I spoke about this topic on Good Morning Washington. Click above to watch.
Guilt-free Halloween treats. Is that even possible? We’re all becoming more aware of artificial colors, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and GMOs in our food, so how do we avoid these scary ingredients in our Halloween treats? It’s tough because sadly, the popular brands of Halloween treats often contain ingredients that are downright toxic.
How to Avoid Scary Ingredients
The easiest thing you can do is read the labels! As the saying goes, if the list of ingredients is really long and your grandmother wouldn’t recognize any/most of the ingredients, then you might want to choose another option. Ingredients to avoid include:
- high fructose corn syrup
- artificial sweeteners such as
- Saccharin (Sweet’N Low®, SugarTwin®)
- Acesulfame K (Sunett®, Sweet One®)
- Sucralose (Splenda®)
- Aspartame (NutraSweet®, Equal®)
- artificial food coloring and dyes such as Citrus Red 2, Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Blue 2, and Green 3
- preservatives such as TBHQ (Tertiary Butylhydroquinone)
- GMOs (genetically modified organisms) such as sugar, corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, soy lecithin, and modified corn starch
- hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils such as palm kernel oil, peanut oil, corn oil, and cotton seed oil
- additives such as PGPR (Polyglycerol Pllyricinoleate)
This article goes into great detail about ingredients to avoid and why they are so bad (it will truly shock you!).
Luckily, there are a host of great companies that make our health a priority over a massive profit for them. They use healthy, safe ingredients and even pay their employees a fair wage. And the cost of these brands are comparable — or a tiny bit more expensive — when compared to the popular mainstream brands that are unhealthy. Why save a buck if it means eating — or handing out — something downright toxic?
Great Tasting Alternatives
The companies below are very transparent about the ingredients contained in their products. In fact, they go out of their way to share how healthy they are. I purchased all of the treats myself with the exception of Enjoy Life who sent me samples after I made an inquiry.
$5.49/box of 22 4-ounce packages at Whole Foods
*I was unable to find the actual Halloween version of the Bunny Grahams on Annie’s web site, but still check out the site to learn more about their Bunny Grahams and other products.
$5.99/bag of 10 .5 ounce packs at Whole Foods
- USDA Organic
- No peanuts or tree nuts
- No high fructose corn syrup
*The package size I purchased is different than what is available on Yum Earth’s web site. They offer bats and jack-o’-lanterns in larger sized bags.
$3.99/bag of 30 at Whole Foods
- Peanut and tree nut free
- No synthetic colors
- No high fructose corn syrup
$10.99/box of 20 at Whole Foods
- Organic and sustainable
- Non GMO
- Fair trade certified
- Nothing artificial
$3.49 for bags of 24 at CVS
- Non GMO
- Peanut free
- Fat free
*The package size I purchased does not appear online, but these are available at grocery stores such as Whole Foods and other mainstream stores.
$7.99/bag of 18 – online price
- Nut free
- Soy free
- Shellfish free
- Sulfite free
- Casein free
- Potato free
Another Great Site to Purchase Healthy Candy Options
Natural Candy Store carries a huge variety of candy that is organic, dye-free, non-GMO, allergy-friendly, vegan, gluten-free, fair trade and made in the USA.
Too Many Leftovers? Donate Your Candy!
Operation Gratitude collects and donates sweet treats to our deployed troops and first responders. All you have to do is drop your candy at a participating drop off site near you such as a dentist office, business, school, or club. You can also register your organization as a drop off site.
Eco Option for Carrying Candy When Trick-or-Treating
If your trick-or-treater wants to carry his or her haul in a container with handles versus the oh-so-popular pillow case, check out these great Halloween themed bags from Chico Bag.