The creepy, crawly and spooky fill the streets on Halloween night, but alongside them are young trick-or-treaters. Trick-or-treating has become a favorite among American families, partly because of the costumes and holiday, but mostly because of the candy. If you are raising a vegan family, this can prove a huge problem. Even if you don’t believe in the act of trick-or-treating yourself, you do not want your child to feel left out, or even worse: resent you. We have many friends who are raising their children vegan and have compiled some great tips on how to survive a non-vegan Halloween.
1) Vegan Candy: Even though we would love to suggest that you hand out nuts or raisins, truth is: the neighborhood will avoid your house and possibly your treats will go to waste and be thrown out. So we suggest keeping your kiddies inside and handing out vegan treats to the neighborhood. Your children can have fun dressing up and handing out candy to the kids (as long as you have even better treat bags stashed for them to receive at the end of the night). You can get them excited by wearing costumes themselves and playing a costume guessing game with the kids that do end up on your doorstep. There are several great brands of vegan candy such as Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate Minis, Go Max Go vegan candy bars, or Allison’s Gourmet vegan caramels. There are also a number of mainstream candies that are “vegan by default” such as Airheads and Chick-o-sticks. For a full list of vegan candies, check out this VegNews article.
2) Go Candy-less: In case you want to skip the candy or would rather give out something inedible, we suggest handing out stickers. Kids love stickers and it is a better alternative to nuts or raisins! You can give out Halloween-themed stickers that you can purchase almost anywhere during October. If you would like to spread the message of being kind to animals, you could order these cute PETA stickers. They come with cute sayings and animals, packed with friendly messages such as “Be Bunny’s Honey” and “I’m Not a Nugget.” PETA also just released these great horror themed vegan buttons, our favorite is the vampire one stating “Don’t Suck, Go Vegan.” If you would rather not blatantly promote animal rights you could also hand out other popular items such as Silly Banz, Light Bracelets, or any other small toy children can enjoy.
3) Throw a Party: Instead of trick-or-treating, suggest throwing a costume party to your children instead. This way, you can provide the treats and make Halloween complete for your entire family. Use the list above for vegan candy suggestions, and you can also bake some tasty vegan treats such as Pumpkin Cupcakes or Cookies. For more vegan recipes, look no further than our vegan recipe archive. Throwing your own party can ensure your child gets the full holiday experience and you don’t have to worry about non-vegan treats being served. If your children get invited to another Halloween party, be sure to call ahead and make a vegan alternative to bring along. Check this list out for more party planning ideas.
4) Trick-or Treat Vegan Style: If you still want your children to have an authentic trick-or-treating Halloween, be sure to only frequent vegan households. How do you know where you can get vegan treats? A new website has just been launched entitled No Trick Treats, which allows vegan families to register what goodies they will be handing out. The information is then compiled into a map which will show whether a family is serving vegan, organic, raw, non-food and/or other diet specifics. The website is very new, but hopefully more families will be adding soon. If you are giving out vegan snacks, please take the time to register on the site so people know to come to you! If you can’t find many homes in your area on this site, consider talking with your neighbors ahead of time and even dropping off vegan candy to be given to your children when you knock on the door.