Halloween is one of my favorite holidays—mostly because I love scary movies and scare fest experiences. I’m a sucker for haunted theme parks filled with ghouls who chase me with chainsaws (ahhh!!!). I also love me a good costume party, too. This year, I’m going to attempt a David Bowie Ziggy Stardust look—we’ll see how it goes. Bring on the YouTube makeup tutorials!
As a kid, my mom (a fellow Halloween lover) would put spiders in my bed and bats in my cereal box. I’m fairly certain I’ll be getting another care package with some sort of skeleton remains this year. Fake, of course… I think.
Clearly, it’s the time of year to engage in some spooky shenanigans. Halloween is also the kick-off of sugar season. And while it’s pretty hard to avoid sweet treats altogether, it is possible to make better choices and not overdo it. Learning to be satisfied with a little somethin’ somethin’ will take you far and get you through many holidays in a healthy way.
Whether you’re deciding what to give out on Halloween, trying to help your little ones navigate their haul or wondering which piece you should snag from the candy dish, I’m here to help you find your way. Plus, make sure to check out the awesome recipe we included below. It’s loaded with messy, healthy fun for you and your scary crew.
My Top 5 Halloween Tips
1. Opt for some alternative treats. Jazz it up a bit by handing out tattoos, stickers, glow bracelets or spider rings. You can also try the healthier standbys: pretzels, raisins, popcorn bags or apples. Just don’t be offended if this doesn’t make your doorbell the most popular!
2. Swap candy for coins. If you’ve got little ones, trade candy for coins. Each piece gets them 5 or 10 cents to put in their piggy banks (shouldn’t put you out too badly!). Or have them trade all their candy in (minus a couple of their favorites) for a super special toy they’ve been wanting.
3. Create a candy schedule. Let everyone choose up to 3 pieces of candy on Halloween night and then keep it to 1 piece with lunch and/or dinner after that. Your kiddies may run out of their favorites faster than you think. Grownups can ration candy like kids, too: 1-2 pieces a day for treats with meals. We’ve all got a little candy goblin in us!
4. Shrink your pile. Freeze some of the chocolate bars for 3-6 months. Making the candy stock smaller right away means you and your kids will be less likely to overeat, and can even preserve a few treats for down the road. A two-fer!
5. Hunt for the nutrition. Dark chocolate, nuts and seeds actually have some redeeming nutritional value. The antioxidants in the cocoa along with the vitamins and protein in the nuts and seeds can balance out the empty calories from the sugar.
My Favorite Halloween Candies
Here are my current faves, which are all free of animal products and artificial ingredients, and many contain organic and fair trade ingredients too.
Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
These are like Reese’s, but minus the dairy and full of fair-trade chocolate. Yum!
Choco No No’s by No Whey Foods
Modeled after M&M’s but they are free of all 8 common allergens, including peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, gluten and soy.
This is a more natural version of Swedish Fish. Each one is only 5 grams of sugar so as long as you don’t go cray cray, they’re not so bad. Plus, they don’t contain the artificial colors and dyes.
OCHO Dark Chocolate Coconut Minis
These bite-sized chocolates with a gooey coconut center have only a few grams of sugar each, and are made with all organic ingredients.
Unreal Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems
Colored with veggies and made crunchy with quinoa, these dark chocolate treats are literally unreal! You may never go back to traditional treats once you’ve tried these.
Nutiva’s Organic O’Coconut Treats
In either Classic or Hemp & Chia varieties, these organic little gems are lightly sweetened with tapioca syrup and monkfruit, and are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.
Free2b Dark Chocolate Mint Cups
These yummy cups combine two of my favorite flavors: dark chocolate and mint.