Yum! 10 Green Halloween Treats Your Kids Will Love

10/04/2011 at 02:00 PM ET
Courtesy Holli Dunn Photography

Who doesn’t love candy on Halloween?

But all those sugary eats aren’t exactly good for you.

This holiday, skip the candy aisle and opt for more healthy choices says Corey Colwell-Lipson, founder and director of Green Halloween and author of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family.

“[I know] how it is hard to find treats that are kid healthy,” shared the mom of two. “[And] most parents don’t have the time, inclination or money to seek out alternatives to conventional candy.”

For some great ideas, check out Colwell-Lipson’s top 10 treats that your little ones are guaranteed to love below.

Courtesy Stretch Island

Stretch Island Fruit Strips – These fruit snacks are all-natural and made from real fruit, so parents don’t have to worry about their kids consuming artificial and added sweeteners, flavors or preservatives. Each strip contains ½ serving of real fruit and is available in seven mouthwatering flavors!

Courtesy Larabar

Larabar Mini Bars – These bars are simply whole, real food made with fair trade chocolate, pure ingredients and are gluten free. With nearly 20 flavors ranging from Chocolate Chip Brownie to Peanut Butter Cookie, there’s a treat to satisfy every sweet tooth craving.

Honey Popcorn Balls – Just a handful of popcorn and a tad of honey, butter and vanilla extract creates a tasty and natural treat for kids! These simple-to-create snacks make for a fun activity for the kids and will deter them from added and artificial sweeteners.

Courtesy Endangered Species

Endangered Species “Bug Bites” – These Fair Trade chocolates are made with all-natural and organic ingredients, and contain a healthful dose of antioxidants. Plus, 10 percent of the proceeds are donated to species and habitat conservation efforts that benefit the environment!

Courtesy Stretch Island

FruitaBü Fruit Rolls – Kids can unroll the fun with these all-natural fruit snacks that contain no artificial sugars, flavors, colors or preservatives — just real fruit! Available in Strawberry, Grape and Apple, each treat equals one full serving of real fruit and is perfectly wholesome and delicious.

Courtesy Honest Kids

Honest Kids organic drink pouches – This line of organic, low-sugar, fruit-flavored thirst quenchers offer a great-tasting alternative to sugar-laden beverages. Available in five refreshing flavors, each pouch contains less than half the sugar of other pouch drinks!

Courtesy Sun-Maid

Sun-Maid Raisins Mini Snacks – These treat-sized boxes are 100 percent natural and contain nothing but pure grapes. Plus, they’re naturally sweet, moist and flavorful!

Courtesy Glee

Glee Gum Minis – This all-natural gum is a tasty treat that comes in Peppermint, Tangerine, Bubblegum and Triple Berry flavors, and is made with pure ingredients.

Courtesy Dr. Sears Family Essentials

Dr. Sears Family Essentials Popumz – These 100 percent All-Natural popped whole grain crisps are packed with Omega-3s, protein and fiber power to fill up hungry kids. The delicious and nutritious crisps are available in Ranch, BBQ and Cheddar. Plus, each time a Dr. Sears Family Essentials product is purchased, Dr. Sears will donate a complete meal to a needy child through their Two Healthy Kids initiative.

Courtesy Stash

Honey or Agave Nectar Sticks – These pure and natural sweeteners also make for a convenient treat! Just bite the sealed end, pop open and squeeze, and kids have an all-natural treat to satisfy their sweet tooth. (Note: do not give honey to kids under the age of 2).

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Showing 43 comments

Lena on

Come on Lady. Raisins and juice pouches for halloween? This is how you become the that one house on the street that everyone avoids. I’m all for healthy eating, but don’t kill halloween for kids.

The rest of her suggestions are equally ridiculous. Who is going to give a whole package of honey sticks to a child? They aren’t even meant to be eaten plain like that… they are designed for sweetening tea.

Sometimes I think moms disguise their own food issues by trying to control their children’s diet. A little candy on Halloween isn’t going to hurt your child.

Holli on

Just reviewed this list with my 10 year old daughter and aside from the raisins and juice box, she said YES to wanting everything else pop up in her halloween bag. I don’t think this list is that “out there” and nice to get a little something different from every house out there. I personally love the list!

drea on

I think it is also really easy for her to endorse these products when some of these companies are sponsors on her website and what she really is trying to promote is her book. It all seems extremely fake.

M on

Lena,Sweetie

Nothing wrong with healthy snacks and I’m sure these are just suggestions.

No need to be a Debbie Downer.

Actually a Mother passing on healthy eating is a wonderful idea!

Even though it’s “Halloween” good nutrition is always important :)

Shea on

Actually my 16 yr old keeps honey sticks for sweet cravings. She is hypoglycemic and honey sticks give her a boost naturally when she feels her sugar dropping. She is a vegetarian and an athlete and refuses to eat junk.

