Before I had kids all Halloween ever meant for me was candy, candy, candy. Then I had a baby and I realized that most of the stuff that is handed out to trick-or-treaters isn't exactly toddler friendly.
Gummy candy? Chocolate with nuts? Sticky toffee? Yeah, none of that is exactly what you want your baby cutting her teeth on. So, the first year that C was old enough to trick-or-treat I stocked up on candy (old habits die hard) and I also got a box of teeny tiny play-doh tubs to hand out to the half pint crowd. It was a huge hit.
The next two years we handed out candy and Halloween rubber duckies. Interestingly enough the toddlers and their parents weren't the only ones to snap up the non sweet treats. The high schoolers loved them too.
Want to get into the habit of handing out more than candy bars? Check out these fun and affordable Halloween treats.
1) Halloween crayons - Crayons are always welcome and always useful. About $3 for a pack of 12.
2) Halloween bubbles! - Find me a kid who doesn't like bubbles? About $8 for a pack of 24.
3) Halloween stickers - There's something about stickers that really turns toddlers on. Or maybe just mine. I just know she'd flip for these. About $4 for 36 sheets.
4) Halloween pencils - These might not be as exciting as bubbles or stickers, but some kids still flip for these! - $1.40 for 12
5) Halloween tattoos - Fake tattoos obviously. A step higher than stickers, even for the toddler set. Plus, how cute is a little skull on a baby arm? $6 for 120.
6) Halloween rubber duckies and Glow in the dark Halloween rubber duckies - These have been a huge hit in our house for the last two years, both with my kids and the trick-or-treaters. About $4 for 12 regular duckies. About $8 for 24 glow in the dark duckies.
Want to stick to handing out edibles, but don't want to give out candy?
How about some of these alternative options?
1) Individual packs of pretzels - Most toddlers can eat these and they make a nice change. About $19 for 50 bags.
2) Individual packs of goldfish crackers - They should just call these crack instead of crackers. About $23 for 24 individual packs.
3) Individual mini-boxes of raisins or craisins - These will be a hit with the little ones, maybe not so much with the bigger kids. Price varies from store to store.
4) Juice boxes - All that trick-or-treating can make a toddler thirsty. Apple & Eve 100% fruit juices come in handy little 44oz boxes that sport everyone's favorite Sesame Street characters. Prices vary from store to store.
5) Milk boxes - Organic chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, or plain milk. In boxes. That don't spoil. Wait. Maybe this is a treat for mommies, not toddlers. About $16 for pack of 12.
Basically, if you think outside the box, you don't have to rush to Target or Costco to stock up on the same candy that every other house on the block is going to be handing out. Just don't be that family and hand out toothbrushes, healthy vitamin bars, or anything else that might get you egged by some unhappy trick-or-treaters!