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Trick or Treat: What are you handing out for Halloween?

An urbanMama regular over on Facebook started the conversation and we'd love to hear how some of you are handling the treats on Halloween.  Even though we're a bunch of high-fructose-corn-syrup-phobes, will you be handing out candy?  A bouncy ball?  Maybe organic raisins?  How about some homemade lip balm in a resuable container?  The ideas are endless!  Pray tell: what will you be handing out when the kids come knocking?

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100% juice boxes (for thirsty goblins!) & and temporary tattoos =)
Maybe some fruit leathers too, but they didn't go like gangbusters the way the juice did last year...

Yes, handing out candy. My husband bought a gigantic bag of Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish. We will hand out when remains of the stash since I've been eating the sour patch kids like crazy. I'm blaming it on being pregnant.

Total buzzkill to not hand out candy! No kid wants a pencil in their treat bag. For a week or two after Halloween, I will let them pick two or three pieces throughout the day and basically toss the rest. No binging. In our house, candy in moderation is ok on these types of holidays.

A variety of chocolate candy - big bag from Costco that husband picked up last week. We will all have some over the weekend, then leftovers sent to the work breakrooms on Monday.

I will be handing out candy this year, but we usually don't get too many kids. I've handed out glowsticks before, instead of candy though, and they were really popular!

We'll have smarties and dum dums - both fav's of my food allergic kiddo. I think treats in moderation is OK. If you make something taboo, they are just more likely to binge on it when you aren't around.

We don't get too many so the higher cost of more natural options doesn't bite us as hard. We will be giving out individual small bags of Pirate's Booty this year. Kind of a treat, not perfect on the health scale, but way better than most.

Happy Halloween everyone.

We'll be giving out a piece of candy + a tub of Playdoh for each kid. We did that last year and kids seemed to really like the Playdoh.

I'm liking the glow sticks and playdough ideas so far... And for the record, I'm not opposed to candy at all--the motto at our house is "everything, in moderation". I guess I just figure that I might take the opportunity to give something other than candy since they get candy from 95% of the other houses that we visit. We let our kids eat as much as they want Halloween night, a few pieces a day for the few days following, and then it goes away. But my husband and I end up eating lots of it, or we end up throwing it away--it seems wasteful. However, handing out cheap plastic stuff seems just as wasteful too!

Our school is promoting this for dealing with too much candy post-Halloween:

Dr. Joe Safirstein’s Annual Halloween Candy Buy Back

This is a fun way to encourage our children to avoid candy overload by offering to buy back any uneaten, unopened or unwanted Halloween candy. It’s also a great opportunity to help parents and teachers earn money for their school – while reminding us all about the importance of good dental health habits. Dr. Joe is giving $2 for each pound of candy turned in by children aged 14 or younger (you don’t have to be a patient). The kids get to keep $1 per pound and give $1 per pound to their favorite school to use however they please. Dr. Joe will donate the collected candy to local food banks and charities. Join us in this ‘win/win’. Monday, Nov. 3rd and Thurs. Nov. 6th. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

700 NE Multnomah St., Suite 820, Portland, OR 97232. Joseph J. Safirstein, DDS. The cost is free and they validate parking at their building.

My son is very concerned that I'm planning to give out play-doh. He's an all candy kind of boy. But, when I asked him if he plans to eat all of his candy that night or save it, he informed me that his plan was to give it to all the kids that come to our house to trick-or-treat. We'll see how that one actually plays out!

we've done candy and small things of playdough for the past two years and it's gone over well. we don't get a ton of trick'or'treaters, so we usually have plenty of playdough left over which the boys love.

We don't get a lot of kids knocking on our door on Halloween. No one else on our street ever turns their light on. Bummer. But we're handing out bubbles, raisins, and halloween ink stamps.

You have to hand out candy. It won't kill your kids. Really it won't. Besides, it's fun. Try it.

I have a co-worker that takes poloroid photos of kids and puts it in their bag. She gets people coming back year after year now, asking if she's doing it again... they love it!

We're going to be out of town, our son's first trick-or-treating will happen at his great-grandparents' retirement homes and at his grandparent's houses... should be fun!

Candy all the way and maybe hot wheels too. The kids loved the hot wheels and it cleaned out some silly purchases by my husband. Only one little girl disliked the cars, not girly enough for her princess costume I have to guess!

I also hand out candy and little individual bags of cheerios for those little trick or treators still small enough to be in a bjorn while in costume. I love the idea of the giving the polaroid to each child-what fun!

