October 26th, 2012

Shopping guide: healthier Halloween treats, no tricks allowed

UNREAL candy

I’ve been writing about making and choosing healthier Halloween treats for three years and, in that time, I’m amazed at how much has changed. More than ever, there are healthier options that don’t force you to be the Halloween grinch. With treats that are truly delicious, made with real food and without artificial flavors and colors, there’s no excuse: this year you’re going to be a natural candy wizard. Grab the hot glue gone now.

Halloween is only one day a year, there’s no reason to go mad over it. Your kids—and mine, too—will get their share of junk food and that’s okay. But it doesn’t mean that we have to buy icky stuff stuff we feel bad about. Oh no, all natural candy wizards do not add to the madness, they rise above it. With the help of brands like these.

Let me start with my current obsession: UNREAL candy. This brand is a shining example of what I’m talking about. UNREAL is a new line of candy bars made with no corn syrups, no GMO’s, no hydrogenated oils, and no artificial colors or preservatives. They currently make five candies, each nearly exact replicas of plain and peanut M&M’s, Reese’s peanut butter cups, Snickers and Milky Way bars. As if that wasn’t enough, these candies are priced similarly to those traditional candies.

I’m freaking out about this stuff. It’s candy, people—this is not for everyday consumption (uh, unless you’re still potty training a reluctant 3-year-old after 2 months)—but it’s real candy.

UNREAL could almost be enough, couldn’t it? The crazy thing is that there is more. More options. More all-natural treats. More Halloween fun.

Amy's english toffee Halloween candy bar

I posted about FIVE other healthier candy bars on Cool Mom Picks. Like UNREAL, the other options are for-real candy made without artificial ingredients. When did the world get so smart?!

yummy earth organic gummy bears Halloween

I also wrote a quick guide to gluten-free and allergy-free Halloween candies. Check out these options even if your kiddo doesn’t have a food allergy. The list has great stuff that all kids will like, making Halloween an even playing filed on which all parents will battle epic sugar highs.

LARABAR über

LÄRABAR was on last year’s healthy Halloween list, but have you tried the new uber bar by LÄRABAR? These are made of the same non-GMO dried fruit and nuts as the original LÄRABAR, but with a focus on creating a sweet and salty treat. I’ve tried all four flavors—apple turnover, bananas foster, cherry cobbler, and roasted nut roll—and can tell you that they got it right! Uber bars are made without refined sugar and contain only natural, non-sucrose sweeteners from brown rice syrup, honey and fruit. Super cool bonus: LÄRABAR is a sponsor of Green Halloween. Buy the full size bars for a special Halloween treat or, if you live near a Shaw’s or Wakefern store, grab an assortment of LÄRABAR minis to share with trick-or- treaters, too.

Angie's Popcorn Halloween

Angie’s Popcorn has packaged their classic sweet and salty kettle corn in special Halloween packs available at Target stores nationwide. Made with only popcorn, sunflower oil, evaporated cane juice and sea salt, this stuff is as wholesome as treats get, and as delicious, too. In fact, after you get your Halloween pack from Target, you’re going to need this link to Angie’s store to keep the popcorn coming. Seriously: look at what they have coming up for the holidays!

Annie's Halloween packs

In addition to their gummies, this year Annie’s Homegrown has also packaged their Bunny Grahams for Halloween. You can grab a box with 24 little pouches perfect for trick-or-treaters.

All Natural Halloween Candy guide

See? So many options! And that isn’t even counting the EIGHT other gems on last year’s all natural Halloween treat list .

An embarrassment of riches. Oh to be a wizard.

*Note: I am not currently working with any of the companies represented in this guide, nor have I been paid by anyone to write this. It should be noted, though, that I have received free product from Angie’s, LARABAR and UNREAL this year, and YummyEarth last year. All are brands on which I have and will continue to spend my own money. Angie’s sent product so that I could see the Halloween packaging; LARABAR provided samples so that I could try all four uber flavors and UNREAL introduced me to their product, which I have since purchased in, er, bulk. Since I like these brands, I thought that you might, too. As always, I welcome feedback and comments about your experiences with these and any other mentioned brands. I also hope you’ll share healthy finds that I have missed.

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