Looking for healthier Halloween treats and snacks this year?
We’ve put together a list of some of our top-rated store-bought treats. From decadent chocolates to caramel apple chips, there are plenty of nutritious alternatives to traditional Halloween candy with fewer added sugars and no artificial colors or flavors.
Here’s a breakdown of how to shop for healthy Halloween treats, plus 18 options bound to satisfy the tastebuds of both kids and adults alike.
How to choose healthy Halloween treats
Each Halloween, Americans have historically spent up to $2.7 billion on candy alone (1).
Not only is traditional Halloween candy loaded with added sugar, but it’s packed with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
In contrast to the traditional ultra-processed Halloween goodies, there are several healthier Halloween treats that are free of artificial ingredients. Many — but not all — are relatively low in added sugar.
When choosing healthy Halloween treats, here are some ingredients to consider:
- Added sugar. As it’s a source of empty calories, added sugar is meant to be consumed in moderation. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to 9 teaspoons (36 grams) per day for men and 6 teaspoons (25 grams) per day for women (2).
- Artificial colors. Most artificial food dyes are made from petroleum, added to enhance the color of food. Whether these synthetic compounds cause negative health effects is highly controversial. While they are generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some studies have demonstrated cancer-causing effects in animals. Other studies have linked artificial food dyes to hyperactivity in children, though findings are mixed (3, 4, 5, 6).
- Artificial flavors. Artificial flavors are designed to mimic flavors found in nature by copying their chemical structure. While they are recognized as safe by the FDA, some artificial flavors lack sufficient studies on their safety. What’s more, it’s difficult to tell exactly which flavors are being used, since manufacturers aren’t required to list this on the label (7).
Keep in mind, most of the treats in this list will supply some added sugar to help satisfy your sweet tooth.
However, the products we’ve selected are relatively low in added sugar compared to traditional Halloween candy, which often contains as much as 45% of the recommended daily intake of added sugar in a single serving (8).
1. Apple Cinnamon Rxbar
2. Simple Truth Organic Sea Salt 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate
3. Taza Chocolate Organic Toasted Coconut & Wicked Dark Chocolate Bar
4. Bare Snacks Cinnamon Apple Chips
5. Harris Teeter Organics Apple Cider
6. Go Raw Carrot Cake Super Cookies
7. Voodoo Nuts Habanero Garlic Smoked Pistachio
8. Base Culture Nutty Pumpkin Bread
9. Lil Bucks Clusterbucks Chocolate Reishi Adaptogenic Buckwheat Clusters
10. Melissa’s Produce Pumpkin Seed Clean Snax with Chia and Flax Seed
11. Purely Elizabeth Pumpkin Spice Grainfree Superfood Granola
12. Seneca Crispy Caramel Apple Chips
13. Panda Raspberry Licorice Chews
14. Spiced Pumpkin Pie Clif Bar
15. Red Vines Mixed Berry Licorice Twists
16. Free2b Foods Dark Chocolate Sun Cups
17. Unreal Candy Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems
18. Voortman Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Key takeaways for choosing healthy Halloween treats and snacks
If you’re looking for healthy Halloween treats and snacks, it’s best to avoid the typical candies that are chock-full of artificial colors and flavors.
Additionally, healthy Halloween treats are relatively low in added sugar. Consider the added sugar content per serving and pay attention to your portion sizes to avoid going overboard. For general health, stick to 6-9 teaspoons of added sugar per day.
Top-rated healthy Halloween Treats
GreenChoice, PBC has evaluated and rated more than 340,000 food & beverage products across hundreds of attributes related to diet, health, and sustainability. Easily find the best products for you, the planet, & your budget. Download the free GreenChoice app for Apple iO or Android!