I love all of the insistence that we give out candy (not just here, but all over!). I'm so not opposed to candy. You'll notice, I asked my child if he plans to binge. Go for it. But, I hear all about allergies, parents "buying back" candy, rationing, etc. I figure I'm offering a little balance by not giving candy. Not sure why that's such a bad thing for some.

I'm giving out candy. My daughter isn't old enough to go trick-o-treating yet, but I enjoy delighting the kids with good ol' chocolate. It's always been my family's favorite holiday. On this one holiday, I prefer to just have fun with it and don't get into the moral/health/etc. aspect of Halloween, personally. I just figure it's up to the child's parent/s to "regulate" and discuss with their kids. For those who allow a little indulgence on the holiday, I'm happy to share a little joy and get some smiles in exchange.

I'm having a baby on Halloween, so no trick or treating for us! My mother in law will take our son down our street and maybe the next street. He's way more interested in ringing the doorbells, looking at the lights and climbing the stairs. I doubt he could care less about the candy!

I give out small chocolates, and rationalize that it's better for kids than the other candy alternatives. Or maybe I just like the leftovers.

But, my cousin gave me a great idea for getting rid of leftover candy after Halloween. She lets her kids pick a certain number of pieces that night that they get to keep (say 10 to be eaten tha night or rationed over 2 or 3 days), then they set their bags by the front door and in the morning the candy is replaced by a small surprise from the Great Pumpkin (or Mom, or whoever else might want to trade for all that candy). The kids love it and willingly give up all the sugary stuff. Plus she feels no need to cut their trick-or-treating short to keep them from having pounds of the stuff. What you do with it after the trade is entirely up to you. My husband enjoys it for months in our house.

Happy Halloween!

I'm so torn this year as I've given up sugar (though my kids still eat it whenever they can) and feel like a fraud giving it away. I'm hoping the plentiful availability of yummy nourishing food at home will persuade the kids to ignore the candy (I can't quite bring myself to do the great pumpkin thing, but I'm thinking about removing the leftovers after a few days).

I'm toying with the idea of baking something (like honey lavender shortbread, a big hit 'round here) and offering it to those who come by and decide to trust me. really, if I was going to poison people, would I do so from my own front door? doubtful.

Candy definitely. (I can still remember people's looks of disappointment and disdain when my mom handed out apples... in New England, where everyone's basement was already filled with bushels of apples.) But what I don't get are all the stores selling Halloween candy MONTHS in advance. Does anyone buy those and actually manage to keep them intact for Halloween? I assume the people who buy them early end up eating them early, and have to buy more! Clever marketing, I guess.

Still candy (but no artificial dyes etc): Naturepops and other candies by College Farm Organics. Happy Hallowe'en!

My son's not old enough for trick-or-treating yet, but I appreciate the folks who give out playdough and bubbles. I think stickers are a cool idea, too, and natural fruit leathers. And it's not that I'm against him ever having any candy, but I agree with mom22--a little variety isn't a bad thing.

We give out candy - Usually peanut butter cups and whoppers (mama's personal fave). When I asked my girls last night, "what should we hand out for halloween?", one of them suggested bouncy balls.

I like the idea of glow sticks, tattoos, stickers. The polaroid idea is fantastic!

My girls made funny faces when they have been presented with organic raisins as their treat. I think they'd rather have bouncy balls and the like.

The Halloween candy buy back is great, too! Thanks for sharing the info. We may just drop stuff off there.

Candy, definitely.

We used to do the "sugar ghost" (same idea as Andrea's Great Pumpkin) but the kids wised up to that. Now we let them keep a set amount and buy back the rest from them (they bring in a massive haul.)

I wish I knew why I can't just let it go and allow my kids to keep it all. I grew up in one of those brown rice and wheat germ families, but on Halloween, my mother abandoned her scruples. She let us keep all the candy we collected and didn't care if we stashed it under our beds till Spring. Why can't I be like her?

Candy...although my son's not old enough to be eating it yet, I'm not one of those you can't ever have sugar, kind a moms. Moderation is a friend. In my experience those kids just go binging where they can't have it. That said, some of the ideas like stamps and play dough are fun. But I remember when we got toothbrushes as a kid. Not cool.

I will give out some sort of candy that I don't like (Almond Joy, Baby Ruth, something along those lines), so I am not tempted by the leftovers (me + chocolate = no self control).

My daughter and her friends will do a "swap" and trade one another so everyone gets more of what they like.

She'll pretty much get to eat what and how much candy she wants, after meals. I've never had a problem with her binging (that problem seems to belong to me alone).

I'll take some to work after a week or so, for my (many) childless coworkers.

