hallow kittyThe Halloween tradition: ghouls and creepy crawlers, cool costumes and candy — along with lots of sugar highs (and lows).

A decade or two ago, the biggest fears associated with Halloween candy were of a dental nature. But today, with childhood obesity at an all-time high and ever-increasing numbers of children with food allergies and sensitivities, many parents are seeking healthier, safer alternatives to chocolate bars, peanut clusters, artificial colors and high-fructose corn syrup.

With so many parents concerned about the type and amount of candy their child receives, maybe it’s time to avoid it altogether, and opt for one of these FUN alternatives to Halloween candy:

  • Halloween jewelry: check your local party store for affordable priced Halloween-themed bracelets, necklaces and rings. Glow in the dark options are always popular with the kids, and parents will appreciate the added visibility they provide on dark streets.
  • Halloween stickers: little kids always love stickers! Offer a variety and let each child choose a few.
  • Vampire teeth…if you can find the glow in the dark variety, that’s even better!
  • Bubbles can be found in small Halloween-shaped containers.
  • Finger puppets in the shape of pumpkins, witches or ghosts will keep kids occupied for hours.
  • Halloween pens/pencils/erasers: these will come in very handy for school!
  • Halloween tattoos are always a hit with kids big and small.
  • Small toys, like rubber or plastic snakes, spiders or bats.
  • Whistles, in the shape of ghosts or pumpkins.
  • Halloween bouncy balls (look for glow in the dark versions)By: Dr. Kiera Smialek is Naturopathic Physician at “Arizona Natural Health Center”