Healthymom on

Actually Lena…

http://rheumatic.org/sugar.htm

http://www.naturalnews.com/022692.html

May make you think twice about sugar ;)

Sarah on

Green Halloween is one of the most innovative ideas to come along for families who sort of hold their nose through the sticky sleazy mess that Halloween can so often be — if you’re looking for a few healthy ideas, these guys have lots. Try their badge on PracticallyGreen.com!

http://practicallygreen.com/badges/green-halloween

SPOOKY and fun without the rotgut.

Amanda K on

When I was a kid and went home and sorted my candy, the boxes of raisins I would give to my parents or toss in the trash.

Aviva Goldfarb on

These are great ideas, and I’ll bet lots of kids would love the novelty of them.

Alexandra Zissu on

Thank you Corey and Green Halloween! Such fantastic advice! There is mercury and genetically modified corn in conventional candy, not exactly the sort of treat any of us want for our growing kids, or us for that matter. Moderation is great, but it’s so easy to offer something delicious and safe at the same time.

Individual honey sticks are the best, show me a kid who will turn one down. I’ve yet to meet one. Fair trade anything–especially chocolate–is a true treat and kids are hungrier than most parents even to learn about why they’re great beyond being tasty and about what fair trade means.

What a great and festive holiday/moment to share great food and information at the same time instead of doing what we’ve always done. It’s not about killing Halloween as we’ve known it but offering a new equally fun version for kids.

Hopefully parents can clue and join in–and move away from their own food issues/memories–when they see how much fun their kids are having with organic juice and fair trade chocolate. If they’re wearing a swapped or hand-me-down costume, all the better. Happy Halloween! Thanks for highlighting these concerns most of us don’t consider.

Holli on

My daughter (age 10) and I just sat down together and looked through the list. I asked her what she would like to see in her trick-or-treat bag, all but two she said she would be happy to receive. I think this list is very appropriate. Great Article!

christy on

Thank you Corey for offering these wonderful suggestions for families who are looking for healthier alternatives to corn syrup and toxic food dyes! I know that this is a big concern for parents with little children who want to join in on the Halloween fun but don’t want to expose them to standard Halloween candy.

If we teach our children to eat healthful food, including treats, when they are young, by the time they get older they will more likely grab for the healthier options. That doesn’t mean they won’t EVER eat junk, but the healthy foundation will be set for life.

There is an epidemic that families either don’t realize or don’t want to know and it affects our children. Parents want better and your work Corey is helping people get there!

lisa on

i’m glad to see that there are better options for Halloween – better for kids and better for the planet.

shannon on

Hey, I’m all for eating healthy, but really, the only “treat” on that list I’d hand out would be the Endangered Species chocolates. You don’t want to be known as the house that gives out sucky treats. That’s how you find your trees TPed, your porch egged, and plastic forks sticking out of your lawn the next morning.

Tina Louise Balodi on

Corey, thank you for inspiring all of us as parents to truly help educate our families, ourselves and our children to make healthier more conscious choices. It’s our responsibility to help them understand that we can “celebrate” by taking care of ourselves. We don’t have to take a day off to make unhealthy choices.

I can understand how these moms feel and possibly felt as a child, but as Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better!” We can’t close our hearts to the knowledge that many kids suffer tremendously due to health issues and many can be prevented by changing what we eat. When we were kids, we didn’t know about our food the things we now know!

Let’s celebrate change and work through the fear that arises from those changes! If we help support each other we spend energy on feeling good and setting healthy intentions, all while teaching our kids that there is now a better way!

Bottom line, sugar is sugar! It’s a known fact that it is not healthy…but if you can have sugar without chemicals, artificial flavors and colors and pesticides at least you’re intending to eat healthier! A million thanks Corey for your efforts I know my family appreciates it! :)

Tiffany Casanova on

AMAZING IDEAS!! I love Hones Juice pouches and if even if a parent doesn’t wan to completely leave out the candy, these items are great alternatives to lots of snacks! I love the GREEN HALLOWEEN concept and I think it will grow as parent pay more attention to helping conserve resources and work to keep their children healthy!! GREAT JOB, COREY!!

Lesley on

Why are folks so hung up on a few people trying to do something a little different? Isn’t there enough folks mindlessly buying tons of candy to supply the need to fill that pillowcase sized bag kids now carry around on Halloween night? Hey, if raisins aren’t your thing, fine…but at least acknowledge the effort a few are making on behalf of our ever increasing child obesity epidemic or that fact that a huge percent of that candy ends up in our landfill. Yes..it’s only one day out of the year..just like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines Day and Easter…all food driven holidays.

