Halloween Ideas for Little Kids: Trick-or-Treating Without the Candy

Is Baby too young to trick-or-treat, but still wants to play on Halloween? Here are some ideas



“Dear Mama Greenest,
What’s the best way to celebrate Halloween with a young toddler who is too young for trick-or-treating, but still likes to get dressed up? Thanks!”

Good question! Coraline is very excited about Halloween this year, and has asked to be a “bunny-butterfly-duck” so she can “hop then fly then quack.” With a costume that silly, I feel like she needs to get out and about, but don’t want her trick-or-treating because she can’t eat candy. So I asked my good friend — who is also of the natural-parenting variety — what she’s done in the past with her daughter, who is now three. While her daughter isn’t allowed to eat sugar, they’ve taken her trick-or-treating just for the fun of knocking on doors. At the end of the night, they make a trade: the candy bag for a sparkly bag filled with all her favorite healthy treats like raisins, grapes, and honey sticks. Since she’s never had candy, she has no problem handing it over.

If trick-or-treating still sounds unappealing, you can participate in a local parade like the one in New Paltz, which is rumored to be fantastic fun, especially for kids. The Holistic Moms Network of Dutchess County is hosting a Holistic Halloween costume party at Waddle n Swaddle in Rhinebeck at 6:30 on Tuesday, October 18, to “reduce the amount of ‘things’ we incorporate into Halloween by increasing the focus on fun.” Or you could always host your own party: Have a few of your little one’s favorite friends over in costume and let them help you hand out treats to trick-or-treaters. This is what we did last year and it was great fun. We took the kids for a walk through town so they could show off their handmade costumes (Coraline was a cupcake, her friend a turtle) — they had an absolute blast just doing that, no sugar required.

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About This Blog

Shannon Gallagher

Shannon Gallagher
Rhinebeck, NY


Dutchess County native Shannon Gallagher is a contributing editor for Hudson Valley Magazine. An erstwhile thrill-seeker, these days she courts disaster of a different variety wrangling a spirited toddler, honing her vegan baking skills, and chasing the ever-elusive work-family balance. She teaches Pilates and does fascial bodywork, and lives in Rhinebeck with Coraline, a cat named Otie, and Sushi the Fish (named, of course, by the toddler).

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