I'm such not a fan of passing out sugar to kids. It's hard enough most days to be in touch with what you want and how to get it, without jacking up glucose levels and making everyone's eyeballs spin backwards.
Nonetheless, my kids do love it, and we weren't able to come up with an acceptable substitute to the ritual. After about six streets, our little devil, batman and ballerina-princess-mexican-wrestler reconvened with us at a friend's house, to proceed wading through the booty: Nothing with artifical colors or gluten for this one; nothing with egg or dairy for this one; and this one - well, she can eat most anything but that's just way too much, so pick out your favorite half of it.
I did enjoy seeing my wife (the Naturopathic Dr) in rare form, having decided to throw up her hands and let fly, suspending almost every food rule for 24 hours. And as the kids got crazier, and wilder, and more out of control, she just kept on exuding patience and calm, reigning them in only as much as was needed to keep them from running out in the streets.
[I on the other hand was done with the event before it started, and had to keep almost constant watch over myself, forcing myself to have fun with them. "There's just so many OTHER ways!!!"]
One of our friend couples have introduced their kids to the "sugar fairy," this poor fairy lady with a ton of kids who all basically live on sugar over the winter, and never quite have enough to satisfy them. I forget the details, but it has something to do with sending them a message via the moon, and leaving the candy our where they can get it and leave you a present in exchange. Seems like a pretty good deal, but our 9-y.o. is so close to breaking the code on the whole fairy/bunny/santa thing that we can't risk "discovering" a new one.
Once again we find ourselves sitting on three large sacks of variously shaped and colored sugar junk, which we hardly ever have in our house other than this time of year. And once again I find myself forced into the position of consuming as much of it as humanly possible without my kids noticing. It's not fun, but for them, I will accept the burden. (Especially after having trained them to choose Reese's when there's an option.)
Do you have a clever way of handling the Halloween craze other than throwing up your hands and wearing earplugs for two days?