In general, candy and snacks made from organic, natural, and transparently-sourced ingredients tend to be healthier for kids and for the planet.
That being said, every family will need to find their own balance of indulgence and restriction based on their individual priorities, needs, and capacities. When the holiday season rolls around, most parents want to find a way to reduce their kids’ intake of sugar and artificial chemicals, while also not taking the fun out of the holidays or fostering any future eating disorders or obsessions.
So, I made this guide in the hopes of helping you find that balance for yourself and your family. I’m not only giving you recommendations for organic Halloween candy, but also allergy-friendly brands, non-food treat ideas, and some tips for how to moderate candy consumption post-trick-or-treat!
Table of Contents
- Toxins in Conventional Candy
- Allergy-Friendly Halloween Candy
- The Best Brands for Organic Halloween Candy
- Black Forest
- Torie & Howard
- Moo Chocolate
- Enjoy Life
- No Whey Foods
- Organic Chocolate from Conventional Brands
- Other Organic Snacks
- What About Organic Candy Corn?
- 10 Non-Food Treat Ideas
- More Ideas for Dealing with the Excesses of Halloween Candy
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Featured Image: YumEarth
Toxins in Conventional Candy
We all know that excesses in sugar (especially processed sugars like high fructose corn syrup) come with potential problems, and most parents struggle to keep candy consumption moderate around the holiday season. But even beyond the sugar issue, conventional candy like Skittles, Reese’s, Snickers, etc. come with other types of unhealthy ingredients, including:
- Titanium dioxide: You may have seen this ingredient in headlines recently as a part of a lawsuit. Found in Skittles, it’s now banned in Europe because it can damage to DNA, the brain, and organs.
- Artificial dyes and flavors: Most of these ingredients are derived from petroleum and U.S. regulations allow for elusive labeling (meaning consumers can’t really tell from what/where/how these ingredients were sourced). Plus, some dyes, such as red dye 40, have been linked to things like hyperactivity in children.
- Preservatives such as tBHQ and BHT are also linked to various health concerns like cancer, endocrine disruption, and other health concerns.
- Lastly, most candy uses ingredients that come from conventionally grown crops, meaning they’ve been sprayed with heavy amounts of toxic pesticides, the residues of which can end up in final food products.
Allergy-Friendly Halloween Candy
The other issue to consider when it comes to trick-or-treat candy is allergies. The most common is peanut and other nut allergies, but of course, there are also plenty of kids who cannot or should not eat other things like gluten, dairy, etc.
Halloween brings a lot of anxiety for parents of kids with severe allergies, so getting allergen-friendly candy (or having a separate allergy-friendly candy bowl) is a small thing you can do to support those parents in your neighborhood.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is an initiative that encourages people to offer non-food trick-or-treat options in a teal pumpkin bowl!
Some of the organic Halloween candy brands below are allergy-friendly and others aren’t (and I’ve notated them accordingly).
The Best Brands for Organic Halloween Candy
To make this list, I looked for brands that offer individually packaged candy and use transparent, natural, and organic ingredients as much as possible. I’ve also looked for allergy-friendly Halloween candy as well as other responsible initiatives such as Fair Trade. I’ve also linked to multiple retailers to make buying easier for you.
So, here are my picks for organic Halloween candy to pass out on trick-or-treat night, send to your child’s classroom, or keep in your healthy candy bowl at the office to satisfy that sweet tooth!
YumEarth is the best place to get allergy-friendly and organic halloween candy of all kinds.
They have lots of different kinds of candy, including Chewys (their version of Starburst), Giggles (their version of Skittles) lollipops, licorice, and more.
This allergy-friendly candy is free from all of the major allergens, including gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, egg, and fish. All the candy from YumEarth is also free from high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, GMOs, and animal products.
The colors on the “Giggles” aren’t as bright as you’re used to with Skittles, but that’s because they are missing some of those potentially problematic dyes and other ingredients. (Several of the ingredients used in Skittles are banned in Europe, anyway. California is looking to ban some of these ingredients as well, which could lead Skittles to reformulate.)
But besides the slight difference in aesthetic, I personally don’t think the taste and texture differ that much from conventional Skittles. Same with the gummies… I think they are slightly firmer than your conventional fruit gummies, but that’s it. The lollipops taste the same as any old lollipops to me!
Our link can get you $10 off your first order of $20 or more.
Black Forest is a good option because it’s available at a lot of big box stores, so it’s pretty easy to pick up at the last minute.
They carry gummy bears, gummy worms, and fruit snacks—most of which are made out USDA certified organic ingredients. (They do have some non-organic version, too.) They are also gluten-free and SOME varieties are manufactured in allergen-friendly facilities (although you should check individual packaging to make sure).
Make sure you get the individually-packaged ones for trick-or-treat!
Although it’s not allergy-friendly (they have multiple kinds of nut products), Unreal is a healthier candy option because it’s lower-sugar, non-GMO, and gluten-free. They use a lot of organic and Fair Trade ingredients, and many of their products are vegan as well. (The only ones that are not vegan are the milk chocolate gems and the dark chocolate caramel peanut nougat bars—those both contain milk.)
They have several different kinds of candy that are comparable to your conventional favorites, including peanut butter cups (Reese’s), chocolate gems (M&Ms), coconut bars (Almond Joys), and caramel peanut nougat bars (Snickers).
Torie & Howard is a Connecticut-based candy company that offers USDA certified organic “Chewie Fruities” (which are like Starburst) and other hard candies. They are free from things like GMOs, artificial flavors and colors, gluten, soy, and dairy products, but be aware that they ARE processed in a facility that also processes nuts, dairy, and soy.
