10 Non-Candy Treats for Your Trick-or-Treaters & Join the Teal Pumpkin Project


Non-Candy Treats

Did you know that researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies? That means that roughly 1 out of the 13 children who will knock on your door this Halloween is affected by this potentially deadly disease. Wow!

I hadn’t given much thought to what I was going to be handing out to trick-or-treaters until I stumbled across the Food Allergy Research & Education’s (FARE) facts and statistics page a few weeks ago. Further poking around on FARE’s website and Facebook page led me to learn about an awesome project they are encouraging folks to participate in called The Teal Pumpkin Project.

The Project’s concept is simple: place a teal-painted pumpkin by your front door as a sign to families managing food allergies that you have non-food treats available at your home. You can also add this cool sign to your door to help non-food allergy families understand the meaning behind your teal pumpkin.

I’m excited that this year my kids and I will be starting a new tradition: instead of only handing out candy to our trick-or-treaters, we’ll also have non-food items from which they can choose. And we will have a great time painting one of our pumpkins teal!


I’m happy about this new take on Halloween not only for the awareness it raises, but also because since having kids I’ve become more and more weary of the chemical-laden foods we consume. While Halloween only comes around once a year, the candy we consume as part of this holiday’s tradition sticks to our bodies for much longer…and quite frankly I worry about my little ones filling their bellies with all sorts of artificial colors, additives, and preservatives, not to mention the teeth-coating, cavity causing sugars.

So, my kids and I picked out a few healthy foods – candy-alternatives – that even the sweet-toothed trick-or-treaters will enjoy:

  • String cheese
  • Bagged pretzels
  • Homemade trail-mix/granola
  • Bagged carrots
  • Homemade fruit leather

And for our Teal Pumpkin friends, we’ll hand out knick-knacks and small toys that will last much longer than a lollipop {and will fuel their creative interests}:

  • Halloween-themes pencils and erasers
  • Crayons
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Bubbles
  • Stickers

{What’s also cool about some of these candy alternatives is that they cost about the same or even less than one of those bags of candy, and you can have fun picking things out with your kids!}


In essence, we will have hybrid treats for our Halloween friends, and I think that’s great! While we’ve been lucky enough to not suffer from food allergies thus far {my husband has celiac disease, so it was, and perhaps still is, a very real possibility for my kids}, I want my children to learn the importance of showing kindness to others. I want them to know that not all kids can bite into a bite-sized Snickers bar without running the risk of a very serious allergic reaction; that not all kids can have candy; but that all kids should be able to enjoy this fun day without feeling left out.

So my friends, here’s to all kids having a safe and happy Halloween!

What are some of your favorite non-candy Halloween treats?



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