gums & teeth, Health

15 Fiendishly Fun Halloween Treats

Holy Hot Tamales! Americans spent an estimated $2.6 billion dollars on Halloween candy last year.

Holy Hot Tamales! In 2019, Americans spent an estimated $2.6 billion dollars on Halloween candy — and that doesn’t even count the costly cavity aftermath! Even if Halloween celebrations look a bit different this year due to the pandemic, the National Retail Federation forecasts that sales of sweet treats will still soar nearly as high.   

But take note, Smarties (and Nerds): When the American tradition of trick-or-treating first started in the 1930s and ʼ40s, families handed out coins, pieces of fruit, and popcorn balls to little ghosts and goblins.

Then in the 1950s, after the sugar rationing of World War II ended, candy companies had a PayDay hey-day with Halloween marketing, and Snickers and Skittles eventually became as common as stars in the Milky Way. (Feel free to groan like a zombie at the puns 😱.)

 

Unfortunately, all that sugar feeds bloodcurdling bacteria that can cause monstrous cavities — your mouth’s own horror movie. So we’ve got some Twix up our sleeves for Halloween treats that won’t turn teeth into crumbling gravestones. (And unlike dreaded raisins, none of them are on PopSugar’s “Worst Halloween Candy” list!)

Below, 15 ghoulish goodies from our staff and Instagram community that will keep grins glowing bright as a jack-o’-lantern at midnight! All of these are perfect for packing into individual to-go treat bags — a safer alternative this year to the candy grab bowls of the past. Plus, we've included two sweet ideas for how to help candy-hoarding tots part with at least some of their loot.   

 

Favors for Fangs 

 

1. Edible Stickers

You put them on fruits like fibrous apples, and it encourages kids to eat healthier alternatives to candy 🍎,” says @kjk_dentalcorp. These allergen- and gluten-free stickers can turn carrots and cucumbers into silly monsters — like cute costumes for produce!

 

2. Spooky fruit

We heart this idea from @gilly_park: “Fun with fruit and veg ... ghost bananas, pumpkin satsumas, veggie skeletons 🍌🍊🌽🍇.” Create a creepy crudité platter for your Halloween bash!

 

3. Pirate’s Booty

We yarrr lovin’ this idea from @britsepu! Pirate’s Booty — a gluten-free snack made of puffed rice, corn, and aged white cheddar — makes sugary treats walk the plank. ☠️   

 

Halloween Party Pack

 

4. Cocofloss 12-piece Happy Halloween Pack!

OK, so we’re a bit biased, but our absolute favorite treat is the Cocofloss 12-piece Happy Halloween Pack! It comes with a dozen Cara Cara Orange Minis (each 7 yards long) that are the perfect color and size to hand out to spooks of all ages. They’re fun, festive, and fatal to boogeyman bacteria.

 

5. Low-sugar and sugar-free candies

Cocofloss team member Sammie Yamashita is “obsessed” with SmartSweets Fish, a plant-based treat made without added sugar. @cleanbeautycleansoul votes for them, too! Sammie also has a soft spot for sugar-free candies made with xylitol, a natural sweetener that helps slay tooth decay. Check out those made by Dr. John's

 

6. Sugar-free gum

Even the American Dental Association approves of this recommendation from @thehappymamabear. Sugar-free gum works like a Ghostbuster’s proton pack to help neutralize ghastly cavity-causing acids on chompers. Look for brands made with xylitol for extra bacteria-zapping power.  

 

7. Dark-chocolate–covered cherries

“They’re borderline candy, I know,” admits Cocofloss co-founder Cat Cu. “But they're full of antioxidants!” (Leave it to the Floss Boss to include one of the sweetest treats on the list! 😆) Blood-red and nearly black, dark-chocolate-covered cherries could tempt the Dracula in your brood. Or offer them individually wrapped to little vampire bats.  

 

8. Honey sticks

Bee super sweet this holiday with this suggestion from @kelseykabonick. We especially like sticks filled with Manuka honey from New Zealand, a natural antimicrobial that can inhibit the growth of oral bacteria. Boo-tiful bonus: If you get burned while lighting a jack-o’-lantern, Manuka honey can help heal the wound!

Wearables for Wraiths 

 

9. Glow sticks and mini flashlights

Here’s a truly scary fact: Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for young pedestrians. Help cars spot wee witches and wizards from a distance with glow sticks and bracelets, recommended by multiple Cocofloss fans, including @ravenlockard, @herexnow, @cyrenainnl, and @minderblender. For a reusable option that still shines bright, consider mini LED flashlights in a rainbow of colors.

10. Temporary tattoos

These Halloween-themed and glow-in-the-dark tattoos last for three to five days — just long enough for petite pirates to pretend they’re real. Good idea, @gsmom35!    

 

11. Fair-trade friendship bracelets

Brilliantly colored, handmade friendship bracelets are sure to bring a coven closer. 

You can even create your own cute friendship bracelets with Cocofloss! Here’s a two-minute tutorial from co-founder Chrystle Cu. 

 

Creative Supplies for Cauldrons

 

12. Mini cans of Play-Doh

Let models of monsters and mummies come to life in the minds of tiny Frankensteins. “Costco sells gigantic packs of mini Play-Doh, and they’re perfect for handing out!” advises @chelsclearman.And they’ve worked on their packaging to make it more sustainable


13. Halloween-themed school supplies 

Sneak some creepy fun into schoolwork with pencils, erasers, and mini-notebooks that scream Halloween! Thanks for the A+ idea, @katyallover, @shannonanne23, and @sarahcyung! 

 

14. Coloring books and soy-based crayons 

Artistic apparitions will love spooky coloring pages and crayons made with soy, which won’t hang out like the living dead in the landfill, unlike traditional crayons made of paraffin wax. 


15. Wikki Stix

Wikki Stix“trick-or-treat paks” contain a Halloween-themed playsheet and eight Wikki Stix, which are bendable, twistable toys made of yarn and non-toxic wax. Don’t be surprised if they turn into tarantulas, black cats, and bats! 

 

The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Candy

 

If your little superheroes end up with a surplus of sweets on Halloween night, here are a couple of options that might tempt them to part with at least some of their loot (and you won’t have to sneakily snarf it up yourself). 


The Switch Witch

The sister of the Tooth Fairy” the Switch Witch magically turns sweets into a special gift overnight. The original company was started by a mom after she learned her daughter had Type 1 Diabetes. Proceeds help support the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the Teal Pumpkin Project. The Switch Witch also helps parents send spare candy to deployed troops and first responders through Operation Gratitude.

 

 

Halloween Candy Buyback

How about trading candy for cash? Some dental offices and local businesses offer money, coupons, or other incentives for kiddos to sell off their sugary treasures. The candy then often goes to veterans organizations such as Move Forward America and Operation Shoebox (you can also donate candy to them directly). Look online for a nearby buy-back location, and be sure to call ahead to see if there are any rules or specific drop-off times. 

 

🎃🍬🎃

Lock candy in the crypt this Halloween and treat your fiends to Cocofloss! It'll make their pump-grins glow!

 

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