Just like with YumEarth’s “Giggles,” their “Chewie Fruities” LOOK a little different than Starburst because the colors aren’t as bright, but I honestly think they taste just as good!
Torie & Howard is sold by several different retailers, but the widest selection for individually-wrapped Halloween candy can be found at NaturalCandyStore.com.
These mini organic chocolate bars are perfect for trick-or-treat! Not only are they USDA certified organic, but they are also Rainforest Alliance Certified (which means the ingredients are sourced in a more sustainable way).
They carry a variety of flavors, including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, rice crispy, peanut butter chocolate, roasted almonds, sea salt, graham cracker, honey chocolate, and more. Grab a variety pack if you want!
Enjoy Life offers individually wrapped chocolate bars as well as mini cookies, bars, and other snacks you could hand out for trick-or-treat.
These allergy-friendly sweet snacks are free from 14 major allergens, including wheat, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, and dairy. They’re not organic, but they are non-GMO and made out of all-natural ingredients.
These taste pretty similar to your typical mini Hershey’s and Crunch bars! The Ricemilk Crunch bars don’t have as much crunch as you might be used to in the conventional bars, but I still think they taste great.
All of Lovely’s candy options are non-GMO, gluten-free, Kosher, and made without any high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors or colors. Some of them are USDA certified organic and some are not.
They have a variety of different gummy bears, caramels, and candies, but the best options for Halloween are the individually wrapped options, which include lollipops, chewy candies (which are like Starburst), and caramel apple caramels!
These mini chocolates come in a few different varieties, including coconut and caramel-filled. They are not allergy-friendly, but they are certified USDA organic and Fair Trade.
No Whey Chocolate’s candy is not organic, but it is allergy-friendly. It’s all free from milk (completely vegan), peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, egg, sesame, and both natural and artificial colors and flavors. It’s also Kosher.
They have a lot of Halloween candy options, including “PeaNOT Cups,” “Milkless Minis,” “Choco No-Nos” (which are like M&Ms,), and more. Plus, you can grab a variety pack which is perfect for trick-or-treaters.
Again, just like with the “Giggles,” the dye on the “Choco No-Nos” is not as bright as you’re used to with M&M’s. But they taste just as good—in fact, I think they actually taste a little better because they’re a little bit thicker than M&Ms and, therefore, have a better texture. I personally think the “Milkless Minis” and “Chocolate-Covered Pretzels” taste pretty standard, like any other chocolate bar or chocolate-covered pretzel. The “PeaNot Cups” don’t taste quite like Reese’s cups, but they definitely still hit the spot. (I kind of think Reese’s are too sweet anyway.)
The adults might find themselves picking some treats out of the candy bucket with these Cocomels caramels… I think they’re sooo tasty, and they definitely have that fall vibe with the pumpkin flavor. I think they go great with a dessert coffee or something like that!
All of their caramels are individually wrapped, which makes them great for handing out on Halloween night. They come in Original, Sea Salt, Coconut Sugar, Vanilla, and <1g Sugar (which are a good option for kids with diabetes and/or adults on keto).
They also have seasonal caramels, which include Pumpkin Spice and Maple flavors!
They’re all USDA organic, vegan, and free from things like soy, gluten, and corn syrup.
Organic Chocolate from Conventional Brands
Another option is to get candy from conventional brands but made with organic ingredients. With increased consumer demand for organic options, brands like Hershey’s and Reese’s have started offering classic milk and dark chocolate candies in organic versions.
Although this wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice, I think it’s still a better option than getting the conventional versions, especially if you need to grab something at the last minute and that’s what’s available!
Most of these options are not allergy-friendly and you should always check the labels on each package.
Other Organic Snacks
Alternatively, you could always hand out organic / allergy-friendly versions of pretty much any individually-packaged snack! Here are some more ideas to consider:
- Gummy fruit snacks or fruit leather
- Dried fruit (raisins, freeze-dried apples, etc.)
- Mini granola bars
- Popcorn (or you could make your own organic popcorn balls!)
- Trail mix
- Applesauce pouches
What About Organic Candy Corn?
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any brands that carry organic candy corn… YumEarth used to, but it looks like they’re not making it this year.
If you’re an over-achiever you can make your own candy corn using organic ingredients (but to be completely honest, it’s not going to taste the same as the store-bought stuff!)
10 Non-Food Treat Ideas
Here are some more non-food ideas you could pass out for trick-or-treat. These options also have less plastic than your typical party favor and they can be reused after the Halloween holiday is over.
- Money! (don’t all kids want money?)
- Lip Balm (like these)
- Scrunchies or hair ties
- Pencils and/or mini activity books
- Or another type of mini craft kit
- Play Dough or slime
- Thrifted Books
- Sidewalk chalk
Or check Etsy for more ideas – there are some really cute ones on there!
More Ideas for Dealing with the Excesses of Halloween Candy
Being too restrictive with kids and Halloween treats can lead to eating disorders… and it’s also just no fun! That being said, most parents want/need to put some restrictions in place in order to keep kids from going overboard and making themselves sick. Here are a few ideas for keeping Halloween candy consumption under control:
- Try to focus on what your child can have instead of focusing on what they can’t.
- Buy organic / allergy-friendly candy for your own kids (or bake them some sort of other healthier treat) and then trade them for the conventional candy they get during trick-or-treat.
- Allow your kids to trade their candy for something else they want (a toy, more screen time, money, etc.)
- Let them eat whatever kinds of candy they want, but ration it. Tell them they can have X pieces per day for the next Y number of days.
- Donate excess candy to organizations like Treats for Troops or the Halloween Candy Buy Back.
- Enlist the help of the Switch Witch.
If you have other ideas for a healthier Halloween, feel free to put them in the comments below and share them with others!