Halloween. The spookiest part of this holiday may be the downward spiral of poor
EDITED for 2020: Obviously Halloween will likely look a lot different this year. This post was first published in 2019. I’ve tried to update links where appropriate. We’re in virtual school and who knows what trick-or-treat will look like, but we’ve talked about doing mini scavenger hunts or even sending mini treat/fun bags to close friends to change things up. Feel free to leave your suggestions! 🙂
“But It’s Just One Day!”
Some naysayers will be all, “It’s just one day!”, but if you have school-age kids, you know that’s a LIE! I’m all for a celebration, and I’m all for indulging during said celebrations. But seriously, when you have five or six Halloween-related celebrations (and All. The. Birthdays!!) through different groups or activities or church or school, it can feel overwhelming.
Here are some alternatives to conventional Halloween candy and treats.
Healthier Halloween candy
First, organic candy choices.
Keeping in mind that organic candy is still candy, with organic choices you won’t have to worry about artificial colors and flavors and GMOs (genetically modified organisms). There are a ton of choices that are mainstream now, especially at Target. Check out what my local store (Barboursville, WV) had in stock.
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An 80-pack is $7.99 (Also available online) They have frequent Cartwheel deals, and of course, you can save 5% with your Target RedCard. These pops are also available on Amazon, (but pricier)
Yumearth Organic Candy Corn
Under 8 bucks for 24 snack packs at Target, also available on Amazon, again pricier.
Black Forest Organic Variety Pack
I could not find this online in 2020, but fingers crossed it’s still an option!
Ocho Organic Chocolate Variety Pack
I first had the chocolate and caramel varieties of these Ocho chocolates around Easter last year. They. Are. So. Good!!!! I’ve been a lifelong fan of Reese’s, and these are one of the only candies I’ve found compares. So good luck keeping them around for trick-or-treaters!
More Organic Options
There are so many great options for organic candy available now. Other options that may not be marketed for Halloween but are still delicious include: Cocomel Caramels (
Not Treats, But Not Tricks Either.
When we’re asked to contribute to ANOTHER Halloween celebration for something, I try to buy either something non-food related like stickers or tattoos, or something we may pack for lunches or snacks anyways.
Target had multi-packs of:
Organic Annie’s Bunny Grahams
Note: I couldn’t find these in 2020, but I hope they bring them back! They’ve been one of our favorite seasonal treats.
Made Good mini granola bars (allergy-friendly!)
Target definitely has these in stock in 2020. I recently picked up a pack in a Drive Up order! Easy peasy! 🙂
Not organic, but a different option- Utz Mini Bags of Pretzels
GoGo Squeez Applesauce Pouches
These GoGo Squeez Applesauce pouches are perfect for a classroom treat or non-candy treat to hand out in ballet class or wherever else you have holiday parties.
Healthier Halloween Fresh Snacks
Pinterest has been very helpful over the past few years for
Cutie Jack-o-lanterns /pumpkins
We also did these cutie jack-o-lanterns for a Halloween-themed birthday party a few years ago.
They’re incredibly easy, even if you’re allergic to DIY-type projects like this.
I took turns coloring faces with my four and six-year-olds on this one. I won’t say which ones are mine!
You can also peel the cuties and stick a little celery stem or chive at the top for a pumpkin.
You could also make ghost faces on mozzarella string cheese (Kroger, Walmart, and Sam’s Club have organic options for these)
The fewer cheap plastic toys we can bring in this house, the better. They are as insidious as glitter to me. However, there a few items I don’t mind having a lot of. We LOVE stickers. There’s so much you can do with stickers, especially if you have little creators. Most of the time, I don’t mind the little temporary tattoos either. They don’t last long and can be a fun little mini project. Target also sells little seasonal bubble sticks, which can be fun, but aren’t the best quality. I could do without the plastic spiders and bouncy balls and all those extras that just seem to show up places they aren’t supposed to.
I used to love the idea of glow sticks/ bracelets/ necklaces for Trick-or-treating, especially, that is until I had a couple leak on to furniture and strip off the finish. (This is why we can’t have nice things!!!!)
The last couple years in the Target Dollar Spot, they’ve had these LED jewelry items, which are reusable and super cute.
On trick-or-treat night, my kids will be out with all the other goblins and ghouls (okay, maybe not this year…but if they were), you can bet their buckets (after I clear out the mismatched socks that one of them currently contains) will be filled with conventional candy. I let them each pick out a few pieces to have that night and a handful to keep and eat over the next few days. By the time they wake up, most of the chocolate will have mysteriously vanished (Unless their mom suddenly develops magical willpower). Anything left will mostly get swapped out for some “better” choices, and we have a couple of options for the rest. We do have a local dentist who buys candy by the pound to send to troops. Sometimes, we take it to church to put out with the rest of the after-service goodies. Some things just get tossed (I’m looking at you foil-wrapped generic chocolate).
If you want to live it up for the day without worrying about Red 40 and Blue something or other … just boo it. The main reason we’re giving you all these “healthier” options is the sheer amount of Halloween-themed activities there seem to be these days. Bottom line, use your best judgment, and for the love of all things scary, have a great time! (And maybe make sure your dental visits are up-to-date!!)
wow this is genius! as ahealth nut and a new mom, halloween used to be my FAVORITE but now I almost dread trick or treating lmao. These tips are so useful– I never thought to use halloween themed healthy snacks to replace candy!
Make your own treats that have some nutritional value by including a source of fruits, vegetables nuts or whole grains. Try popcorn tossed with cinnamon and sugar or chocolate-covered fresh fruit as healthier alternatives to candy. Go for pumpkin treats, such as fiber-packed cinnamon-roasted pumpkin seeds or vitamin A-rich pumpkin chocolate chip mini muffins.
These are all great ideas! My family always roasts pumpkin seeds, so this year I will definitely be adding cinnamon!