Healthy Living

Better Halloween Candy Guide

happy girl eats candyThere was a time when all you could get to give away at Halloween were conventional candies full of food dyes linked to allergic reactions and behavioral problems in children or chocolate cultivated by enslaved African children. In fact, last year I asked readers to boycott Hershey’s chocolates, which led to a fascinating debate between Mommy Greenest readers and a company rep. But I digress: Friends, the times they are a-changing. This year, I discovered better Halloween candy that can be delivered to your door! 

Think Halloween candy has to be full of food dyes or toxic chocolate? Think again. I found better Halloween candy that delivers to your door! What to look for? First off, make sure your Halloween candy is food dye free. Not only are these chemicals dangerous, they’re discriminatory: After European manufacturers were required foods to display a food dye warning label, they began to substitute natural colors for dyes—but only in Europe. Nestle, for example, announced in 2012 that they were phasing out use of all artificial food additives from their entire confectionery line in the U.K., but not the U.S.

When it comes to chocolate, look for fair trade certified—often times, these candies are also USDA Certified Organic. Traditionally, I’ve searched Whole Foods Market for candy that’s USDA Certified Organic, since it’s guaranteed by our government not to contain synthetic ingredients like food dyes. But that kind of candy can be hard to find—and expensive.

This year, I’m getting my better Halloween candy on Amazon. First up? Raw, organic, vegan, kosher, gluten-, dairy- and soy-free, non-GMO Righteously Raw Chocolate Mixed Bites contain no refined sugars. And they’re delish!

USDA Certified Organic YummyEarth Lollipops are free of allergens, gluten, GMOs, eggs, soy, nuts, casein and dairy—did I miss anything?—and come individually wrapped in assorted flavors. Without artificial dyes or flavors, these lollies contain no artificial dyes or flavors and are colored with fruit extracts like red cabbage and purple carrots. But don’t tell your kids that.

Annie’s Homegrown Certified Organic Fruit Snacks are made with real fruit juice and contain 100% recommended daily Vitamin C intake, too!

These aren’t individually wrapped, but for a party these vegan, non-GMO, air-puffed, corn-syrup and gelatin-free Dandies Original Vanilla Marshmallows are delicious.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to confess that although I’ve talked with them about the importance of buying better Halloween candy to give out, I do let my kids eat the haul that they bring in from the block on Halloween night.

Like many of you, I also make about half of it “disappear” after they’ve gone to sleep.

My husband and I believe that restricting our kids will make them want the off-limits candy more. We hope that as they mature they’ll realize how important it is to make smarter choices—even at Halloween.

What do you think? Where are you getting your candy, and what’s off limits for your family?


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