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Those giant bags of individually wrapped candy aren’t healthy for our kids or our planet. But you can feel better about buying these 8 candies from earth-conscious food manufacturers.
I used to be that mom who gave out pretzels and mini raisins on Halloween. Those giant bags of individually wrapped candy just aren’t healthy for our kids or our planet. But the candy industry is gradually yielding to pressure from environmentalists and starting to do the right thing. For example, palm oil, a common candy ingredient, used to spark concern. (It’s hard to enjoy your chocolate when it might be tied to rainforest destruction.) But today, major candy manufacturers, including Mars and Nestle, are using only certified sustainable palm oil, most of which comes from Malaysia, a world leader in progressive environmental policies.
Of course, most kids don’t care as much as you do about whether a snack is healthy or earth-friendly. And younger kids may be reluctant to even try a candy brand they don’t recognize. But while these better choices may not make a big dent on the Halloween candy market, they can offer a good opportunity to teach your kids how to evaluate food labels and talk to them about ingredients. This Halloween, look for these 10 candy options from Earth-conscious food manufacturers. (Bonus: Many of these candies are also gluten-free.)
All of Unreal Candy‘s chocolate is non-GMO and certified by Fair Trade USA. Natural ingredients such as beet root, carrot and red cabbage juices are used to color the candy coatings.
CLIF ZKIDS Bars/Brownies and/or Organic Fruit Ropes:
CLIF ZKIDS are USDA Certified Organic and contain no artificial flavors or synthetic preservatives.
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Yummy Earth Lollipops
I like Yummy Earth Lollipops because they are USDA Certified Organic and available in reusable or resealable packaging, cutting down on waste.
Go Organic Fruit Chews
Go Organic Fruit Chews are Non-GMO Project Verified and USDA Certified Organic. The chews are made with Fair Trade-Certified sugar, and the bulk candy comes in home-compostable, cellophane bags.
Glee Gum Pops
Non-GMO Project verified, Glee Gum is one of the few North American gums still made with chicle, a tree sap harvested sustainably. The company partners with a nonprofit group to plant trees, revitalizing degraded lands.
Surf Sweets Fruity Bears
Available in Halloween treat packs of 20, Surf Sweets Fruity Bears are USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project verified. They are also free of the 10 most-common allergens.
Justins’ Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Justins’ Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are made with organic, fair trade chocolate and locally sourced ingredients. The company donates part of its proceeds to worldwide hunger relief and poverty relief.
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Nib Mor Chocolate
Nib Mor Chocolate products are organic and non-GMO. Considering handing out the hot chocolate packets as well as the bite-sized treats.
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About Our Expert
Felicia D. Stoler, DCN, MS, RDN, FACSM, FAND, America’s Health & Wellness Expert™, is a registered dietitian nutritionist, exercise physiologist and expert consultant in nutrition and healthful living. She was the host for TLC’s reality show, Honey We’re Killing the Kids. She is the author of Living Skinny in Fat Genes™: The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great (Pegasus 2011). She specializes in integrating behavior modification to influence positive health outcomes.