Treats for Trick or Treaters


Do you have your treats ready for Trick or Treat night? Have you thought of giving other items besides candy? Everyone says children get too much candy on Halloween, so you might want to consider giving them a different kind of treat this year.

In fact, a study by Yale University found that children enjoy getting a small toy as much as getting candy. Children were given the choice of choosing a toy or a piece of candy. Half the children chose the toy; the other half chose the candy.

What are some toys or other options you can give for “Trick of Treat” night?

• Bouncy balls, glow-in-dark rubber balls

• Glow sticks

• Spider rings, small plastic bugs, or other Halloween small items

• Plastic or foam fliers

• Sidewalk chalk

• Stickers, Temporary tattoos

• Pocket -size games

• Fancy erasers, pencils, or pencil toppers

• Bookmarks

• Coins

• Small toys or other items you buy for birthday parties (These usually come 5-8 to a pack and you can just give out one each.

• Small bubbles

• Small containers of play dough

You might be thinking, “Who cares how much candy children get for Halloween? It’s only one night a year.” That may have been true (back in the day) when a piece of candy was a special treat, but today’s kids eat candy more frequently. This increases their risk for weight problems, dental cavities, and/or other health problems in the future.

If you prefer to still give food treats, choose items lower in fat and sugar, such as snack packets of raisins, popcorn, baked pretzels, nuts, seeds or dried fruit; cheese crackers, single-serve boxes of cereal; applesauce or fruit cups; 100 percent juice boxes, or sugar-free gum.

Choose to have a safe (and healthier) Trick or Treat night!

Pat Brinkman is the Ohio State University Extension Educator for Family & Consumer Sciences.

CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clients on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information:

By Pat Brinkman

OSU Extension

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