10 Healthy (Mostly) Halloween Treats That Won't Turn Kids Off

The precursor to the BIG holiday trifecta is just around the corner: Halloween.

Celebrated each year on October 31, the origins of Halloween, like the origins of Christmas, began as a pagan ritual, specifically with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve. Candy was not part of the picture. That did not happen until the 1950s with the rise of trick-or-treating. The only winners in that part of the little story are dentists.

Nowadays the candy tradition is deeply entrenched. It is not going away. In response a group of writers and nutritionists posting on EcoWatch put together a list of treats “That Won’t Make Your Kids Roll Their Eyes…Much.” 

Read on for their suggestions.

Parents are trapped in the Halloween guilt vortex: going full-scale green mom, handing out whole walnuts or pennies or dental floss to avoid loading kids with sugar and additives but thereby making their kids cringe and giving them stories to stockpile about their ridiculous hippie childhood.

Or, alternatively, buying the convenient and cost-effective jumbo-size bags of candy and bars packaged and placed at aisle-end every October, adding to the overall crap-ton levels of sugar, GMO ingredients, pesticides, artificial colors and flavors consumed by the children in their neighborhood on Nov. 1.

And then there’s the plastic and waste.

Guilt. Everywhere.

Most kids want to participate in the full Halloween experience of bright colors and sugar and gluttony and Butterfingers for breakfast. And most of us are going to let them do that—to a degree.

But, given our unique resources at the Environmental Working Group (EWG)—the Food Scores database, which rates thousands of food items based on nutrition, ingredient hazards and degree of processing; scientific expertise in GMOs, pesticides, food colors and flavors; and EWG nutritionist and mom Dawn Undurraga—we wanted to give you some ideas (beyond whole walnuts, pennies and dental floss) to help you shop a little smarter and a little healthier this year. And maybe stay out of the guilt vortex.

To help us solve this problem, EWG’s database analyst, Sydney Swanson, scoured our Food Scores database for candy and snacks that are USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified; use natural flavors and colors; are allergen safe; and/or are relatively low in sugar.

EWG’s Top 10 Healthy-ish Halloween Treats
Dawn’s Pick in Order:

1. Skinny Dipped Almonds Mini Pack – or other chocolate-covered almonds

2. Skinny Pop Halloween Multipack

3. Organic OCHO Coconut Minis

4. Organic appleapple Gogo squeeZ Applesauce Pouches

5. Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears

6. Wholesome Organic Skull & Ghost Lollipops

7. Annie’s Organic Bunnies & Bats Fruit Snacks

8. Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Chips Ghosts & Bats

9. Snyder’s Halloween Mini Pretzels

10. Surf Sweets: Organic Spooky Shapes

1. Skinny Dipped Almonds Mini Pack – or other chocolate-covered almonds

Chocolate-covered almonds have the greatest nutritional value on this list, with fiber and healthy fat to help kids feel full (and maybe eat less candy). However, they are by far the most expensive, and since it’s a tree nut, almonds are obviously not allergy friendly.

No artificial flavors
No artificial colors
No ingredients listed in EWG’s Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives
Gluten free
Non-GMO Project Verified
Allergy info: According to ingredients on product page, contains dairy, soy and tree nuts
1 gram fiber
15 percent sugar

2. Skinny Pop Halloween Multipack

Popcorn helps kids feel full and eat less.

No artificial flavors
No artificial colors
No ingredients listed in EWG’s Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives
Gluten free
Non-GMO Project Verified

Allergy info: According to Google Express, “Certified gluten-free … Dairy free. Peanut free. Tree nut free. Preservative free. No artificial flavors.”

Whole grain!
0 percent sugar

3. Organic OCHO Coconut Minis…

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