Crafts for Kids

Published on October 21st, 2014 | by Crunchy Scott

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4 Halloween Non-Candy Trick-or-Treat Options

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Candy Alternatives

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Candy Alternatives

Can you imagine a Halloween without candy? For most kids that truly is a scary thought. But guess what…that’s exactly what I’m suggesting. Well, sort of.

If your kids are hitting the neighborhood this Halloween, then they’ll definitely get their candy fix. But maybe you can be the shining example on your street and give something else (dare I say healthier)  to trick-or-treaters. Don’t worry. I’m not suggesting you hand out pennies or raisins or granola bars. Remember those houses growing up?

I’m thinking outside the box for Halloween this year. Actually, I’m thinking “inside the lunchbox”. What kind of treats can I give away that are suitable for a kid’s midday meal? At first, I thought…this is tough! After all, kids get excited about candy. Peanut butter crackers? Not so much. So as always, I got creative!

1. Organic “Monster” Juice Boxes

Every lunch box needs a juice box, and kids go nuts for them. So juice boxes are a big YES for my non-candy giveaway. Only these juice boxes are extra-spooky! Just wrap them with a little craft paper, draw on some faces and you can transform them into mummies or jack-o-lanterns. This is also a great craft project to do with the kids on Halloween Eve. For the mummy juice boxes, start by tearing scrap pieces of  white paper into long strips. Wrap those strips around the box, add some eyeballs and you’re all set for those trick-or-treaters.

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Candy Alternatives

2. Tangerine Jack-O-Lanterns

You need three things for this project. A bowl full of tangerines. A black marker. And “The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”. Sit back, watch Charlie Brown and Linus hang out in a pumpkin patch, and draw jack-o-lantern faces onto all your tangerines. So simple. So healthy. So Halloween.

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Candy Alternatives

3. Snacks!

What’s second best to candy? Snacks in a bag! And I have to give props to snack makers these days. They’re making it easy for us this time of year as they’re selling small bags of yumminess in bulk. And I’m not just talking about the big chip companies. I bought lunch-sized bags of pretzels and popcorn for my trick-or-treaters. And my popcorn even came with Halloween stickers that I can add to the bags to make them more festive.

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Candy Alternatives

4. Homemade Halloween Treats

When I took my first Halloween steps as a 5-year-old trick-or-treating hobo in the…ahem…70s, nearly every neighbor put something delicious and homemade into my plastic pumpkin tote. That was long before parents felt it necessary to have their kids Halloween haul x-rayed at the local hospital. Trust me, I get it! Safety FIRST! The bulk of your trick-or-treat giveaways should be sealed, safe and parent-approved. But if you’re a home-baker or a fabulous treat-maker, you can still give those out…but only to the trick-or-treaters you personally know. Just make sure you put a little label on it so parents can easily identify that it was from you. For example, I made vegan white chocolate apples this year (aka Mrs. Cackle Apples from The Worst Witch), and my label is simple: “Vegan Eats! From Crunchy Scott”. I only made a few because I only have a few kids in my neighborhood whose parents I know will appreciate my treats. My baking-bug is satisfied (for now) and my friends have a treat that’s not mass produced and will fit perfectly into a lunch box.

Think Ahead

So parents, if you’re still on the fence about giving away non-candy trick-or-treats this Halloween, keep Monday morning in mind. You’re exhausted. You had a very late Friday night as it was Halloween. And you spent the entire weekend packing away Halloween decorations and chasing your children around who were likely on a sugar-rush from all those colorful candies. Now it’s Monday morning and you’ve got to pack your kid’s lunch. How awesome would it be to dig into your child’s Halloween stash and find a juice box, a bag of pretzels and even a piece of fruit! What amazing neighbors you have! So, what are you going to give away this year?

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About the Author

I'm a self-proclaimed eco-geek. I'm also a flexitarian foodie, a crunchy crafter and an eco-journalist. And if it's awesomely 80s, I'm into it. Oh, and I wrote a kids book too! Find me on and . Wow, I'm everywhere! So come find me.



7 Responses to 4 Halloween Non-Candy Trick-or-Treat Options

  1. Signify says:

    A black marker on the oranges? No.

    • Julie Finn says:

      No? Are you afraid of the children touching the marker ink with their fingers? I suppose you could always set them in a separate bowl so that children with a marker sensitivity wouldn’t have to be exposed to them.

      • Signify says:

        The VOC’s in markers aren’t good. If you’re going to frighten people about Halloween trick or treating, then I’d say that recommending a high VOC material on a natural product isn’t rational.

        • Julie Finn says:

          People certainly shouldn’t use any materials that they’re uncomfortable with, but a clementine with some marker ink on the peel is nevertheless a healthier, more eco-friendly Halloween option than a piece of candy in a wrapper.

          Is there a way to decorate a clementine that you think would be the best, environmentally? It would be great to list it here as an option for those who don’t want to use markers.

        • If you can find them, you can certainly use water-soluble or no VOC markers. I admit, they’re tough to nail down though. I did consider edible pens for cake decorating…but those are loaded with food colorings…and I do my very best to limit that stuff. Citrus skins are thick. So there’s no real concern of it getting into the flesh of the fruit. But as always, give all fruit a good wash before eating.

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