dark:

  • Necklaces and bracelets
  • Glow sticks or wands
  • Rubber ducks (So cute! I found these at Target.)
  • Spiders
  • Sticky eyeballs
  • Tatoos

Non-candy food options:

  • Applesauce packets
  • Small boxes of raisins
  • Microwavable popcorn
  • Animal crackers, Teddy Grahams, or Goldfish
  • Fruit leather
  • Clementines or fruit cups with a “Jack O Lantern” face drawn on with a Sharpie
  • Honey sticks
  • Apples
  • Granola bars

Below are some fun ideas that take a little more elbow grease and time, but would be fun options for a class party.

  • Mini bottle of hand-santizer with a label that reads, “Germs are scary.”
  • Orange Legos tied with cellophane and green ribbon to make little pumpkins. All-orange Legos are available on amazon.com.
  • Here’s a recipe for cinnamon-scented pumpkin bath bombs. I have the ingredients for this craft, but we haven’t made it yet. However, the directions seem straight-forward enough for someone non-crafty like me to pull off.

What do you plan on giving out for Halloween: candy or a non-candy option?

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Emma is the wife of Ford and mother to four: Lewis (2010), Teddy (2011), Archibald (2013), and Addie Cate (2013). She is both a biological and adoptive mom and wouldn’t have it any other way. Emma and Ford tied the knot in 2009, and quickly went from a family of two to six. Before Texas was home, she spent her college years in Mississippi; and her childhood in St. Petersburg, Russia where her parents serve as Protestant missionaries. Though she is fluent in Russian, she doesn’t find much use for it on playdates in the metroplex. When she is not buying diapers in bulk, Emma enjoys re-reading Austen and Bronte novels, napping, and the occasional visit to the Kimbell Art Museum. She dreams of one day sleeping in, but till then she is enjoying the long, lovely days at home with her crew of toddlers and babies.


  1. Giving out SPIDER toys?? My niece has arachnophobia. She would be traumatized if someone put that in her trick or treat bag!! How you can be so insensitive!!!


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