Look, you have to give out Halloween candy that kids actually like, right? Because if you don’t, there’s a good chance you’ll be spending the next day unraveling the endless rolls of toilet paper tangled in your trees and bushes. Been there?
Admit it… you did it when you were a kid, didn’t you? I certainly did! (Sorry, not sorry! 👻)
Still, I don’t know about you, but for every dose of junk I hand out, I feel two doses of guilt. And it’s not just the sugar that makes me feel uneasy — it’s the chemical ingredients that are all too common in most candy and gum. Disgusted by what I was seeing on the labels for popular supermarket candies, I dug in to find some healthier alternatives.
While I couldn’t exactly find candy that you’d call “healthy” (sugar is sugar, even when it’s truly natural and free from toxins), I did find a fair share of options that you could easily call “less unhealthy”. In case you’re just here to see what those natural candy recommendations are, I’ll list those first. Then, jump down a little to find out why I chose them.
10 Less Unhealthy Halloween Candies
- Yum Earth Lollipops (50 pops)
- Wholesome Ghost & Skull Lollipops (30 suckers)
- Torie & Howard Sour Chewie Fruities (20 snack packs)
- Cocomels Coconut Milk Caramels (Variety 3pk)
- Surf Sweets Organic Spooky Treats (20 treat packs)
- ZEGO Organic Fruit & Seed Bars (12pk)
- YumEarth Organic Fruit Snacks (50pk)
- Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks (24 pouches)
- Torie & Howard Organic Hard Candy (5lb bag)
- NibMor Halloween Chocolates (120 count)
What I Look for in Natural Halloween Candy
The main thing I look for in ‘less unhealthy’ candy (for Halloween or everyday treats) is that it’s sweetened naturally and made from real food, non-GMO ingredients.
Naturally sweetened candy
The first thing I look at is how the candy was sweetened. If the label lists just “sugar” then I put it back on the shelf. Why? Because most sugar in the U.S. comes from genetically modified sugar beets … not raw sugar cane. On top of that, it’s heavily processed and bleached to get that nice white color that looks good on shelves.
Ditto for corn syrup. It’s also highly processed and usually GMO. Skip it!
Instead, I look for candy with unprocessed sweeteners such as raw cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, coconut sugar, maple syrup, or honey. I especially like it when they’re flavored simply with fruit such as dates, grapes, or apples.
Colors & flavors from real food ingredients
Artificial colors and flavors are derived from petroleum and/or chemicals and are linked to a wide range of health and behavioral issues. So for starters, look for words like “No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives” on the label. Then flip over the package to look at the ingredients label.
You’ll want to see treats that are colored and flavored with real food such as fruits, vegetables, and their extracts. For example, natural colorants can come from purple carrots, black currants, and pomegranates. And examples of truly natural flavors you might see on the label include lemon extract, oil of wintergreen, vanilla bean or ginger extract.
Healthy-ish Halloween Candy
Make this Halloween a little safer for the kids by handing out healthier versions of their favorite candies. I can’t promise that they won’t still toilet paper your house, but I can promise that they’ll like the ‘less unhealthy’ candy just as much as the chemical junk!
It’s worth noting, by the way, that you may have trouble finding this healthy-ish candy at your regular supermarket, but you should have no problem finding it in a health food store or online.