When it comes to my family, well, nothing is off limits…but it needs to be balanced. Imagine if even half of the treats collected could end up in the lunch box instead of the landfill, we’d all be better off.

Monica Garg Singhal on

Thanks Corey for spreading Green Halloween message. All the suggestions are wonderful. Most of these companies use healthy, organic and fair trade ingredients and I would love to distribute these alternative options to the kids.

Flor on

We have done this experiment the last few years and we always get the same results. We fill a big bowl of candy half organic fruitaboos and half conventional candy, all mixed up. When trick-o-treaters come, we offer the bowl for them to choose what they want. The kids usually dig all the fruitaboos out and leave the other candy for us to dispose. I guess they have a sixth sense for what is good for them. Most years we run out of fruitaboos, but never run out of Snickers or Mars bars.

Leslie on

These are wonderful ideas. My daughter loves honeystix, Glee gum and Bug Bites. There is no deprivation in giving any of these items. Thank you for the great suggestions and the article.

Erin Ely on

Thanks Corey for the alternatives to conventional sugar laden Halloween treats. I see some people are fine with these ideas and others are not. If people don’t like these ideas then they don’t need to implement them.

I have also looked for alternatives to the traditional candy overload. Since most likely, all houses will not be following Corey’s suggestions then why not have some healthy alternatives for those who want them.

Great suggestions and great alternatives for those of us who care about out children’s health and want to provide them with healthier alternatives.

eatingarainbow on

I think this is a fantastic list and I am so happy to see that there are other parents out there that are wanting to find better and healthier ways to celebrate all the holidays. At Halloween we give out things like playdough, yo-yo’s, stickers etc…we fill a big bowl and let the kids choose…our bowl is ALWAYS empty by the end of the night and we have happy and grateful parents thanking us!

Keep up the amazing work Green Halloween!!! Wonderful article, suggestions and picture Corey!

traci on

I’m with Lena on this one. Give kids the candy, at least one day a year. (unless we’re talking about 2-5 year olds, who rarely eat candy as it is. Most of these would have gone to my parents or to my little sister growing up.

Mo on

Great list. My kids love those honey sticks!!! Fruit leather and fruit rolls ups are great too (real fruit and no food coloring is always a plus). It’s nice to know that brands are really starting of offer a variety of FUN treat our kids can enjoy and mom can feel good about.

Jessica on

What a great idea. Passing on the knowledge of how to make a fun holiday…. healthy! Our society is too wrapped up in silly traditions to realize that junk food doesn’t make the holiday. Feeding our children healthy alternatives just shows them that we care! I believe that this year we will do a trade when my daughter returns home from trick or treating….. she can trade in the junk candy for treats at home! This way she gets all the fun of the holiday and none of the bad stuff!

Ann on

The raisins, no. The rest? Sure. We had Endangered SPecies chocolate, it’s FANTASTIC, the little bug bite cards in them are cute, too. The other stuff isn’t bad, either. And my kids like honey sticks, I’d rather they had that than a Pixie Stick.

Mo on

I forgot to mention for those of you who are knocking the juice pouch idea…some of us live where it is still HOT on Halloween. A nice cold juice box/pouch is a real treat to kids in costumes.

Sandy on

I used common sense with my young children. I did not give my kids candy until they were at least five! Guess what? No crying in the check out for candy as they didn’t know what it was. Halloween turned out to be more about the getting the candy- which is the fun part- then about eating it. I kept some suckers and pretty much sent all the rest in a big bowl to work with hubby, who placed it in a spot for the adults to enjoy! (:

I for one have to pay for any fillings my kids get so I want to avoid cavities. Now if I could just get the TEACHERS at school to stop giving candy as rewards (every day too!).

Michele Figueroa on

There are also several websites you can go to and order natural candy. I usually order from naturalcandystore.com but just google natural candy and you will get a load of info. I do know that a lot of times my kids like the natural and organic candy better than the commercial stuff.

I do not understand why trying to do something a little better for yourself and your community has to be bad. Many of these suggestions weren’t the equivalent of an apple, I don’t want to be that house, just different from the normal chemical laden crap. Halloween should be more about family time and childhood than who can gain the most weight from massive pillowcases full of junk food.

bones_addict on

Don’t really have an opinion on the article, but I just had to point out that that is an ADORABLE baby!!!

Erika on

I agree with Lesley. If I had children I would appreciate that people handing out juice and raisins are making an effort and giving my kids treats. Not to mention, all of this stuff is probably more expensive than the bag of assorted chocolates that I hand out every year, so I would be especially appreciative that they went out of their way, just to give kids a healthier option.

