Halloween is almost here, and that means little ghosts and goblins will soon be ringing your doorbell with calls of, “Trick-or-treat!” And of course, the first thing we all think of when we think trick-or-treating is candy. After all, the store aisles are full of Halloween candy this time of year. But if you’re like us, you probably follow up thoughts of candy with worries about tooth decay and cavities. Fortunately, there are all sorts of things that you can give out to trick-or-treaters this year that will make the little witches and ghouls happy, while also meaning fewer cavities the next time they go to their friendly Overland Park family dentist.
Not far from all that Halloween candy on the store shelves, there are usually tons of Halloween party favors that also make great treats for handing out on Halloween. You can find a variety of seasonally-appropriate non-food treats there in quantities large enough for trick-or-treating, such as:
- Fake bugs or spiders—those plastic spider rings are especially popular
- Plastic vampire fangs
- Tiny bottles of bubbles
- Temporary tattoos—either in Halloween themes, or of their favorite cartoon, movie, or video game characters
- Spooky pencils or pencil-topper erasers, which serve double duty, being both fun and useful as school supplies
- Miniature coloring books
- Bouncy balls—again, your local Halloween department probably has plenty of spooky-themed ones, such as bouncing eyes
- Mini packs of crayons (which go great with those coloring books)
- Accessories like skeleton key chains, funny mustaches, or pirate eye-patches—even if they’re not costume appropriate, every kid loves pirate eye-patches
Popular fantasy author Neil Gaiman helped launch a program a few years ago called All Hallows Read that suggested giving people suitably spooky books for Halloween, which can be a great way to get kids interested in reading. While books may be a little bulky for trick-or-treat baskets, if you’re looking for treats for a small group on a budget, many department stores and bookstores carry kid-friendly versions of spooky classics like Dracula, Frankenstein, and stories by Edgar Allan Poe around Halloween, often priced at around a buck.
If you’d still like to hand out snacks this season, there are also plenty of healthy alternatives to candy available, such as sugarless chewing gum, snack-sized boxes of raisins, pretzels, string cheese, and cereal bars, to name a few. Most parents will throw out anything that’s not in a store-bought package, though, so don’t separate out snacks; make sure you distribute them unopened.
As for treats to serve to your own kids around the house this season, there are plenty of options that are better on their teeth than candy, and more fun to make, to boot! Try caramel apples, pumpkin-flavored cupcakes, popcorn balls, roasted pumpkin seeds, or even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into spooky shapes.
So this Halloween, make yourself, your kids, and your Overland Park dentist happy with treats rather than tricks, and try a healthier substitute instead of candy. And don’t worry about the reaction from the little princesses and pirates, they’ll get plenty of sugary goodness from other houses before the night is over.
This article brought to you by Watts Family Dental in Overland Park, Kansas. Our friendly office specializes in preventative dental care for the whole family. To make an appointment, please call (913) 338-3384 or click here to fill out our online contact form.