Halloween Trick? 3 Reasons Not to Give Out Candy Treats
Is it a cruel trick to offer something other than candy for your Halloween treat?
As the sweets-centric holiday approaches, families are scrambling to finish costumes and fill baskets with goodies for visiting costumed children.
Most houses will hand out candy of some kind, but here are a few reasons to consider an alternative:
It’s not just teens with dental devices who have to worry about caramel stuck in their teeth, but younger children, too. For kids with braces, Halloween can bring boos or boo-hoos.
“We want our patients to enjoy the holiday, but all the same rules apply about things you shouldn’t eat with braces,” says Curran Harton of highly rated Starr & Dickens Orthodontics in Matthews, North Carolina. Orthodontists warn patients to stay away from hard, sticky or chewy treats, including caramel, taffy, popcorn and hard candy.
For children with allergies, the holiday can be not just scary, but actually dangerous. Hosts can help by offering nut-free candy and being sure that packaging has a clear ingredient list.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is a national effort to encourage residents to offer a non-food treat and let parents know it’s available by placing a teal-colored pumpkin on the porch.
For many kids, the sugar is just too much. Lisa Leake, a Charlotte-area food blogger and author of 100 Days of Real Food, says she chooses to give away glow sticks because she knows kids will already be filling up on candy.
Also, the excess treats aren’t doing the environment any favors, she says. “How many kids actually eat every single piece of Halloween candy? Don’t the uneaten pieces (along with the wrappers from the others) end up in the landfill anyway?” she writes. Leake offers several non-candy ideas for Halloween treats.
And if your own children get to the end of the night with more candy than you'd like, consider trading it in for coupons and to send to overseas U.S. service members through the Halloween Candy Buy Back program.
Whether it’s a trick or a treat you’re after, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police also offer these safety tips for going out on Halloween.