The month of October is upon us, and it’s time for pumpkins, witchy décor, and a whole lot of candy.
Halloween is the one holiday where we can all relax a bit, without the anxiety of Thanksgiving or the travel and plans of Christmas. Every year around this time I find myself picking up a cheap bag of fun-sized candy bars, maybe a tin of candy corn (I know, yuck) and just about any chocolate with a sale sticker on it. Stores set out their Halloween treats earlier and earlier, luring us in and encouraging us to stock up “while supplies last”. It looks like a good deal and trick-or-treaters always sneak up on you… so why not pick it up?
Here’s the catch: America’s favorite candy brands are often bad for us in ways we don’t even expect. The overuse of artificial flavorings and sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup can contribute to increasing childhood obesity rates1, as well as heart problems and diabetes in adults and kids alike2. Much of that candy is also produced in working conditions that would be illegal in the US, and Americans are projected to spend $2.6 billion on candy alone this Halloween3,4. That’s enough to make anyone a little queasy.
Throughout my childhood my parents would read and hear about kids getting sick from candy, especially around Halloween. They worried endlessly over whether my sister and I were eating too much sugar, and even went so far as to limit McDonald’s visits to once a year. In order to keep our sugar intake lower, the four of us shared whatever my sister and I collected after trick-or-treating, as well as what my parents hadn’t managed to give away. The rule was that Mom and Dad could take whatever they were allowed to eat (Mom loves Almond Joy and Mounds, and Dad would take about half of the Mr. Goodbars) and then they would grab anything homemade or “suspicious” from our hoard, as well as the strange airplane peanuts we always seemed to get. That did, however, leave us with a ton of sugary sweets that we would hide in our closets and ration throughout the year.
As the issues with candy became more widely known, Halloween in my neighborhood started to change. We came home with less candy, and more toys or low-sugar treats, which meant more of our haul was going to Mom and Dad! It was fun to share, since I didn’t want a lot of the snacks my parents did, but it was even better to try and claim the healthy treats that we all wanted to eat! My parents could relax while we sorted through our stash, and they started to hand out healthier snacks as well.
If you’re anything like my parents, we have some options for you to make this Halloween better for yourself and for your neighborhood. The best part? You won’t have to feel guilty for sneaking these out of the trick-or-treat bowl!
These little pouches are a perfect handout for trick-or-treaters of all ages. Made with no artificial flavorings or preservatives, Black Forest uses real fruit and vegetable juices for color and taste. These gummy bears are sweetened with organic tapioca and cane sugar, with no high fructose corn-syrup. Plus, all of their gummies are gluten free! Check out on Amazon!
Every single SmartSweets product has between 80-90 calories per serving! Developed by Whole Foods, these tasty treats are sweetened with Stevia and have just 3 grams of sugar per serving. They’re also non-GMO and gluten free! Check out on Amazon!
It may seem a little strange, but as a kid one of my favorite houses in the neighborhood would hand out granola bars. KIND bars make low-glycemic mini bars and “snacks with ingredients that you can recognize, pronounce and enjoy”. Plus, you can join their Snack Club for 10% off! Check out on Amazon!
These fruit roll-ups are made with an entire cup of fresh fruit in each one. BEAR snacks have no added sugars or preservatives, and are made without concentrates by using the whole fruit, not just the juice. With four delicious flavors it’s hard to go wrong with these. Check out on Amazon!
Annie’s Fruit Snacks are a favorite in my family, and we’ve been eating them for years! Available at Target, online, and most health food stores and markets, these fruit snacks boast a delicious and natural recipe that Annie’s has been following since the beginning. No artificial flavorings, colors, or preservatives in these gummies. They’re even gluten free, organic, and vegan! Check out on Amazon!
Chocolate is a must on Halloween, and these little dark chocolates pack quite the punch. At 55% cocoa, these treats are gluten-free and non-GMO, as well as fair trade kosher! Equal Exchange partners with 15 different farmer co-ops in South America to bring you chocolate that is as good for you as it is the environment. Check out on Amazon!
Our Minis are the perfect bite-sized snack to hand out to your neighborhood trick-or-treaters this Halloween! All of our Minis are whole grain, primarily fruit-sweetened, and Non-GMO Project Verified. Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter, and Double Chocolate Minis are also vegan. With a special appearance of our Caramel Apple Minis! Available this season only, they’re sure to be a hit.
From the crew at Erin Baker’s to you and yours, we hope you have a healthy Halloween!
Retail Customer Service | Erin Baker's