Parents are becoming more and more savvy about how conventional candy companies work: Make the “treat” with the least amount of effort and sell it for the most money. Using real, wholesome, ethically sourced or even safe ingredients are not necessarily part of the deal.
Luckily, there are now many awesome options available. Healthy (and healthier), ethically sourced and sustainably grown Halloween treats are becoming easier and easier to find. Even super market chains, major online retailers and big box stores have jumped on the bandwagon, making these items more accessible to families no matter where they live.
But it can be confusing to negotiate the web of certifications and labels that some treat brands boast. Are they really meaningful? Or just “green-washing”? This list will (hopefully) make the process of buying healthier Halloween treats (and party fare) more simple.
Just look for as many as possible of the following:
- Non-GMO (preferably Non-GMO Project Verified)
- Organic (Certified is best)
- Locally grown/produced
- No high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
- No Palm-oil
- No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives (i.e. Real, whole foods – If your first-grader can pronounce all of the ingredients, you are probably in luck.)
- Fair Trade
- Minimally processed
- For chocolate – Rainforest Alliance Certified and/or shade grown
In addition, you may want to consider giving away goodies or serving foods that are peanut-free, gluten-free, dairy free and/or egg free. These are some of the most common food allergens. And with 1 in 13 kids suffering from food allergies*, limiting highly allergic foods is one way to ensure that Halloween is safe and fun for everyone.