Parents Who Don’t Give Out Candy on Halloween

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.


Small containers of Play-Doh (Wal-Mart, Target and Costco offer these for reduced rates in the Halloween candy aisle)

Temporary tattoos



Fancy erasers

Pencil toppers

Coloring books


Coins (pennies, nickels, dimes)

Plastic fangs

Super bouncy balls

Miniature magnifying glasses

Plastic jewelry (spider rings, bat bracelets, witch necklaces, etc.)


Mini decks of playing cards

Fake money


Silly Putty


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.

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Halloween and Young Children: Trick or Treat?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.