The ubiquitous candy corn.
  • Heart disease
  • Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia
  • Depression
  • Overweight and Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cancers
  • Brain fog and poor mental focus
  • Energy fluctuations throughout the day
  • Poor sleep
  • Poor skin
  • Achy joints
  • Moodiness
  • Tooth decay
  • Overall, try shifting the focus of Halloween to a creative, experiential event. Invent and make a costume with your child’s input. Consider turning your house (or a friend’s house) into a haunted mansion, fun house, or magical garden.
  • If it is too late to start deflecting the expectation of a candy windfall with your child(ren), consider creating a “buy-back” ritual. For every piece of candy they give you, you will give them a dime, quarter, or credit towards a desired toy, or just exchange for non-food treats (see list below).
  • Talk to your child’s teachers about having non-candy/sugar Halloween rituals in the classroom. Mask-making could be a good in-class activity instead of focusing on the candy.
  • If you have a community or neighborhood listserv, bring up the subject and suggest neighbors offer non-sugar treats in addition to sugary ones. This is becoming more common because of awareness to allergies.
  • Find candy alternatives — an important feature of allergy-aware safety in the community. The Teal Pumpkin Project has a focus on non-food Halloween treats as millions of kids have food allergies. They suggest offering food AND non-food items, so kids can fully participate.
  • Keep candy treats separate from non-food treats. If you decide to offer candy as well, make sure the two are kept separate. On Halloween night, if you’re offering both food and non-food treats, you can simply present both bowls to every child. This way, the child with food allergies can feel even more included (versus them having to say they have food allergies). You may also be surprised about how many kids pick a non-food treat!
  • Here is a list of just many non-food ways to give out fun treats:



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Dr. Andrea Grayson

Dr. Andrea Grayson

Andrea is a Communications Consultant and Professor in the MPH program at UVM. She is creator of More info at: