Halloween can be a challenge for natural parents. High fructose corn syrup, sugar, cheap chocolate, and all those dyes are scary in our book! The good news is – there are healthy Halloween treats you can offer your own kids and your trick or treaters.
Here we’re highlighting 40+ healthier Halloween candy options you might want to take a bite out of, too!
The reasons for choosing a less commercial and greener Halloween are many. So, this year, why not give it a much-needed upgrade with non-food treasures and healthier Halloween treats?
Start by creating a treat bag made from a used shopping bag or old pillowcase. Let your kids decorate and personalize their bags.
NON-CANDY HALLOWEEN TREATS
We typically don’t recommend buying single use toys. In fact, many of our readers say they’re on board for no junk toys or party favors at all. But when it comes to your child eating a bunch of sugar or covering themselves in stickers, we reluctantly opt for that big Halloween sticker.
With that in mind, here are some non-candy alternatives (just pick one of two) for trinkets to fill your trick or treat bowl. Try to go with zero waste and non single use items when possible.
- WikkiStix party packs
- LEGO minifigures (in bulk)
- Temporary tattoos
- Glow-in-the-dark bracelets
- These adorable Harry Potter magnetic bookmark clips
- Friendship bracelets (handmade can be a fun project)
- Joke cards
- Nontoxic or homemade play dough
Think of this as your guilt-free, grand teachable moment and perhaps your kids will one day carry on this healthier Halloween tradition.
SERVE A HEALTHY DINNER BEFORE TRICK-OR-TREATING
Sugar on an empty stomach depresses the immune system. “Too muchin your system allows the bacteria or viruses to propagate much more because your initial innate system doesn’t work as well. That’s why diabetics, for example, have more infections,” explains Dr. Michael Roizen, MD.
Make sure your family eats a healthy dinner with plenty of protein and fiber to counteract the impending sugar fix. It’s also a nice chance to connect with your kids in between the school day and the busy-ness of trick or treating or a Halloween party. Having a nourishing and filling meal beforehand can also curb the urge to overeat sweets. We love a hearty lentil soup or chili for an early Halloween dinner. If you don’t have time for a meal first, make sure everyone has a healthy snack with plenty of protein.
Every year, you read all the articles on Halloween candy and exactly why it’s so bad for you. Chock-full of GMOs (now called bioengineered foods), sugar, dyes, artificial ingredients, and plain old crap, there’s certainly a case to be made for skipping out on the stuff.
HEALTHIER HALLOWEEN SNACK & CANDY OPTIONS
We are fans of the 80/20 or flexitarian rule. Barring any food allergies, if you eat clean 80% of the time, you can enjoy what you want (within reason) the other 20%.
So, it’s fine to let our kids have some sweet treats and enjoy a little freedom and balance in their lives.
If your family follows a healthy lifestyle, you already know that candy should only be consumed in small amounts and from natural sources. Halloween is a great time of year to teach your kids what to look for on food labels.
Here are some healthier Halloween candy options from food manufacturers that do a much better job. Many of these options are also gluten-free. You can find these online at the links below or look for them in health food stores. Zbars, Justin’s, and Unreal are now available at Target and some grocery stores.
All of their chocolate is certified by Fair Trade USA. Natural ingredients such as beetroot, carrot, and red cabbage juices are used to color the candy coatings.
USDA Certified Organic and non GMO (bioengineered food). Also free from the top 8 allergens. Each lollipop is individually wrapped.
USDA Certified Organic, these protein bars contain no artificial flavors or synthetic preservatives. And most kids love the options.
These are Non-GMO Project Verified and USDA Certified Organic. The chews are made with Fair Trade-Certified sugar, and the bulk candy comes in home-compostable, cellophane bags. Not only is this a healthy halloween candy option, but a green choice too!
Non-GMO Project verified, Glee Gum is one of the few North American gums still made with chicle, a tree sap harvested sustainably. The company partners with a nonprofit group to plant trees, revitalizing degraded lands.
Non-GMO Project verified, Dairy-free bite-size mini chocolate bars, offer allergy-friendly Halloween chocolate candy. Individually wrapped and free from 14 most common allergens including dairy, nuts, and soy
Available in Halloween treat packs of 20, they are USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project verified. This great option is also free of the 10 most-common allergens.
These are made with organic, fair trade chocolate and locally sourced ingredients. The company donates part of its proceeds to worldwide hunger relief and poverty relief.
Made with organic Fair Trade sugar, certified gluten free, vegan, and kosher. No high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or colors.
MORE HEALTHY HALLOWEEN TREAT IDEAS
Most of these healthy candy alternatives will work for trick or treaters, while others might be better for Halloween parties where all of the kids know your family.
- Mini raisin boxes
- Organic fruit leathers
- Mini popcorn packs
- Mini granola bars
- Cuties or Mandarin oranges
- Organic freeze dried fruit (we love apple or mango)
- Trail mix with chocolate chips
- Plantain chips
- Applesauce containers
- Annie’s Whole Wheat Bunnies
- Snack sized pretzels
- Mini carrot packs
- Sunflower seeds
- Roasted pumpkin seeds
- String cheese
- Gum with xylitol instead of sugar
- Mini Fair Trade chocolate bars
- Almond butter and dark chocolate bars
- Homemade popcorn balls
- Homemade caramel apples
(Offer homemade items only to kids or parents who know you.)
What if your little one gets a stomach ache from too much Halloween candy?
It happens! And you can counteract it by encouraging your child to drink water to flush their system. Peppermint tea or ginger tea can also help. And if your child takes a probiotic, this is a good time to give them an extra one before bed. Yogurt can also help restore intestinal balance.
We hope these ideas inspire plenty of healthy Halloween fun for your little monsters. With a little creativity and thinking outside the conventional candy aisle, it won’t take such a toll on their bodies. Let us know your favorite ways to spend Halloween night in the comments.