Halloween candy is not special

For those of you following the Whole30 Version 3.0, this weekend might prove to be a test of willpower.  Halloween candy is everywhere, calling out to you from perky colored wrappers in perfectly portioned bite-sized pieces.  So for those of you stocking up for trick-or-treaters, or dealing with an influx of candy in your child’s own bag o’ booty, we are here to remind you of one simple fact.


You’re a grown-up.  You earn your own money.  And if you wanted a Snickers, a Kit-Kat, or a bag of Peanut M&Ms, you can walk right into any grocery store, gas station or convenience mart and buy one.  Halloween candy is not special.  It’s not unique.  It’s not homemade, or a once-a-year treat, and we’re pretty sure it doesn’t invoke fond childhood memories of sitting around the dining room table while Mom pulls things out of the oven.

Which means, Whole30’ers… you will NOT be taken out by a bag of peanut M&Ms.  Not this time around.  No slips, no cheats, no excuses.  You’re in this to slay the Sugar Dragon once and for all, and you are tougher than any Halloween candy.


For those of you on the Whole30, are you giving candy away during this trick-or-treat season… or are you opting for a better, healthier choice for the children who visit your house?  Post your best Halloween alternative trick-or-treat give-a-way and win a free Whole30 Success Guide!
The winning comment will be chosen on Monday, so be creative… and realistic. (Nobody can afford 200 Paleo Kits to give to trick-or-treaters.)

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  1. jonica says

    The paleo friendly Larabars that I got on sale for $.99 each. Fruits, nuts, and nothing else! I would make my own less sugary treats if I didn’t think they would just wind up in the garbage for not being safe.

  2. Neil says

    Not really sure what you’d call these, sort of like a Whole9 Ferrero Rocher:


    3 tbsp Coconut Oil
    2 tbsp 100% Cocoa
    1 tbsp Ground Almonds
    4 Pitted Dates
    8 tsp Hazelnut/Cashew/Almond Butter


    Split each Date in half lengthways and open slightly
    Add 1 tsp of your chosen nut butter to each half
    Melt the Coconut Oil In a bowl over a pan of simmering water
    Remove from heat and mix in both the Cocoa and Ground Almonds – make sure there are no lumps
    Why the mixture is still warm, roll your date halves in the mixture – this can be quite messy but it’s always good fun!
    Set them out on a piece of greaseproof paper and refrigerate until set hard.

  3. Rob E says

    Well Said! I never really thought about it like that. That and the candy doesn’t taste as good as I remembered anyway.

  4. Toni says

    I won’t be handing out candy because I will be protecting the children. I’m a felony probation officer and work a caseload of Sex Offenders so I’ll be out patrolling to make sure the offenders stay off the street to keep the kids safe while they trick or treat! So keeping the kids safe will be a great treat to them as well as keeping the temptations of candy away from me! :) Win Win for all!

  5. Jenn P says

    800 kids come to my house for Halloween. That’s not an overestimation. We’ve been counting for the past few years. Kids are brought in from surrounding, less-safe neighborhoods. One rainy year there were only 500. We live at the epicenter corner of our community. That said, we have friends gather on our deck to help with the task. They bring their own candy. Still, my budget is limited. No $0.99 items per child here! I have foam glider airplanes, sticky toys, and various other little toys (about 400), plus some small tootsie rolls. My husband is not happy with no candy to give at all. He doesn’t want egg on our house.

  6. marianne says

    I go to the dollar store and get a few packs of tatoo stickers. my boys love them!!!! AT the school parties this year. Both boys came home w/glow sticks. They forgot about the candy and went into the closet (really dark there) w.glow sticks. lasted for an hour. hmm may get more glow sticks. depends on cost.

  7. says

    We’re going to walk around with our kids and leave the house dark – no candy bought here. And, as long as we’ve had kids, they love trick-or-treating and filling up their bags, but then they get to keep only a few, and the rest go to “The Candy Troll” (i.e. the garbage can). They swap the lion’s share of their candy for a toy of some kind (kinda like the Tooth Fairy).

  8. Mike M. in Arizona says

    As a family we’re committed to not supporting the candy industry.

    We’re giving out Halloween rubber duckies for babies and glow in the dark bracelets for everyone else. Looks of great stuff like that on Oriental Trading .com

  9. says

    Such a good point. Some other holiday candy tempts me – it’s hard to get conversation hearts if it’s not Valentine’s day, or ribbon candy if it’s not Christmas, which makes it more difficult to skip them entirely. But Halloween candy is just SMALL NORMAL CANDY. Lame. And not at all tempting.

    I bought Halloween notepads and pencils to give out this year. I waited until this past Monday so they were already 25% off, haha. And they’ll never expire!

  10. says

    We give out those glow bracelets. You can a package of 10 for a $1 at Michaels. People specifically come to our house first every year just to get them then head out to the rest of the neighborhood. Best part, they’re sugar-free!!

  11. Lynn says

    Our son swapped trick-or-treating this year for a used Wii game and time to play with friends. Two other friends have decided to ditch the t-o-t, too and have a (whole 30) dinner at our darkened house and play games!! Love these smart boys!

