I will admit that a Reese’s Pieces peanut butter cup is tempting, but what isn’t tempting is the sugar hangover, pesky zit or breakout or the tummy bloating from dairy and sugar. Couple that with the fact that I now have Sophie, who I don’t want eating tons of sugar (I also don’t want her to miss out on the fun of Halloween), and that leads me to today’s article.
There are quite a few healthier options out there, so we have a roundup of some of our favourite “healthier” alternatives for Halloween. Not all of them are completely free of sugar or artificial ingredients (they are still candy, after all) but they’re better than traditional candy options and are less likely to give your child (or you) a sugar crash and an upset stomach.
New Moon Kitchen came out with special Hallowe’en cookies that are individually packed in bags of 50 just for this holiday. Their cookies come in either spelt or gluten-free and are free of dairy, eggs, peanuts, nuts and are Kosher. You can buy them here.
This was one of the first brands to really make “healthier” candy popular. They oddly taste so similar to real gummy bears and even come in sour flavours and now Swedish fish. Safe to say I am a Smart Sweets addict! They’re free of all the artificial ingredients found in most other gummy bears, including sugar and artificial colouring and are instead sweetened with Stevia. One thing to note about Smart Sweets is they are very high in fiber, which can cause bloating for some people, so start with really small amounts with children. That being said, regular candy also causes bloating.
Thankfully they’re available in many retailers, and you can even find them at the movie theater! Well.ca has a great selection.
Free2b sunbutter cups are on this list because they are free of the top 12 allergens, including nuts, eggs, dairy and fish/shellfish, which is a lifesaver for kids. They’re also certified vegan and non-GMO. So what is in them? Ingredients like dark chocolate, sea salt, cocoa butter, sunflower seeds and sugar. They are still quite high in sugar, we’ve just included them here as they do not contain dairy or many of the top allergens. I’ve also found these on well.ca.
Eating Evolved is a little similar to sun butter cups in terms of ingredients, however some do have nuts in them. That being said, they’re dairy-free, paleo, vegan and so delicious!! Natura Market also sells their Keto Cups which have an extra energy boost for mom and dad.
If you’re a crunchy snack lover, Rawcology Coconut Chips are the treat for you (they have sweet & savoury flavours too). In reality though, they’re actually really healthy - with real ingredients like coconut, sunflower seeds, herbs and even apple cider vinegar. They have managed to nail flavours like ranch and cheese, all while being vegan, paleo, nut-free and even raw so all the nutrients stay intact.
Sweets from the Earth has individual packs of 6 full size cookies, if you want to be like the house on the block that gives away the full size chocolate bars...but healthier. The great thing about these cookies though is that in addition to being delicious, they’re also vegan, egg-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free.
These are more like granola bars but they’re delicious and addictive for kids and parents! They come in a variety of different flavours and are made with just a few really simple ingredients like oats, honey, coconut and nuts or seed butter. As an added bonus, Made with Local was founded by a Holistic Nutritionist and every bar is made by hand in Nova Scotia through a partnership with local social enterprises that provide employment for folks with barriers to mainstream employment.
They’re available in most major Canadian retailers including Loblaws.
Skinny Pop, or really any brand of singles popcorn, can be a great alternative to most chips. I love that these come in singles too, which makes them a great option for Halloween.
These are a great replacement for chewy, squishy candies. They are Certified organic, free of artificial colouring (they use things like carrot juice instead!), Vegan (gelatin-free), gluten-free and flavoured with real fruit juice. Plus, they have 100% of your daily Vitamin C! You can buy them online here.
Made Good has a number of great snacks that kids and adults can enjoy. Their mini rice squares make for the perfect Halloween addition and a great step up from traditional rice crispy squares. Again, they aren’t really “healthy” but they are a better alternative to regular rice crispies and they have even added vegetable extracts in the ingredients, giving them a little vitamin boost.
We like Lara Bars because they are made with really simple ingredients, like dates, fruit and nuts, which makes it easy for parents to navigate the ingredient list. The bars themselves are a great option for kids but they also have brownies and cookie bars for kids that make a bit more of a sweet treat for this holiday. You can find LÄRABAR products at most major grocery stores.