If there is anything still hanging around the house by mid-December (as there often is), it generally goes into the trash because I am sick of looking at it.

I picked up a bunch of teeny halloween trinkets; bouncy balls, spider rings, bubbles necklaces and such. I'm not opposed to candy, but I figure the kids will be getting plenty of that already. This is the kind of stuff they can stuff in their pockets or wear to school on Monday. I've never met a kid that didn't like carrying around little treasures in their pockets.

I don't really like the idea of giving out toys instead of candy. Candy can be consumed and toys will end up broken on my floor and/or in my trash can. We already have so many gift centered holidays which I am trying to downplay anyway. I like that Halloween is one where you give out a "trick" for a special yummy "treat." It's simple. I just don't like the fact that my kids might start expecting toys in their bags along with their candy. Candy or natural treats it doesn't matter. Personally we would hand out candy because it is the one time my kids get to eat all that stuff and they love it. I love it too and have to try really hard not to raid their bags for my favorite stuff ;-)

We get over 200 kids trick-or-treating due to the popular haunted house up the street from us. It's a non-stop flood of cute kids (love that!) until we run out of stuff. When we were new to the 'hood we made mad dashes to Freddie's to get more candy so as not to disappoint. Then we regretted how much $$ we spent on candy for random kids from somewhere else. Now we close up shop guilt-free because it too insane. I love Halloween, but alas, we can't provide for everyone. A tip for the ambitious: go up the quiet side streets instead.

As for not bringing yourself to do the great pumpkin thing, what do you have to bring yourself to? Imagination? I think it's a great idea.

We put out a selection of Halloween-themed pencil toppers, temporary tattos, stickers and fancy pencils, along with a sign to pick any 3 items (since we're both out walking with the munchkins). It seems popular enough and there's no one thing that's summarily rejected, so apparently everyone is finding *something* they like.

I love candy and really don't mind my children bringing home gobs of it at Halloween -- in fact, it's the one time of year that we experiment with letting them self-regulate with sweets (so far, so good). But like E above, I just figure trick-or-treaters are getting candy at nearly every other house on the planet, and it's fun to get something different, instead of the 75th Tootsie Roll or 20th mini Snickers. Besides, it's easier for my husband and I to abstain from eating the tattoos, stickers and pencils before Halloween even gets here.

we've done mini slinkies, those towels that are like hockey pucks till you out them in warm water, grow sponge animals, bubbles, kids were into tattoos, cooked and lightly seasoned
pumpkin seeds as a snack,pencils with cool erasers (which i personally loved as a kid, i think we thought we were cool showing off). colored popcorn balls, you could even hand out
those tiny tiny pumpkins as a treat (what kid wouldnt like having their very own pumpkin in their room/to decorate), funny party glasses... Its just so much fun!

Here's an interesting program from Global Exchange, promoting fair trade chocolate: http://www.globalexchange.org/update/press/5072.html. All those non-candy trinkets just wind up in the garbage can or Pacific Gyre. I considered that but it just creates a different problem. Ugh. Hard to find one that satisfies everyone, I know, but I think it's worth considering. Just my 2 cents.

oops, here's the real link for Global Exchange's reverse Trick or Treating program: http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/fairtrade/cocoa/reversetrickortreating/

Candy, yup. I agree with Leah, everything in moderation. We don't eat a lot of candy normally, but Halloween is halloween!! I'm ok with some houses giving healthier treats, but I know my guy will be going for the candy in his bag over everything else! And I'm all for letting him do it at this time of year!

I also want to say I probably wouldn't dig the homemade lip balm...I just wouldn't trust that kind of homemade thing unless I personally knew the giver!!

Where do you get the temporary tattoos? That is a great idea.

We had kids pounding down our door last year because we were the house with the glowsticks. The poor dears were so disappointed when we ran out that even offering them a few extra pieces of candy didn't cheer them up. So we're stocking up on the glowsticks this year and forgetting the candy.

apol-where did you get the glow sticks?

last year we handed ran out of the little bit of regular ole candy my husband bought - I scrambled to find something else for the bowl -- you know what I found? Individually wrapped herbal tea bags -- and the kids LOVED them ! no kidding Will definitely stock up on herbal tea bags for this Halloween.
- SE mama

Homemade lip balm in a reusable container!? That would be the first thing I'd toss as a parent. To me a moderate amount of candy is better than some plastic crap that you throw away after being slightly amused by it for 30 seconds.

Halloween themed kid's Cliff Bars...we don't get too many kids at our house and I won't feel bad about eating the leftovers!

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