By TMoM Team Member Dennette Bailey

During the fall season there are a variety of events that require the tradition of handing out candy to children. As an early educator, who is also a certified nutritionist, this might be the scariest time of the year for me (pun intended). This is because the consumption of sugar is at an all time high during this time of the year.

Sugar, while it tastes so good and can look so beautiful, is the devil…allegedly. Even if children are required to brush their teeth after every sugar consumption, it is difficult to recover from the high that sugar provides as it is very addictive.

I have been an educator for over 25 years, and I have observed that while children really love getting treats, the treats do not have to be in the form of sugar for them to get enjoyment. The very act of getting something for a special reason gives them excitement. I have had children extremely excited to get stickers or fruit with stickers on it, and coupons that allow for special privileges.

There are lots of hand outs suitable for fall festivities that you may want to consider, and they are comparable in price to the treats you might have already provided for your events. Here are a few:

Mugs and Cups
If these have fall themes, names of the child or funny sayings they will make great treats. Children love the idea of being able to put their favorite (hopefully not sugar) drink in the cups or eat their favorite food from the cup.

Notepads /Sticky Notes
These come in a variety of themes, fall included. These will encourage your little ones to write, and they are a real treat

Pens and Pencils
Fall themed writing utensils are also a big hit. You could even go to the dollar store and buy packs of markers and just wrap the Fall colors together in a rubber band with a cute note.

Mini Coloring Books and Crayons
You can purchase a large quantity with various themes, and this helps little one’s practice fine motor skills.

You could purchase fall-colored toothbrushes in bulk. The children are going to get sugar from someone so providing toothbrushes will not go unappreciated, though it might not be a favorite. However, if you have a small class, investing in character toothbrushes or electric toothbrushes will be very much appreciated!

Novelty Toys
Oriental Trading is very popular for providing bulk novelty toys. They are very reasonably priced and make it easy to pass out for those participating in festivities in which they need to pass out a prize at a quick pace.

Healthy Food Options
Individual serving packages of raisins, carrots, and apples slices, are all great options. Because they are individually wrapped, they create a great opportunity for parents to give children the feeling of having 2 snacks, 1 healthy treat and 1 sugar treat for the day for example. Children are more likely to try these healthy options because of the convenient and often cute packaging.

These are still very popular. I haven’t met a child under 10 yet who doesn’t love to get stickers. Oriental trading has a variety of assortments that can be bought in bulk for very reasonable prices, and in some instances are even cheaper than your large family bag of candy.

All these items can be found at either the Oriental Trading Website or the Dollar Store. You can even purchase items in bulk online at the Dollar Store.  If you are ordering do remember that online orders are expected to take a little longer so the time to order is now.  Happy fall!

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