Nobody is obligated to hand out candy on Halloween and you should be thankful that people are giving your kids anything, rather than complaining that they don’t like the stuff. Last year, I had a bratty 6 year old boy come to my door who proclaimed “I don’t like chocolate” when I gave him candy. You know what? Then don’t eat it and be appreciate what you do get! I also had a group of 8 year old boys who each took a handful of candy when I told them once piece each. I made them put it all back, and gave them each one piece and didn’t let them pick what kind, and they stuck their tongues out at me as they left.

I was so shocked by this as I am only in my 20s, but I honestly don’t remember being that disrespectful to anyone ever. I remember going out of my way to thank everyone that gave me candy, and last year, out of like 50+ kids, about 3 even thanked me. Halloween is not an excuse to be greedy or disrespectful to people who go out of their way to hand out candy. I went out of my way to praise the kids who were grateful and even gave them extra candy, but there were few of them. I hate the holiday to begin with but last year made it about 10 times worse because of the greed. I don’t even think I will be giving out candy this year.

Grace on

I’m a big fan of feeding kids healthy but I think there are a lot better options available than the ones listed here (organic lollipops, organic gummy bears, healthier candybars.) I’m not impressed with this list.

Ellen Smith on

I just went to the Endangered Species website. The chocolates are $33 dollars for 64 pieces. Not exactly the kind of money I want to spend on Halloween, especially when I would need at least two bags worth – Folks – $66 plus dollars for Halloween candy to “go green” or “be healthy” is a crock of you know what. And for the love of God, no child I know has ever gotten excited over receiving a box of raisins. Stick to healthy the other 364 days a year, and let the kids have their genetically modified high fructose crap on Halloween. Don’t kill the joy!

Lorie on

I applaud Corey for being a voice for change! There are so many things that we can do to make this holiday have a little less impact on our bodies and our planet and still have fun!

Paige Wolf on

It may just be “one night” as people say, but those bags of candy last and last…Yes, I will let my son eat the very occasional junky treat, but it would be GREAT if more people gave out things that are healthy and organic but still taste good! This is a great list and Green Halloween is a great campaign!

David K on

I love this list and know that my 5 year old twin boys would be happy receiving/eating any of the items. Trick or treating is all but dead in our area anyway so most of their treats they receive from a fabulous Halloween night out in downtown Edmonds, WA (our hometown). Green Halloween is a big supporter of that event and the kids line up for the healthy treats. Kids’ expectations are only based on what we tell them or previous experiences. There is no reason why they can’t be happy/excited getting healthy gum or drink pouches.

Lena on

Funny… After reading all these comments I decided to check out this woman’s website. All of the products she has suggested in the “green halloween” list above are her paid sponsors. And on her twitter and Facebook pages she posted “action alerts” where she told her followers to post comments on this article. Self promotion at it’s finest!

Healthymom on

Lena-non-profit-event. Do your homework. You rock!

Lena on

“HealthyMom” aka Corey Colwell,

There is nothing about a non-profit event listed in this article, unless you know something I don’t.

Personally,I find much of the eco/green movement to be disingenuous. Many companies and organizations are cashing in on the movement just to make a buck.

There is nothing green about promoting consumerism… and none of the stuff above is especially healthy or green anyhow. It’s mostly sugar/honey based, empty calories, and is manufactured in the same ways as other products.

Essentially what this lady is promoting is herself. Just call it what it is. The idea that she is somehow making the world a better place by telling us to buy these things is really not green or healthy in the slightest.

Heather Lynn on

My daughters absolutely love those Fruitabu rolls and would be delighted to get them for Halloween! I don’t think it’s a bad idea to give “healthier” treats for Halloween at all!

Alivia Hunter on

Let the kids decide! Kids more often then not will choose a toy or a snack they perceive as yummy based on the packaging of a product IF they have been taught by their parents that candy bars is not a snack – which it is not.

Rhi on

Ehhhh.

I don’t know about most of the products save for the raisins, so I can’t say if they’re good or not. I will say that it was awesome to get a juicebox last year because some of those costumes get very hot even on a cool night and we drank it while Trick or Treating.

But overall I can’t say that I get super excited at the thought of ending Halloween night with a bunch of dried fruits and veggies and granola bars. That’s not really what it’s about and I don’t see why that’s so bad to have one night of the year for kids to get a bit wild. I mean, a ‘healthy alternative’ to Christmas or birthday ‘consumerism’ would be to give your kids an orange and a dollar bill but you probably aren’t going to do that and would look funny if a parent gave those things as a gift to your child.

Nice catch too Lena. I’d be all for uber-healthy if I was getting paid too!

smiavs on

Has Halloween changed that drastically since I was a kid? I didn’t think you were supposed to accept unwrapped treats. The little honey popcorn balls could easily contain drugs, poison or a razor blade. I wish Halloween were as harmless as it was when my mother was a child, but it’s not. Those seem like a bad idea. I’m on board with everything else, though.

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