Many people love to make and give homemade treats at Halloween — this used to be the norm. Children would collect caramel apples, popcorn balls, homemade candy, or cookies from people they didn’t know well, or from close neighbors without safety concerns on the part of the parents. Today's climate is unfortunately different, and giving homemade treats at Halloween to children you don’t know is likely to result in such treats being thrown out, as potentially unsafe.
This sad little death of a Halloween classic tradition has led to increased candy sales, and to many homemakers who would really love to be making their own treats instead of giving out packaged candy. If you’re really desperate to make homemade treats at Halloween, there are some ways to get them to some children, if not all the trick-or-treaters who might visit your home.
First, know your neighbors, and their kids. If you’re already familiar with folks, parents are much more likely to accept homemade treats at Halloween from you. Second avoid foods that provoke common allergies. Don’t use honey, especially to give to children under the age of one, and do not use any nuts in cookies, candy, caramel apples or popcorn balls. Nut allergies can be extremely severe, and you won’t always know if children in your neighborhood have certain allergies.
To avoid a child eating something they might be allergic to, either print or type a recipe list to be included in each packaged treat. You may also want to include your name and address, so parents will know exactly where the treat came from. A simple card could say something like:
- Happy Halloween
From the Home of Betty Small
2020 Clark Street
This would be followed by a list of ingredients. If parents recognize your name and know you, they’re much more likely to allow the child to enjoy the treats you’ve made. Also, be sure to carefully pack your homemade treats at Halloween. They should be given in plastic bags, plastic wrap, or in several layers of aluminum foil. You can then add them to a cute Halloween paper bag, and if you really want to get fancy, add some stickers, temporary tattoos or a Halloween pencil for more fun.
If you get lots of kids trick-or-treating at your home who you don’t know, there’s still a way to get treats to your favorite neighborhood kids. Instead of waiting until Halloween night, a fine tradition is to give homemade treats at Halloween either during the day, by hand delivering them to homes, or a few days before so parents can distribute them when they see fit. Also, if you’ve got children in school settings, consider sending treats to school for Halloween parties, or as a gift from your child to his/her classmates. This can help soothe your soul as a terrific candy maker, baker or classic cookie designer, without making unknown parents concerned about the ingredients or origin of homemade treats at Halloween.