Healthy Candy for Halloween Trick-or-Treating

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In case you’re wondering if you’ve got the right blog, never fear… no, I don’t think there is such a thing as healthy candy!

By “healthy” I just mean “better than the alternatives,” meaning made from real food ingredients and without artificial dyes, preservatives, and all the other junk found in typical candy.

I still prefer to opt for candy-free gifts or experiences whenever possible, even at Halloween. But thanks to companies making candy with better ingredients, our family can take part in neighborhood trick-or-treat festivities (without resorting to handing out seaweed snacks… although I happen to think those are also delicious!).

Wait… Is Healthy Candy Good for You?

Given the negative health effects of sugar… no, definitely not!

I’ve taken some flack for my stance on sugar. (But hey, I can’t help what the science says.) There were quite a few years we even skipped parties and trick-or-treating altogether.

We’ve experimented with different approaches to Halloween (the ultimate candy-palooza) over the years. As our kids got older, we decided that rather than opt out, we could use Halloween or other special events as a chance for our kids to practice making good food choices.

Now that more companies are making better candy options (with ingredients I can actually recognize), I’ve been able to find some favorites that my kids love and I can live with. Mixing these in (sparingly) with plenty of non-candy alternatives makes for a fun, creative, and healthy Halloween that I think is better than the original tradition!

Healthier Candy (& Non-Candy) Alternatives for Trick-or-Treating

I usually make my own candy or chocolate when we are going to have it, but that won’t fly for trick-or-treating. If you’re looking for healthier store-bought candy, here are the ones that passed the test for us.

Of course you won’t find many of these in your local grocery store, so I use my Thrive Market membership to stock up. The prices are low, it’s convenient, and I love the selection.

All of the following treats are economical (.15-.50 cents each on average) and individually wrapped for trick-or-treating. Bonus, the neighborhood kids will probably like them better than the junky stuff!

Start With a Healthy Meal

First the good stuff, then the junk? This holds true at my house on Halloween. These are our favorite Halloween themed meals and snacks that have plenty of protein, fat, and fiber to fill everyone up and keep the sugar rush at bay.

Organic Spooky Fruit Snacks

These gummy packs get their color and flavor from real food ingredients like pear juice and carrot juice. A far cry from most store-bought candies, these are organic and gluten free.

Really Peely Fruit Tape

Remember these from the school lunch days? Something about the shape just makes this fruit leather more fun. This version uses real fruit and skips the corn syrup.

Grain Free Crackers

Give kids a break from all the sweet treats with these yummy grain-free crackers. They’ll never know they’re nutritious to boot. These are also individually wrapped for easy trick-or-treat distribution.

Popcorn Snack Packs

We don’t do popcorn often, but when we do we choose gluten-free and non-GMO. Kids and grown-ups alike will love the “buttery” goodness of coconut oil and a sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt.

Yum Earth Gummies

This is another candy brand I can get behind for the occasional treat, and kids love the tart flavor and fun twisty shape. The colors look a bit like candy corn too, but come from natural sources like black currants and turmeric.

Peanut Butter Cups (Without Peanut Butter)

No Halloween trick-or-treating list could be complete without peanut butter cups. These Dark Almond Butter Cups are perfect since they’re nut-allergy friendly and (in my opinion) an improvement on the classic treat.

Torie & Howard Chewie Fruities

These chewy fruit candies look exactly like the popular Starburst candies, but use mostly organic and natural ingredients and no artificial flavors or colors. Plus, their creative flavors will tempt even grown-ups: meyer lemon & raspberry, pomegranate & nectarine, and blood orange & honey.

Best Buy: Natural Lollipops

I know shopping for natural or organic products can mean a real bite out of the budget, but this time there’s no excuse. I saved the best for last with these natural assorted lollipops… 40 organic and real-fruit flavored pops in a bag for less than 15 cents each!

Non-Candy Goodies for Trick-or-Treating

Again, I offer these only as occasional alternatives for special occasions where candy is unavoidable (like Halloween), not as weekly/daily foods for kids.

To keep candy from being the center of the holiday, mix in plenty of non-edible treats and prizes. They are still inexpensive and kids love them! Here are 26 ideas of what to give out at Halloween besides candy.

Other Healthy Halloween Snacks & Treats (Kids Like!)

One strategy for limiting candy consumption is to offer kids plenty of nutritious food before heading out the door to trick-or-treat. Rather than our usual dinner, we make some Halloween-themed appetizers to share and make sure they are heavy on protein and fiber (and low on sugar).

While there are a million ideas for healthy Halloween party food, I’ve only tried ones that seemed very simple and easy to prepare (because I am not Martha Stewart), but I’m happy to report most of these turned out very well with little time and effort. In most cases, the kids were begging to take over and make them themselves. (I let them!)

Here are some favorite Halloween party snacks and treats we’ve tried:

I also keep some homemade treats along with some non-candy prizes on hand for after trick-or-treating. The kids cash in some of their less ideal candy for fun Halloween jewelry, trinkets, or toys. They usually have no problem with this and in fact look forward to it.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Bottom line, sharing in community with our friends and neighbors is a top priority for us. These options are about as close to healthy candy as you can get, and they’ve made participating in the trick-or-treating possible for our family. By providing some better alternatives to the usual Halloween candy-fest, we hope our kids will have a positive outlook on healthy eating and get to focus on just having fun!

What do you hand out at Halloween? Have you found candy with better ingredients? Please share!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


4 responses to “Healthy Candy for Halloween Trick-or-Treating”

  1. Jac Avatar

    Have you looked into the Smart Sweets? I have been buying these for some occasions. And am impressed with them. They aren’t overly sweet which I like because it keeps the palate sensitive to sweet tastes. I am curious if you don’t like them or just haven’t tried them perhaps.

  2. Orie Avatar

    Our tradition is going to the cider mill instead of trick or treating Halloween night. Its way more fun to just be together as a family enjoying the outdoors together and avoiding the chaos of trick or treating. We still get treats because we have fresh cider and donuts, so my daughter definitely doesnt feel like shes missing out. Ofcourse, somehow we still end up with a boatload of candy throughout October. We let her pick out a couple pieces and then the switch witch comes and switches the candy out for a new Halloween book and an educational toy. I give out non food treats in one bowl and the switch witch’s candy in another bowl before we head out to the cider mi.

  3. Meredith Lancaster Avatar
    Meredith Lancaster

    thank you, katie! i’m so grateful to you. i have both your cookbooks and pre ordered number 3. you’ve helped my transition a healthier life substantially! i just bought the bouncy balls for halloween. thanks for that, too!!! i am just about to complete robyn openshaws 26 day detox. it’s bern wonderful and i feel great. i’m wondering if you’ve done or heard of it? thanks again for your dedication and research!!! your hard work has benefitted my family greatly!

  4. Melody D. Avatar
    Melody D.

    Just wanted to point out that the first ingredient in the nut thins is rice flour, so they’re definitely not grain free. However Simple Mills has grain-free cheddar crackers!

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