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So, what scares you the most on Halloween? Is it Freddy Kruger, Penny Wise, or their ole pal Jason? Perhaps it’s the creepy sound emerging from your high-tech neighbor’s smoke-filled garage? Or could it be you have no worthy treats to distribute to the endless line of costumes converging on your home this night?

Maybe it’s a little more practical? The fact these young kids are consuming an unhealthy sugar plunder from the loot of their jack-o-lantern treasure trove!

We understand the occasional splurge because it’s only one night a year when trick-or-treaters come demanding over-priced candy hastily purchased at the corner drugstore. We were kids once, we get the tradition, we get the stomach ache, and the unhealthy precedent. Perhaps this year we can alter our game plan and distribute some items which will not raise blood sugar levels and be a healthy alternative for all kids – including ours.

Make it Less About Candy

No, I’m not talking about handing out carrot sticks or plain apples – you don’t want to be known as that house. I’m talking about some things that are fun, healthy, and safe.

So, if going candy-crazy is not your plan this Halloween because health is a concern for your household and for the neighborhood, try these treat ideas that aren’t all about the sugar.

Glow Sticks

Kids can break out these necklaces, wands or glow-in-the-dark sticks, right away and you’ll be a novelty in the neighborhood with your treats seen in mass for some distance. Make sure you get an assortment of colors so they can choose and trade. This handout is a temporary toy but memorable, and it doesn’t lead to tooth decay.

Playful Plastic Jewelry

We’re not talking Tiffany’s – but plastic jewelry featuring creepy creatures, pumpkins, black cats, and cartoonish ghosts. You can purchase these in bulk from online. Not into scary? You can include rings with rhinestones, hearts, and butterflies. Or you can do double duty with bubble rings and blow bubble rings, all available online.

Outrageous Accessories

Add to their costume with horrifying accessories the boys will appreciate: Pirate patches, glow , in the dark Martian fingers, fang whistles, and skull key chains. For girls, a tamer choice of Asian folding fans, glow in the dark light sticks, and Halloween clappers.

Bizarre Body Decorations

Kids love temporary tattoos and even teenagers will like them, too. You can stick with a Halloween theme with Pirates of the Caribbean tattoos or vampire bites. There are girly Disney Princesses and glittery pirate tattoos. Makeup is popular with tween girls, so consider two-tone lip gloss; for boys, there are glow-in-the-dark or neon vampire fangs.

Crafts Materials and Awesome Arts

Body stickers are fun for kids to trade and collect. You can find items like animal stickers, generic sport stickers, character stickers, and black glitter Halloween stickers for just a couple of cents each. How about Halloween coloring books with small boxes of crayons and big bug stencils.

You can even make beading kits by combining nylon string with foam Halloween beads, packed in plastic sandwich bags. Check, for tiny containers of Play-Doh or animal ink stamps.

Spooky School Supplies

With school in session, kids will enjoy showing off new Halloween-themed supplies. Items like skull-and-crossbones pencil cases, cute candy corn notepads, and eyeball pens and notepad sets. Or pick up pencil sharpeners, pencil top erasers, syringe pens, and rulers with ghosts, witches, black cats, and other creepy creatures. U.S. School Supply has Halloween sets filled with stickers, erasers, and pencils.

Terrifying Games and Pocket Toys

You can hand out miniature playthings that will entertain kids on the playground or in the car. “Boo Bunch” mini yo-yos, tiny pinball games, jacks and ball sets, and knockoff Rubik’s cubes. Or inspire outdoor fun with bubble sets, sidewalk chalk, inflatable mini balls, and squirting fish toys. Find mini Uno games and safari-themed finger puppets.

Hauntingly Healthy Snacks

Cut down on the sugar and empty calories by distributing sensible snacks, like candy’s close cousin; sugarless chewing gum. Packages, bags, and mini boxes, of Pirate’s Booty, Goldfish Crackers, cereal bars, string cheese, pretzels, apple slices and raisins. Or hand out Halloween-themed bags of Angie’s Kettle Corn (gluten free) or baby carrots.

To keep sugar-laced candy out of your home, we encourage kids to participate in Halloween Candy Buy Back, a national program which pays kids $1 per pound of sweets which are shipped to U.S. troops overseas.

Building healthy habits should start a young age. As the house swapping out sugar packed treats for non-edible novelties or nutritious alternatives, you will be helping create a balance for your neighborhood kids this Halloween.

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