Halloween is just around the corner - a mystery, magic, and superstition-filled festival. Traditionally, it’s a day filled with costumes, sweet treats, and playful scares. 

But it's challenging for parents of children with allergies and eosinophilic diseases who want to provide safe yet enjoyable treats.

Eosinophilic-Associated Diseases often can be treated with a restrictive diet, most commonly but not exclusively excluding the food groups: milk (dairy), eggs, wheat (gluten), soy, fish (seafood) and nuts. Some people with Eosinophilic Diseases can also have immediate allergies to other foods and allergens.

This poses a great difficulty in choosing food options, especially during celebrations like Halloween.

For years, I would place non-food treats on my neighbours' porches, ensuring they had allergy-friendly options to hand out to my children. Over time, our thoughtful friends began purchasing non-food treats themselves for kids with allergies.

Amanda Cordell, CEO and Founder of EOS Network

Below, you will find a handy list of non-food treat ideas for kids whose diets need special consideration or for those whose parents prefer to limit sweets in their children’s diet. And if you are an adult and want to help all the children have fun this Halloween - paint your pumpkin in teal and be ready!

Teal Pumpkin Project

The Teal Pumpkin Project is an international initiative encouraging households to provide non-food treats to promote inclusion for all trick-or-treaters, regardless of dietary restrictions. Placing a teal-coloured pumpkin outside your home signifies that non-food treats are available here. 

This simple act can make Halloween a much more enjoyable and worry-free occasion for families with food restrictions. So prepare your non-food treats, paint the pumpkin in teal and place it in front of your home to indicate they are welcome!

A Spook-tacular Halloween: 25 Non-Food Treat Ideas for Kids

non food Halloween alternatives in plastic teal pumpkin

  1. Stickers: Kids love stickers, which come in many designs, including Halloween-themed ones. You can buy them in huge bundles.
  2. Bubbles: Small bottles of bubbles are fun and can provide hours of entertainment. Of course, there are some Halloween ones!
  3. Pencils and Erasers: Halloween-themed pencils and erasers are fun to use and have plenty of designs. You can buy a bulk of pumpkin erasers or witch broomstick pencils. 
  4. Mini Notebooks: These tiny notebooks offer plenty of fun; they can be shaped like bats or cats and hold spooky stickers and trick ideas!
  5. Colouring Mini-Books and Crayons: Same field for creativity - pick those you dreamt of as a kid!
  6. Glow Sticks: Glow sticks are fun and add an element of safety by making kids more visible in the dark when they go from home to home. They can be wrapped around wrists or even inserted in hair.
  7. Temporary Tattoos: Halloween-themed temporary tattoos are sure to be a hit!
  8. Spider Rings: Plastic spider rings can add a creepy-crawly touch to the festivities. You can buy them in huge bundles accompanied by bat and skull rings.
  9. Bouncy Balls: Kids and dogs favourite! Our favourites are those glowing in the dark with creepy eyes. Just don’t give them to your dog: they are easy to bite and crumbly.
  10. Miniature Playing Cards: A mini deck of cards can provide endless game possibilities.
  11. Mini Puzzle Games: Small puzzle games can challenge the mind and provide entertainment. There are lots of different games to choose from.
  12. Silly Putty, Slimes or Play-Dough: A small container of silly Putty or Play-Dough can provide tactile fun. The great thing about them is that they can be in any shape and colour: fruits, cupcakes, glowing in the dark or Halloween-themed.
  13. Finger Puppets: Finger puppets can encourage imaginative play. Some are shaped like witch fingers with long nails!
  14. Whistles: Whistles, especially in spooky shapes, can add to the eerie atmosphere.
  15. Bookmarks: Plenty of designs, including spooky Halloween with skeletons and black cats. 
  16. Badge or Pin: Some are not cheap but can really add to the character’s personality.
  17. Magnets: Halloween-themed magnets can add a festive touch to any fridge.
  18. Stamps: Kids can have fun stamping Halloween designs on paper or... something else (beware!).
  19. Mini Figurines: Small action figures or animals come in all imaginable designs and shapes. 
  20. Slinkies: Mini slinkies are classic toys that offer endless fun. And you can buy them in pumpkin colours as well.
  21. Yo-Yos: A timeless toy, yo-yos provide a fun challenge for kids. Choose glowing ones to offer more fun in the dark.
  22. Fidget Toys: Toys like fidget spinners or cubes can provide hours of entertainment.
  23. Marbles: A bag of marbles can offer a traditional and enjoyable game. We couldn’t find many Halloween-themed, but you can buy black and dark blue marbles, which will do just fine.
  24. Stencils: Halloween stencils can help create spooky drawings, and what is best is that you can offer to paint them (buy face paint in red and black colours).
  25. Friendship, Slap or Flash Bracelets: offer fun, cute bracelets that can be decorated with skulls and glow in the dark.

Where to Buy Non-Food Treats For Halloween

Online Retailers:

  • Various online platforms such as Amazon UK and Etsy UK offer a range of non-food Halloween treat items like stickers, erasers, mini notebooks, temporary tattoos, and more.

Check out this 110-piece Halloween Party Bag on Amazon

Please remember to connect your Give as You Live Before ordering!

Local Shops:

  • Glow sticks, bouncy balls, and erasers are selling in local pound shops in the UK.
  • Plastic bugs and spiders can be found in the Halloween section of local supermarkets, pound shops, or local toy shops.

Environmentally and Budget Friendly:

  • Check for used party bag fillers, bundle toys, and Halloween decorations on eBay.
  • Purchase pre-owned costumes and decorations from your local charity shops.

With some creativity, Halloween can be fun and safe for all kids, no matter their dietary needs or parental choices. These non-food treats offer a sugar-free and enjoyable alternative to usual sweets. So, this Halloween, let's explore beyond candy and make the celebration enjoyable for every little one out there.