Trick or toothbrush: Alternatives to trick-or-treating candy

According to , (Stock photo)

According to Daily Infographic, $1.9 billion worth of candy is sold at the end of October for Halloween. (Stock photo)

A typical American consumes 24 pounds of candy every year, according to Daily Infographic. For children, much of that candy consumption comes from trick-or-treating. With the rising obesity epidemic in the United States, Halloween is the scariest day of the year for more reasons than the frightening costumes. If you’re looking for an alternative to the typical sugary sweets that scream Halloween, try one of these ideas:

1. Money

If free money isn’t a good treat, what is?  We’re not talking about handing out 20-dollar bills — a nickel or dime will do the trick. (Or should we say treat?) Handing out coins would be even more fitting if you dressed up like the tooth fairy.

2. Apples

Sure, parents might be more thrilled than the kids receiving them, but nice crunchy apples are a great alternative to the sugar-laden sweets. Some even say eating an apple is like brushing your teeth. But the neighborhood kids are less likely to roll their eyes at apples than at a toothbrushes — especially if you go the extra mile and stick googly eyes or draw vampire teeth on the apples.

3. Gum or mints 

Stray from the standard fun-sized candy bars with a mini pack of gum or mints — it will still satisfy the little goblins’ sweet tooth but without the overload of sugar and calories.

4. Granola bars

Swapping out a chocolate bar for a granola bar can be a healthy choice. Just make sure you choose nutritional, low-sugar granola — some are just candy bars in disguise.

5. Small toys

Who says trick-or-treats have to be edible? Hit up your local store’s dollar aisle for bulk Halloween-themed toys like stickers, spider rings, vampire teeth and the like. Put them all in a bowl and let trick-or-treaters choose their own prizes.


Kim calls Utah Valley home, but she spent her high school years in Australia, where she learned to drive on the other side of the road and tolerate Vegemite. Since earning an English degree at BYU, Kimberly has worked for Covenant Communications, Utah Valley Magazine, Daily Herald and Eat My Words. When she isn't writing, Kim loves traveling, teaching Pilates, and spending time with her husband and three children. Read more from Kim at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *