Halloween is on the horizon, which means tiny humans in costumes are preparing to come a-knocking on your front door in search of one thing and one thing only: candy. It’s incredibly easy to fulfil these wishes, but here’s the thing: There are a handful of people on this planet who will not hesitate to hand out inedible objects which, in turn, shatter the hopes and dreams of every kid who just wanted a Reese’s Cup.
If on Oct. 31, you have the audacity to look a child in the eye and hand them a pencil, everyone will gossip about how yours is one of the most hated houses on Halloween. So, for the sake of all that’s good in the world, do not scam the youth by subjecting them to the worst things you can give out to trick-or-treaters.
Kids have an insatiable craving for sugar, but not the healthy kind you find in raisins. No one is going to trade anything for a box of chewy, dried-up grapes at lunch the next day either. Raisinettes, on the other hand, are a baby step in the right direction.
Halloween is a holiday during which, like most commercialized holidays, one eats a lot of candy. We get it. Sugar is bad for your teeth, but doesn’t everybody already own a toothbrush?
Proper dental hygiene is important, and maybe you’re just a harmless neighborhood dentist, but please don’t give the children floss. This is the opposite of what Halloween stands for. Kids want to eat so much candy that it gives them cavities, and then they’ll come see you to fix them.
It’s ill-advised to give trick-or-treaters anything that their parents might feed them on any other day of the year. Oct. 31 is all about candy, baby. Save those apples for a desk snack, a pie or a horse.
You can’t eat money, and please don’t try. What is a 7-year-old going to buy with 10 cents anyway?
If a coupon falls into the hands of someone who is young enough to trick or treat, it will either end up in the trash or be given to their parents, who may also choose to throw it in the trash. Like, enjoy the dollar off Angel Soft, Timmy.
Animal crackers are dry and dusty. It’s an OK lunchbox snack if you don’t have anything better in the pantry, but it’s not candy, and for that, we hereby exile it from the knapsacks of children.
Pretzels are a crowd-pleaser at Halloween parties if they’re dipped in chocolate, but if you plan on handing out plain pretzels to toddlers, we shake our fist at you.
Fruit snacks are prime for after-school hangouts, but odds are, everyone’s grandma definitely already has these in her pantry. What she probably doesn’t have are KitKat bars.
These spongy marshmallows come in the shape of a sad-looking peanut, but they’re not peanut-flavored. The most popular variety is orange in color, and it’s supposed to taste like banana (though many would argue that the actual flavor is indeterminable). Circus Peanuts were one of the first penny candies to grace old-school sweets shops, but now they’re widely considered one of the worst treats of all time. Even the product’s history is hazy because, just maybe, no one wants to admit they invented them.
Was anyone aware that you could actually eat these things? Wax lips and wax fangs were a popular handout back in the day, but why? They’re technically edible, but who wants to eat hard, cherry-flavored wax? Don’t even get us started on Nik-L-Nips (wax bottles). First, you bite the top off, then you suck the syrup out and ultimately chew the wax exterior like bubble gum.
Unwrapped candy can cause a sticky mess in a plastic pumpkin. Plus, it’s unsanitary, and with everything going on in the world today, it’s just another reason for parents to worry that someone tampered with their kid’s candy. This goes for Pinterest-perfect homemade snacks too. They’re cute, but if you don’t know the recipient personally, they probably won’t trust that you only have good (and yummy) intentions. Giving out homemade treats is honestly one of the rudest things you can do to trick-or-treaters.
Can you eat a pencil? Nope. Will it probably stab you when you reach into your pillowcase for candy? Yup. Let’s face it: Whether it’s a spooky pencil or a trusty dusty yellow No. 2, it’s doomed for the junk drawer to live a too-long life in total darkness next to dried markers, clothespins, cords, dice and staples.
Granola is a fine morning or afternoon snack, but it’s considered “healthy” and, as previously mentioned, kids don’t care about or want health foods on Halloween. Believe it or not, not all granolas are that good for you anyway.
Mints are stupendous for after-dinner breath freshening, but kids don’t want them. This isn’t real candy. No one has ever eaten a mint and thought, “You know what? That really hit the spot.”
According to the CDC, the flu is most common during fall and winter, but if you notice some sniffly kids in the neighborhood, don’t give them lozenges. We all love to soothe an itchy throat, but they don’t exactly taste good and could potentially be a choking hazard. Plus, lozenges are usually medicated. Would you hand out cough syrup on Halloween? That sounds like a decision best left to parents.
Black licorice is one of the most polarizing candies of all time and, shockingly, it could land you in the emergency room. According to the FDA, you can overdose on black licorice due to the compound glycyrrhizin in licorice root. For adults 40 and older, eating just 2 ounces each day could lead to an irregular heartbeat as well as high blood pressure, swelling, lethargy and congestive heart failure. The organization doesn’t mention a recommended intake for children, but says, “No matter what your age, don’t eat large amounts of black licorice at one time.”
If you give out crackers on Halloween, it is very likely that they will get crushed by the time they make it back to anyone’s home. Admittedly, little ones (and adults) love things like Cheez-Its and Goldfish, but as a general rule of thumb, if it’s likely to show up in a lunchbox, don’t give it out. Kids have these at the ready in their pantries. Give the tiny goblins and ghouls want they really want by stocking up on the most popular Halloween candies in America.
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