  12. says

    i saw little individual bags of baby carrots with halloween-themed packaging at the grocery store called “scarrots.” thought it was kinda funny, but if i handed them out, the neighborhood kids would probably hate me the way i used to hate the lady who handed out the plain popcorn balls. good thing i’m not even going to be home tomorrow. :)

  13. AJ says

    Thanks for posting this. It really hit home, since right now it’s covered in trick or treat candy, and I find myself scanning the piles of it thinking “Hmm… what will “meet the criteria?” and eyeing the Almondy Joy (hey it’s got coconut – MCFAs right?) and the peanut M&Ms.

    Plus, I was planning to hand out bite sized snickers tomorrow, however this post made me rethink and talk to my wife about it. She came up with the idea of Mandarin Oranges, which I think is brilliant because it’s clean, and it won’t get my house tee-peed or egged. :)

  14. anneka says

    my roomates are handing out candy, but im going to a symphony concert so i wont be a part of that. my mom is handing out books!

  15. melanie says

    I can’t say I’d want to make anything myself to pass out cause I wouldn’t be letting my son eat anything not pre-packaged if we didn’t know them. And I don’t think I’d want to just pass out small toys cause there’s too much of an age variety in my neighborhood.

    So if I were going to pass out candy (I won’t be this year cause it’s my son’s first actual trick-or-treating) I’d go with individual packs of trail mix (it’s not all that expensive to buy in bulk from Sam’s) or the darkest dark chocolate I could find!

    On a side note – although I am taking my son trick-or-treating, I don’t plan on letting him have too many pieces of candy. I was able to find a Halloween Candy Buy-Back Program though and if you have a dentist office in your area participating, they’ll give you $1 per pound and donate the candy to military members overseas. So it’s the perfect way to get rid of all the unwanted/unnecessary candy!! http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com
    Here’s their sites description – Dentists nationwide “buy-back” Halloween candy from children in their communities and then send the candy to U.S. Military deployed in combat through Operation Gratitude or other Military support groups.

  16. Nicole B. says

    My husband and I are handing out mini tubs of Play-Doh. Not sure how well it will go over with the older kids but I figure if they are too old to not like the Play-Doh then they are too old to still be trick or treating.

  17. marianne says

    melanie, thanks for posting web site. I’ve heard of the buy back program. I’d just give them the candy. I’m taking my boys to sky high (trampoline place)as a trade off.

  18. Mike says

    I start my first 30 today. I just came from our breakroom, its covered in candy. This will prove a difficult time to start.

  19. Mer says

    We gave mini play-dough out and it was a big hit! Kids had a ton of candy in their pails and were excited to get something different and fun.

  20. says

    @ALL: Thank you for the creative answers and the delicious sounding Halloween treat alternatives! We liked an awful lot of your ideas (although many of them reminded me of my own Halloween adventures as a kid, when the homes who gave out boxes of raisins were the ones we T.P.d late-night).

    While all of your responses were great… we liked LYNN’S the best! We loved the idea of opting out of the whole system altogether, and we think offering up a delicious dinner and play time with friends is the perfect Halloween alternative. Lynn, we’ll be sending you a copy of our Whole30 Success Guide today! Please email us at whole30@whole9life.com with your first name, last name and email address and we’ll have that on its way.


  21. Desi Doucet says

    My sister gave out small decks of cards – the kids were actually pretty pleased to get them. I thought it was a great alternative!

  22. Stephanie says

    I am a former chocoholic! After sneaking a few pieces of Halloween candy last night my stomach cramped so bad I thought I was going to die! Learned my lesson…..

  23. Mr. Anderson says

    And no coco powder, and no maple syrup, and no anything that has any resemblance to sweets!

  24. chris says

    halloween is a good cheat night, unless you are in the middle of a challenge. I am not responsible for what others feed their children, so with that I buy candy, lots of it, cause that is what the kids want, and it gives me an opportunity to get a good dose of corn products in my system. if i didnt hand out candy i would just turn my lights off and leave my house for those 2hours, . . . kids dont want stuff that is good for them on that night, and when i was a kid and someone gave us apples or foam planes or spider rings i egged their house.

  25. Stephanie says

    Growing up we lived down the road from a dentist and she passed out kid’s toothbrushes and floss and I thought that was neat. And I would never have egged someone’s house. My parent’s taught me to respect other people’s property.

  26. Shannon says

    I am not doing a Whole30 diet right now. Mostly bc I’m a failure. :) But I really appreciated this post and wanted to say the clementines, the glow sticks and the silly bands are all excellent ideas I’ll have to use next year. We are never here for handing out candy but our house is by far more decorated than any in the neighborhood so we get the most visitors. We’re always out with our kids: I find Halloween such a special time where you get to see adults and children happy, laughing, chatting, and strolling the streets. The candy is just ‘something to do’. I’m not looking forward to the time when my children are all past the door-to-door experience at all.

    We do Halloween Fairy here also. The kids get to decide how much to give and they get a gift in return. My two older children (ages 13 and 10 now) used to give more than half of their candy but my two younger ones (4yo) have no interest in giving away the candy for a present. NONE they say. Sigh. I now need to think up new tricks.