I’m not referring to curmudgeonly Mr. Wilson who thinks Halloween is just another way to get scammed by neighborhood rugrats. Nor am I referring to parents who are opposed to the holiday all together and prefer to celebrate All Saints Day with their children instead. I am referring to parents such as my neighbor whose son is diabetic.
Each year she hangs an “Ask Me For Non-Sugar Treats” poster on her front door (you can download a poster at the Institute for Applied Biomedicine’s website) and offers a slew of alternative treats to kids who prefer something other than traditional Halloween candy. By doing so she makes the holiday more inclusive (not to mention healthier) for children who are diabetic or who deal with other health concerns.
Last year my neighbor handed out Play-Doh as the non-edible treat and my then 3-year-old daughter, who is not diabetic, couldn’t have been more thrilled. She would have chosen the toy treat over the candy any day. What’s more, she scored a number of non-edible treats from other homes as well. In one case while thanking the homeowner for giving my daughter a coloring book instead of a candy bar I inquired about whether she had a diabetic child. Her response surprised me. She said she was simply sick of seeing fat kids running around the neighborhood and she no longer felt comfortable contributing to their expanding waistlines. Nice.
So, if you are concerned about the nation’s obesity problem, want to cater to diabetic trick-or-treaters, or simply prefer to hand out non-edible goodies, consider the items on the list below. All of the treats can be purchased from your local discount store or bought in bulk (rather inexpensively) from a party supply store. In the end you’ll find that it costs about the same as it would to buy candy.
NON-EDIBLE HALLOWEEN TREATS
Small containers of Play-Doh (Wal-Mart, Target and Costco offer these for reduced rates in the Halloween candy aisle)
Coins (pennies, nickels, dimes)
Super bouncy balls
Miniature magnifying glasses
Plastic jewelry (spider rings, bat bracelets, witch necklaces, etc.)
Mini decks of playing cards
Small containers of Slime
Plastic bugs (fake spiders, grasshoppers, beetles, roaches, etc.)
Michele Cheplic writes about red-hot celebrities in POP CULTURE, fiery topics in PARENTS, sizzling recipes in FOOD, calorie burning exercises in FITNESS, and hot new kid-friendly crafts in FUN. Check out all of her articles here.