A Halloween Experiment: Candy vs Oranges and Stickers

Halloween afternoon I went out to buy candy for our trick-or-treaters. I had thrown around the idea of handing out non-candy treats this year, but my family discouraged me. I’ll admit I didn’t really want to be “that house” all the kids were disappointed going to.  And I know my 2nd grader, just starting his second year in a new town, did not want to either.  So, I decided to get candy.  After all, Halloween is not really the time to be promoting good eating habits!

But, of course, it was still on my mind. After my candy bags were in my cart, I had the idea to still keep the candy, but also offer another healthy option. I bought clementine oranges, stickers and tattoos.

So it began…..

The Halloween Experiment


If trick-or-treaters were offered an option of choosing from a basket with candy or a basket with healthier options, which would they choose? 

My Hypothesis:  CANDY!


The Healthy Basket

Clementines, stickers and tattoos

My 3-year-old wanted to add stickers to the oranges and loved doing it. She chose the Madagascar 3 and Dora stickers.

I bought several packets that consisted of sheets of stickers. They were all different popular Disney characters – the Cars 3 cast, Dora, and the Princesses, including the Tangled cast.

Most sheets were $1.50 for 30 stickers.

My 5-year-old cut the sheets of stickers, so we would have single stickers to hand out.

We also had Spiderman and Batman tattoos.

The Healthy Basket

The Candy Basket 

The Hopeful 3 Year Old

 (For some reason she had this pillow in her hand for the picture and I thought it was quite appropriate!)

The Results 

I was also hopeful, but a little nervous to see how this experiment would turn out. I was pleasantly surprised to find the oranges, stickers and tattoos were a hit! All of the oranges were gone before the end of the night. The majority of kids still chose candy (or wanted to choose candy and a sticker), but the best part was how enthusiastic kids were about the fruit.

There was a group of  6th grade boys that came up and yelled “Yes! Oranges! Something nutritious!”  No joke – they weren’t being sarcastic, they were actually excited and all took the oranges. There were several other kids really enthusiastic saying how much they love oranges. There was only 1 preschooler who actually looked through the basket to find a Dora orange. The rest of the kids didn’t even notice the stickers.

When we were almost out of oranges I decided to throw a couple of bananas in there to see what happened. I started with 2 and they were gone with the next group. Then I added 3 more and they were gone with the group after that. One little boy asked if we had any apples!

The oranges were popular with all ages (especially the parents – who thanked us from the sidewalk!). The stickers and tattoos were  primarily a hit with the under 5 crowd.

Overall, I was happy with the results of our Halloween experiment. I think giving the option of candy or a healthier choice was a great compromise. Next year I may have to make my healthy basket larger!

Now what to do with all of the candy my kids brought home……