What kind of kid doesn’t like candy? My kid! My oldest son, who is five, loves Halloween and trick-or-treating, but he LOATHES candy. Before you draw conclusions that I raised a health nut, just know that he would subsist on salt and vinegar chips and cheese alone if I let him.
My unique candy-hating little one has some sensory processing challenges, so he prefers crunchy textures. Anything gummy or fruit-flavored with a strong aroma is a hard no. The only candy he likes is dark chocolate bars or Kit Kats (the crunch!). So when we trick-or-treat, he digs through the bowl to find a Kit Kat or politely says, “No, thank you!” to confused and sometimes annoyed strangers.
I’ve learned to accept and celebrate his quirks, and I find Halloween treats that get him excited. Where things get tricky is trying to get the rest of the world to celebrate and honor these differences, too. Since I know I can’t be alone in this struggle—although sometimes it sure feels that way—this year, I am going to offer a variety of treats at our front door so everyone can find something they love.
Now before you make a note to skip my house because you think I’ll be like the neighborhood dentist that hands out apples, this is not about trying to be “healthy.” Would I prefer my kids to eat a nutritious snack rather than a pile of candy? Yes. But that’s not what Halloween is about. It's about having fun and finding a treat that suits your taste, whatever it may be. Plus, have you seen the price of groceries lately? Imagine if we all came home on Halloween night with snacks we could pack in our school lunchboxes. Sign me up!
Here are a few of my favorite Halloween not-candy snacks that I’ll be putting out this year:
Seasonal Treats From Trader Joe’s
- This Pumpkin Walks Into a Bar Cereal Bars ($1.99 for six) These are a huge hit in my house for breakfast. Keep them in the box so parents can check out the ingredient list if need be!
- Fresh Clementines ($4.99 for a two-pound bag) I know I said I wouldn’t be handing out apples, but I made no promises about citrus fruit. We are entering that glorious time of year when clementines—any oranges!—are reliably juicy and sweet. Plus, clementines are easy to peel for little hands.
Bulk Treats From Costco
- Utz Halloween Bats & Jacks Shaped Pretzels ($6.99 for 70 bags) It’s hard to beat the price of this classic Halloween-themed snack.
- Takis Zombie Habanero & Cucumber Tortilla Chips ($19.69 for 46 bags) These are perfect for older trick-or-treaters that like spicy treats.
Treats Everyone Will Love From Target
I've seen these products at similar big-box grocery stores, too.
- Play-Doh Party Pack ($5.99 for 15 packs) It doesn’t always have to be food—although good luck telling my one-year-old this isn’t food.
- Utz Halloween Mini Cheese Ball Treats ($5.99 for 36 bags) See, I told you this wasn’t about being healthy! These mini cheese balls are so nostalgic.
- Trick or Treat Pirate’s Booty ($5.99 for 12 bags) Modern day cheese balls that are slightly less orange are a win in my book.
- LesserEvil Snack Pack Organic Popcorn Himalayan Pink Salt ($9.99 for 18 bags) This option is on the pricier end of the spectrum, but the portions in each bag are very generous.
- Garden Veggie Chips ($6.99 for 12 bags) My kids quite literally fight over these chips. Plus, they actually have vegetables in them, which this mom approves!