It’s not just the one day of trick or treating that makes parents worry about Halloween treats. It’s that the candy haul sticks around for such a long time. The calories in candy add up fast. Fifteen pieces of candy corn is about 150 calories. A fun size candy bar can have about 2½ teaspoons of sugar. So if you are allowing your child to eat about 2 small pieces of candy a day, they are getting an extra 5 teaspoons of sugar. That’s like giving your child an extra half can of soda each day.
Choose fun (and cheap) non-candy treats* this Halloween. Dollar stores are a great source for these treats. Here are some ideas:
- Small school supplies like erasers
- Party favors
- Pencil sharpeners
- Hair bows
- Marbles and pens or pencils come in quantities that make for a cheaper treat
- Glow or rubber bracelets can also be purchased in larger amounts so they are not too expensive
- Shoelaces are useful but also colorful and fun – this could be a new idea for a Halloween
- Spider rings are a perennial favorite
- And maybe after you price out all of these items, you might decide that giving out coins is the cheapest and best Halloween treat of all!
*See this link for information about product safety and choking hazards for young children when buying or going through treats at Halloween: http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_product_safety/006367.html
Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension, firstname.lastname@example.org, 573-882-1933