Monday, October 8, 2007

Healthy Halloween: Organic Ideas for Trick or Treating Candy

Each year children look forward to October 31st with anticipation and excitement. The festivities of picking out the special costume and dreaming of the gobs of candy and sugar awaiting them at each door can be more than they can handle. For parents, the significant amount of high-fructose corn syrup in these halloween sweets is alarming.

Fortunately, a variety of organic and vegan hard-candy options make it easy to find candy free of sugar and full of healthier ingredients. However, when handing out hard candy, make sure you're only giving it to older kids who won't choke on small pieces. Try these:

Ginger People Candy's individually wrapped Original Ginger, Spicy Apple, Gin Gins and Peanut Ginger Chews ($10/2 lb. variety pack;

Organic Candy Company's Sour Fruit hard candy in cherry, lemon, pineapple and orange ($1.95/3.5 oz. bag,

The Candy Tree's Organic Mixed Fruit Taffy in cherry, lemon, black currant, strawberry and orange ($2.79/2.6 oz bag);

Organic Orange Lollipops ($2.79/pack of 7); and Organic Lemon Lollipops ($2.59/pack of 7; all available through

College Farm Organic Naturepops in Citrus Blast, Tropical Treat, Cheery Cherry and Wild Berry ($4.79/18-pop variety pack;

Let's Do Organic! Classic, Jelly and Super Sour vegan gummy bears ($2.34/4-bag box,


Look for the "Fair Trade Certified" label, which ensures that chocolate farmers were paid a fair price for their crop. Global Exchange sells Fair Trade Certified Equal Exchange chocolates ($7.95/42-piece bag). Teach your little ghouls more about fair trade with their Trick Or Treat Kit, which includes the fair-trade chocolate, "Fair Trade is Boo-tiful!" poster and postcards and a recycled trick-or-treat bag decorated with the Fair Trade ghost ($15.00;

Endangered Species Chocolate Company's Belgian-chocolate Bug Bites in organic milk chocolate come with educational trading cards ($29.60/64 bites). These sell out quickly, so order early. The company also sells non-organic Dark and Milk

Chocolate Halloween Treats sourced from a co-op in Nigeria ($5.50/24 pieces;

Betty Lou's Inc. makes organic Almond Patties, chocolate North Shore Patties and peanut butter Golden Smackers ($30.72/24-piece box;

College Farm Organic's Chocolate Mint hard candies come in biodegradable corn-starch packaging ($2.69/24-piece bag;

Fruit Snacks

Sneak something fruity into trick-or-treat bags, like Kettle Valley's Organic Fruit Snacks in strawberry, blueberry, cherry, cranberry, peach and berry blend ($23.30/pack of 30; or

Stretch Island's "Fruitab├╝" Organic Smooshed Fruit snacks in apple, apricot, grape, raspberry and strawberry ($14.00/30-piece box;

Earthbound Farm sells their organic Thompson Seedless Raisins in snack packs ($2.99/6-1.5 oz. boxes;

A Halloween party is a perfect occasion for serving high fructose corn syrup-free, organic apple cider from your local farmer's market. Learn more about buying cider from The Green Guide's Amy Topel: "Apple Cider—The Essence of Fall."
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