10 Healthiest Candies & Candy Alternatives for Halloween

Want to satisfy that sweet tooth without the fright? Check out these healthy Halloween candies and tips to enjoy!

10 Healthiest Candies & Candy Alternatives for Halloween

Healthy Halloween candy may seem like a paradox, but it does exist. Saturated fat, high fructose corn syrup, and even sugar free Halloween candy can turn certain sweets into a scary option. However, candy alternatives for Halloween and understanding calories in Halloween candy can help keep the holiday fun, festive, and healthy.

Read on for tips on navigating the tricks and treats this Halloween, including the healthiest candy bars and alternative options. 

Healthiest Halloween Candies

Just like any other food, Halloween candy can add value and variety to the diet. Consumed alongside well-balanced meals, Halloween treats can certainly be part of a healthy diet. 

The following tips can help you keep your candy as nutrient-rich as possible. 

Fun Size, Snack Size, or Mini Size

Small size sweets can help to keep candy under 100 calories. Options such as mini rice cereal treat bars are great for trick-or-treating. Even classic favorites, like Peanut M&Ms, can be part of a healthy diet if enjoyed from a “fun-size” pack. 

Other smaller-size favorites to enjoy include: 

• Charms Blow Pops (only 70 calories each)
• REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup (single cups)
• SNICKERS®(“fun-size” bar)
• YORK Peppermint Patties (150 calories each)

Homemade Halloween Treats

While homemade treats may not be allowed in the classroom, concoctions created in your kitchen can be perfect for parties. Create healthier versions of your favorite candies at home. Find innovative ways to make classic Halloween treats at home. 

For example, you can use dark chocolate and peanut butter to make homemade peanut butter cups. You could also create hard candies or gummies using your own molds (often found on baking supply sites or Amazon.com). 

Healthier Versions of Halloween Favorites

Some brands create “healthy” versions of your Halloween favorites by doing one (or more) of the following: 

• Adding fiber
• Reducing calories
• Using allergen-free ingredients

While not usually as easy to find as traditional treats, healthier alternatives can be a smart choice. For example, Justin’s® Brand makes dark chocolate peanut butter cups. This type of chocolate candy has a similar nutrient profile to the popular REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups, but includes organic ingredients, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate, less added sugar, and no cholesterol. 

The following 10 brands are considered the healthiest candies and candy alternatives for Halloween among dietitians and experts: 

1. Alter Eco (organic)
2. Endangered Species Chocolate (vegan, gluten-free) 
3. Hu Kitchen (organic, paleo, gluten- and soy-free)
4. Lily’s Sweets (stevia-sweetened, no added sugar)
5. OCHO Candy (organic)
6. SkinnyDipped (lower sugar)
7. SmartSweets (low-sugar)
8. Surf Sweets (allergy-friendly)
9. UNREAL® (low sugar) 
10. YumEarth (allergy-friendly)

Sugar Free Halloween Candy

“Sugar-free” doesn’t always equal healthy. For certain people, like diabetics, sugar free sweets can help. 

However, candies with a lower sugar content often have artificial flavors or sugar alcohols to substitute. These compounds can cause digestive distress in some individuals. In any case, sugar-free gum is often a safe choice to enjoy.

Low Sugar Sweets

New candy brands are responding to customer demand. For example, SmartSweets makes hard and gummy candies that look like traditional options, but with far less sugar. Brands like these can be a great option if you are looking to keep sugar low and fiber high for balanced blood sugar. 

Mindfully Enjoy

While sugar free Halloween treats may be appropriate for certain populations (i.e. diabetics), intentional and mindful eating may be the way to go for others. Sugar isn’t the enemy necessarily, but should be consumed in moderation. Mindful eating practices can help you enjoy balance in your diet while enjoying seasonal favorites.

Remember, Halloween is just one day out of the whole year. One day won’t wreck a whole year of healthy habits. 

Candy Alternatives for Halloween

Halloween is classically linked to candy, but it doesn’t always have to be about sweets. Healthy snacks or toys can take the place of candy at parties or in trick-or-treater’s bags. 

Healthy Snacks to Substitute for Sweets

Instead of candy, try handing out these delicious snacks: 

• Animal-shaped graham crackers
• Applesauce pouches 
• Cereal bars (preferably including real fruit)
• Fruit snacks or leathers made with 100% fruit (or fortified with vitamins)
• Individual fruit cups (in water not syrup)
• Individual bags of pretzels
• Pudding cups (low-fat)
• Whole-grain cheddar-flavored crackers
• 100% fruit juice (boxes or pouches)

Toys and Other Trinkets

Halloween themed handouts don’t have to be sweets to be something kids will love. Trick-or-treater’s will love non-food fun trinkets like: 

• Bouncy balls
• Glow sticks 
• Vampire teeth

In Summary On Spooky Sweets

If you’re looking to keep calories or sugar low this Halloween season, the good news is that there are still plenty of choices available to you. From new allergy-friendly brands to fun-size favorites, there’s something for everyone. The bottom line? Steer clear of what might upset your stomach, and don’t forget that you can indulge intentionally without wrecking your overall diet goals. 

References:

Ellis E. Enjoy a Healthy and Happy Halloween. Eatright.org. Published October 2019. 

Ellis E. Tips for a Healthy Halloween Party. Eatright.org. Published October 2021. 

Foley J. 10 Healthy Candy Brands You’ll Feel Good About Eating. Livestrong.com. Published September 2022. 

Hersheyland. REESE’S Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. Hersheyland.com. Accessed 2022. 

Hormel Foods Corporation. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. Justins.com. Accessed 2022. 

Kennedy K. Can Candy Be Healthy? Everydayhealth.com. Published February 2022. 

Migala J. The 6 Best and 5 Worst Candies for Your Health. Everydayhealth.com. Published September 2020. 

Norris R. Here’s What Registered Dietitians *Really* Think About So-Called ‘Healthy Candy’. Wellandgood.com. Published March 2022. 

Remmer S. A Dietitian’s Guide to Candy. Fraicheliving.com. Published October 2021. 


Rosenman M. What is the Healthiest Candy Bar? Cheatdaydesign.com. Published March 2022.

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