Well friends, we’re almost at the end of October and you know what that means: It’s almost Thanksgiving! Oh, wait, I mean: Halloween is coming!
The only thing I like about Halloween is that it’s the anniversary of my first date with the hubster – this year marks a decade! 😀 The costumes, parties, and scary stuff are just not thing. My parents always chose to not participate, so we never dressed up or went trick or treating when I was a kid (don’t worry, I turned out just fine!). In fact, I was so naive to Halloween “rules” that one of the first years we gave out candy was when we moved to a new neighborhood that had younger kids. One of the kids was going around early and I didn’t know where my mom had put the candy she was giving out; we happened to have recently baked festive looking cookies, so I grabbed one and put it in a sandwich bag for the kid. We lived on a cul-de-sac and everyone knew everyone, so I didn’t think it was a big deal. That was the year I learned you only give you packaged candy, regardless of if the kid knows you or not because everyone is paranoid about Halloween candy. (I have thoughts about the irony of asking strangers for candy and then not trusting the candy, but that’s another topic…)
Even though Halloween is not my favorite, I’m happy to hand candy out to the few kids we get in my neighborhood. In previous years I’d buy bags of Dove chocolates because that was one of my favorites, and I wanted to the leftovers! This year I’m putting a bit more thought into the candy I buy, because it doesn’t feel right to talk about the importance of health and food quality, and then buy junky options to hand out to kids.
I did some searching online and found a few cleaner brands that offer better options to hand out this Halloween, but before we get to that, let’s talk about non-food treats and the Teal Pumpkin Project.
Have you heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project? It’s an initiative to spread awareness of food allergies and provide non-food treats for kids who have severe allergies or other medical concerns that mean they can’t eat traditional halloween candies. I made some sparkly teal pumpkins to set out, and went to Five and Below (the dollar store is another great option) for some fun toys, bracelets, etc. to set out in a separate bowl for any kids who can’t have or don’t want candy.
It’s super easy to participate, just add your address to the Teal Pumpkin Map, and either print out the sign they provide on their site for free or have some fun with your own kiddos and paint a pumpkin teal. I heard Target has teal pumpkins this year, which is a perfect option if you don’t want to make you’re own. Also, you’re welcome for giving you an excuse to go to Target.
Ok, back to the candy. Obviously they’re still candy (i.e. they have sugar!) but these options have cleaner ingredients and no artificial dyes, so you’re getting better quality and fewer allergen risks:
YumEarth Organics – various lollipops, candy worms, etc that are gluten free and vegan and they use natural colorants like turmeric and carrot juice, so there’s no food dyes either! I’ve found some cute Halloween packs on Thrive Market, and Amazon.
Enjoy Life Halloween Chocolate Minis – Enjoy life is a brand of chocolate that is totally allergen free – no soy, dairy, gluten, and they’re organic and non-GMO verified. They have cute little Haloween minis that remind me of Hershey’s mini bars. Available on Thrive Market, Amazon (but more $$ here), and their website had a handy store locator option (I found their Halloween mini’s at my local Wegmans!)
Wholesome Ghost & Skill Lollipops – I love this because you get 30 for 3.99 on Thrive Market! I also like that their ingredient list is so short: Organic Cane Sugar*, Organica Tapioca Syrup, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Color Added (Organic Fruit Juice), *Fair Trade Certified by Fair Trade USA 60% Fair Trade Certified™ ingredients. It’s pretty much just sugar on a stick, and that’s the best you can ask for when it comes to Halloween candy, right? It’s also available on Amazon, but they’r way cheaper on Thrive Market.
Cocomels Coconut Sugar Caramels – Only 2g of sugar per candy, and they have no cane sugar, grains, or dairy! They’re organic and non-GMO certified and the ingredient list is super simple. The only downside is they’re a little pricey if you’re buying them in bulk, but if you like to have a variety of options or don’t need a lot of candy, definitely add these to your list. I found them on Thrivemarket and Amazon, and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them in WholeFoods if you don’t want to order online.
Let me know in the comments what other treats you’ve found that you’re planning on handing out this Halloween!