Let’s face it, it’s next to impossible to completely avoid candy temptations around Halloween especially if you have young children. The harmful effects of excess sugar consumption have clearly been demonstrated and pushed into the public eye, however Americans continue to spend an outrageous amount of money on candy each year around Halloween (2.5 billion dollars’ worth to be exact). While nobody wants to be *that house* handing out raisins and pencils to trick-or-treaters, you can compromise by offering healthier alternatives to the traditional candies given out this time of year. Let’s take a look:
What to avoid:
-Artificial colors: While the jury is still out on the safety of food dyes, numerous studies have linked artificial colors to health problems such as allergic reactions, behavioral issues, and cancer. Luckily, they are easy to spot on ingredients labels with names like Red #40 and Yellow #5.
-Full sized candy bars: Fun-sized portions allow for much better portion control than their fill sized counterparts.
-Allergens: Even if you’re allergy-free, many of your trick-or-treaters may not be so lucky. Choose candy that is free of the 8 common allergens to give kids with food allergies.
What to look for:
-Organic ingredients: Organic candy might not be more nutritious, but it will keep out any unnecessary pesticides and chemicals.
-Ingredients you can pronounce: The shorter the ingredient list, the better!
-Nutrition: If you’re going to be eating all that sugar, you can at least get some nutritional benefits like vitamins, minerals, and protein! Compare nutrition fact labels to find more nutritious options.
With this in mind, here are some brands that offer healthier options for you and your trick-or-treaters:
Yum Earth Organics Sour Twists
Yum Earth carries a variety of candy including sour twists, lollipops, gummy bears, licorice, fruit snacks, and hard candy. The sour twists are organic, gluten-, dairy-, nut-, soy-and egg-free. They are also free from artificial colors and instead are colored with carrot, black currant, and turmeric!
Trader Joe’s Organic Pops
These lollipops from Trader Joe’s are organic and free from common allergens. They are colored with red cabbage, purple carrots, turmeric, and annatto instead of artificial sweeteners which makes them a great choice for kids!
Surf Sweets Organic Watermelon Rings
Surf Sweets offers a variety of candies such as DelishFish (their version of Swedish Fish), fruit chews, gummy bears/worms, jelly beans, and peach rings. These watermelon rings are vegan, free of artificial sweeteners, and even include 100% DV of vitamin C!
Justin’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups
These peanut butter cups but Reese’s to shame by being organic, gluten-free, sustainably-sourced, and containing 5 grams of protein per serving! There is even a dark chocolate option for people who want to boost their antioxidant intake!
UnReal Milk Chocolate Gems
UnReal products are made with sustainable and organic ingredients in addition to being vegan and free from artificial colors. These are a great option for M&M lovers out there (and yes, these are the candies that TB12 Tom Brady is a spokesperson for).
Kind Fruit Bites
These new Kind Fruit Bites have no added sugar because they are made completely with fruit! They are all organic and some flavors have up to 2 grams of fiber per pouch!