8 Healthy Halloween Candy Swaps for a Healthier Holiday
Halloween candy is delicious, but if you want healthy Halloween candy—low in sugar, allergen free, or some other benefit—try these swaps.
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Healthy Halloween candy swaps
It’s no mystery that Halloween 2020 will be different than previous years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Halloween events that large draw crowds are canceled and trick-or-treating is strongly discouraged.
However, if you’re doing your own modified version of Halloween, whether it’s trunk-or-treating or staying in and watching scary movies, you’ll probably have candy and other treats on hand.
According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend a total of $8.05 billion during the 2020 Halloween season with 96 percent of people planning to purchase candy.
Halloween candy is, of course, delicious. It can also be loaded with refined sugar and additives, which probably aren’t the best things to consume in large quantities every single day.
Overall, healthy eating is more about an ongoing pattern of eating, not just the occasional holiday or special occasion, and most experts say the occasional treat or indulgence is no problem. That said, if you want to eat or give away healthier Halloween candy—because it’s low in sugar, allergen or nut free, has healthy ingredients, or some other benefits—that’s understandable.
Here are some healthier Halloween treats that you can sub out for traditional favorites. (Not all of these are nut or allergen free, so make sure to read the label.)
Instead of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, try Unreal Mini Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
$48, 40 cups
Unreal takes the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) out of some of your favorite childhood treats. Case in point: their mini dark chocolate peanut butter cup. Note that Unreal products aren’t actually made with healthy ingredients (no quinoa or sunflower seeds sprinkled in here), but the lack of chemicals, additives, and HFCS make them a better alternative to mainstream treats. (Here’s what nutritionists do on Halloween.)
Instead of microwave popcorn, try SkinnyPop Popcorn
$4, pack of 6
SkinnyPop popcorn is an oft-recommended alternative to traditional microwave popcorn by health experts, and now it comes in portion-controlled (and Halloween-friendly) multipacks. The filler-free popcorn packs are made without gluten, dairy, or preservatives.
SkinnyPop is also Teal Pumpkin Project-approved, meaning it’s free of all major allergens. (Learn about the foods responsible for all food allergens.)
Instead of Rice Crispy Treats, try Smash Crispy Marshmallow Treats
$12, pack of 6
Rice Crispy Treats are delicious, but not the healthiest option to snack on. However, Smash Crispy marshmallow treats are a healthier alternative. Made by Smashmallow, they’re low in fat, contain organic cane sugar, and come in three flavors: cinnamon churro, strawberries and cream, and mint chocolate chip.
Instead of Chips Ahoy!, try Oatmega
$41, pack of 24
Oatmega makes cookies and protein bars using grass-fed whey protein, so they contain 12 to 14 g of protein. They also contain 250 mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3s (a daily dose) for each cookie or bar. (Here are more healthy Halloween candies that won’t wreck your diet.)
Instead of Hershey’s Kisses, try Enjoy Life Foods Halloween Chocolate Minis
$26, pack of 4
Enjoy Life Halloween chocolate minis are bite-size mini chocolates free from the top eight allergens. They come in dark chocolate, rice milk chocolate, rice milk crunch chocolate, as well as a variety pack. (Find out what happens to your body when you eat chocolate.)
Instead of Peanut Butter Kisses, try NuttZo 2go
$17, 10 packets
You already know that nuts are chock full of healthy fats; the one issue is portion control. Like all things, healthy fats are only healthy in moderation. Nuts are also high in calories. NuttZo 2go solves these problems with their portion-controlled squeezable packs made with seven nuts and seeds. Aside from healthy fats, these packs are full of protein and omega-3s.
Instead of Bubble Yum, try Spry Stronger Longer Bubble Gum
$9, 55 count
Spry Stronger Longer Bubble Gum is a great alternative to traditional gum. It’s sweetened with xylitol, a natural sweetener, which can help keep mouths not only fresh. Xylitol also inhibits the growth of bacteria, keeping it from sticking to teeth and tissues. (Xylitol can also cause tummy trouble in large quantities, so don’t overdo this one.)
Instead of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, try Wholesome Surf Sweets Organic Jelly Beans
$7, pack of two
Wholesome Surf Sweets organic jelly beans are made without synthetic colors. They’re also naturally flavored and vegetarian (no questionable animal fats here), have 100 percent vitamin C per serving, and you’ll recognize all the ingredients on the nutrition label.
Next, here are some low sugar Halloween candies to try.