fallHere in Southeast Texas, we start getting a little excited about fall. Festivals start to pop up, Football begins, and if we are really lucky, cooler temperatures arrive.

One thing we notice during autumn is the frequency of local parades and fall festivals, and at each of these events is the overabundance of sweet, gooey treats. After all, nothing sounds like fall like caramel dipped apples and sweet candy corn.

However, there are a lot of children with food allergies and other medical issues that prevent them from being able to eat candy, and of course, we are always looking for ways to prevent cavities. We thought this month we would share with you some great alternatives to hand out to children that won’t cause tooth decay.

Themed pencils, erasers, coloring books and crayons are often a big hit. Long after the candy is gone, they will still have something to bring out their creative side and keep them busy. You can also find these in small packs or miniature sizes during the season. Modeling clay can also have the same creative effect and can be found in small packages.

Small toys are easy to find. A list of just some ideas include:

  • Bubbles
  • Glow sticks
  • Bouncy balls
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Rubber stamps
  • Crazy straws

If you really want to hand out food items, find treats that are not as sticky and contain less sugar. Small bags of pretzels are great to give. Other individually wrapped items can include granola bars, crackers and raisins. And because this is southeast Texas, the weather can be warm any time of the year. Small bottles of water may even be appreciated.

One last suggestion!

We couldn’t end this without suggesting miniature or travel-sized toothpaste or dental floss. It may sound more like a trick than a treat, but we all know that where there is a bag full of candy, there is the potential for tooth decay. You might even want to consider adding a toothbrush with famous characters or bright, neon colors. After all, general recommendations are that toothbrushes be replaced every 3 months, or as bristles become worn out.

So be different, be creative, and enjoy an amazing fall season!