Treats without the sweet

October 28, 2009|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE

No one wants to be the bad treat giver on the block during Halloween trick-or-treating.

But, then again, it might be awkward offering costumed kiddies a big bowl of candy knowing that childhood obesity is on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2007, 13 percent of Maryland's children were obese. That same year, 15 percent of West Virginia school children were obese. The CDC did not have any numbers for Pennsylvania.

But kids expect some sort of treat during trick-or-treating, and you don't want the little monsters attacking your home.

So, because you don't want to be picking toilet paper out of your tree, here are some fun and healthful alternatives to stuff in those Halloween goodie bags.

1. Kaleidoscopes. Really, any kind of fun, little gadget will make kiddies happy. Many shops have Halloween-themed games to choose from that come in multi-packs.


2. Halloween-themed pencils. What is it that fascinates kids so much with pencils? Halloween-themed pencils are a fun gift. Pair one with a mini sharpener or even a little notepad.

3. 100-calorie packs of cookies. We know that it's all about portion control. These 100-calorie packs come in a variety of flavors to keep the ghouls at bay.

4. Sugar-free gum. Not all treats have to be noncandy. Kids always love gum, so try looking for packets of sugar-free gum. It's a chance to give them a treat without the sugar.

5. Spider rings. These are Halloween classics, and they come in so many more colors than just black. Little kids will get a kick out of anything remotely creepy.

6. Vampire teeth. What kid doesn't like to feel like he's the Prince of Darkness for one night? This is something a tyke can put in his mouth on Halloween that won't give him a cavity.

7. Glow necklace. Or glow bracelets. These can be found in a variety of colors. Kids, like moths, are attracted to anything that glows. This treat isn't only fun, it's also another way to keep kids safe on a dark night of trick-or-treating.

8. Toothbrush. After a night of candy bingeing, the kids are going to need to brush. They might think it's cool if the toothbrush is in some fun color.

Area trick-or-treat schedule

These are the times for trick-or-treating in selected communities.

Thursday, Oct. 29, from 6 to 8 p.m.


Clear Spring




Halfway, in the area between Lincoln and Decker avenues

Friday, Oct. 30, 6 to 8 p.m.





Saturday, Oct. 31, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Martinsburg, W.Va., downtown merchants

Halloween candy buy back

There's one thing kids like better than candy, and that's money.

Valley Dental Associates, 322 E. Antietam St., Suite 103, in Hagerstown, is holding a Halloween candy buy back from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, through Wednesday, Nov. 4.

Susan Hendershot, office manager for Valley Dental Associates, said Drs. Robert Winebrenner, Corey Anolik and Gordan Groisser will pay $1 for every pound of candy brought to the office.

Hendershot said the candy will be donated to the Trick or Treat for the Troops program. This is the first year the Hagerstown office has participated in the program.

The office will collect a maximum of 500 pounds of candy.

- Crystal Schelle

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