Five Favorite Non-Candy Treats for Halloween
When you’ve got a child with a food allergy, Halloween can be a pretty scary holiday outside of the ghosts and twelve-foot skeletons. Two of my three boys have peanut and tree nut allergies, which means I have to be very vigilant checking candy and making sure there are treats they can still enjoy without the threat of anaphylaxis.
In a world where it seems food allergies are unfortunately becoming more common, we’re glad to see more and more options emerging of non-food treats at parties and events, including Halloween. I’m happy to share some of our personal favorite non-candy treats that are still a hit in goodie bags during class parties and trick or treating. If your child has an allergy, goes to school with another child with an allergy, or if you’re interested in participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween, this may be helpful as you get ready for spooky season!
- Juice: Our next door neighbor always hands out juice during trick or treating, which my kids LOVE. We don’t drink a lot of juice in our house, so this feels special for them. Even if juice is common in your house, it’s not a typical trick or treating handout, so it’s exciting to get in your bag along the route!
- Glow sticks: What kid doesn’t love a glow stick?! They’re fun in a goodie bag and even more fun to receive during trick or treating and wear while walking around at night.
- Temporary tattoos and stickers: Stickers, especially if they’re Halloween-themed, are fun to celebrate with. Bonus points if you find temporary tattoos to share! I like to think of them as the cool older siblings of stickers. My kids are always thrilled to put tattoos on.
- Frosty coupons: I remember receiving these as a kid and getting so excited to go get my free Frosty from Wendy’s! And now, decades later, my own kids are just as excited to redeem their own Frostys after Halloween. Wendy’s sells “Boo! Books” where you get 5 free Frosty coupons for $1– a pretty good deal if you ask me!
- Cat headbands: Target has a huge section of non-candy Halloween trinkets and prizes, like bubbles and little pads of paper, but I think my favorite are the headbands with cat ears. I find them to be pretty gender-neutral. I got some to hand out for Halloween a couple of years ago, and my boys still regularly wear the ones that stayed at our house. They fit with the costume theme of Halloween but work year-round for fun!
If you really, really want to include some kind of food treat in a class goodie bag, a good rule of thumb is that fruit-flavored candies are usually safer for peanut allergies than chocolate. (Just because a chocolate bar, like plain Hershey’s or M&Ms, doesn’t necessarily contain nuts, kids with more severe food allergies could still react because they are processed on shared equipment for other candies like peanut M&Ms.) Lollipops and fruit gummies are safe for my own nut-allergy kids. We also love Oreos and Rice Krispies! When considering food options, remember that there are other allergies besides nuts, like soy and eggs.
Check out this list for even more ideas on peanut-safe goodies. We hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween!