3 Tips for Choosing Healthier Halloween Candy

by Charise Rohm Nulsen

If you’re running out to buy Halloween candy this week, why not make some healthier choices this year? You’ll be sending a positive message to your family and the families in your neighborhood.

1. Avoid treats that contain high fructose corn syrup.

Why avoid HFCS?
- It interferes with the body’s metabolism so that you physically cannot control your cravings. Leptin is a hormone in our bodies that tells us when we’re full, which usually leads to us making the choice to stop eating. HFCS slows down the release of Leptin so we don’t feel that urge when we should.

- Studies show there may be mercury in HFCS.

- HFCS is usually made from crops that are often genetically modified and are the recipients of pesticides.

What treats do not contain HFCS?
- Candy made from honey – or homemade honey candy.
- Organic, fair trade chocolate
- Corn syrup free Halloween candy from the Natural Candy Store

2. Do not buy Nestle products.
For a detailed description of why you should not support Nestle or any of their brands, please read this post by PhD in Parenting. A couple of the reasons you will come across are: 1) Nestle has knowingly promoted an infant formula that puts babies at risk. 2) They use suppliers that violate human rights and destroy the environment.

Please note that if you want to avoid Nestle products, you need to look for all of its brands. They are not all called Nestle. Brands like Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, and Raisinets are also Nestle. You can find the complete list of Nestle brands here.

If you’re on Twitter, you can rally against Nestle by using the #NoNestle hash tag. You can also voice your support on Facebook or your own blog.

3. Choose non-candy, delicious treats.
Some options that I would like to get if I were trick or treating are:
- Fig cookies or candy
- Trail mix
- Chocolate or yogurt covered raisins or pretzels
- Pumpkin seeds
- Granola bars
- Popcorn balls

For more information on how to keep your family healthy, visit Healthy Child, Healthy World.

toddler dressed as cat

I want to keep this cute little kitty healthy :-)



What choices are you making to keep your family healthy this Halloween?

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lori Popkewitz Alper October 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Thanks for the reminder not to buy Nestle products. I still have to go out and get my Halloween candy. This year I’m waiting until the last possible second so I’m not tempted to taste!
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2 Zoie @ TouchstoneZ October 25, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Thank you for the recommendations! I’m so glad the word is getting out about Nestle and HFCS. We avoid both always. Unfortunately, we can’t give out homemade or home-packaged treats in our town. I so wish the world were different and I could make cupcakes for all the cute and spooky kids. I love seeing them.

Since we’re out trick or treating ourselves, we leave a bowl out requesting that everyone take just one item. Hopefully, that works.

The hard part is that the kids get HFCS and Nestle products in their trick or treat bags. Both of these my kids are aware to avoid, but it’s hard.

The other issue for me, in addition to the important ones you raised, is avoiding single-use plastics. I’ve been wracking my brain on how to avoid it and it seems impossible. Our compromise has been to give out a choice of tattoos, mini-activity books, erasers & pencils (which were slightly more expensive NOT wrapped in plastic. Grrr!) This way, I feel like hopefully we’re not the complete party-pooper house on the block and we’re minimizing the waste.

Okay, now that I’ve written a post long comment, I should continue the rest in a real post (hopefully I’ll have time to write it)
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3 Brenna @ Almost All The Truth October 25, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Yes! Great tips. I was trying to convince my family to non-candy this year (always no Nestle, but still). Now my husband (who really just wants to eat the candy himself) wants a competition, so we are doing both and letting the trick-or-treaters decide. Sigh.

I’ve now been green Halloweening it for many years, so this year I am just hoping to get more of my community on board.
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4 Lisa October 25, 2011 at 9:33 pm

He is so adorable Charise! I was so happy to see him Friday at the party…truth be told, I think he had the best costume :)

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5 All Natural Katie October 25, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I always tried to avoid HFCS because it’s almost in every product. I was not aware about Hershey’s, so I’m glad that you included that information. I will have to research further.

I was at The Fresh Market last week and saw that they have Amy’s Organic candies packaged individually. Might be a good alternative. Whole Foods also has organic and all-natural candy.
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6 MamaP October 25, 2011 at 11:22 pm

He is the cutest kitty in the world!!!!

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7 Grady Pruitt October 26, 2011 at 2:07 am

I like this idea of doing healthier treats. I think I might take a look to see if I can find some of them.

i was a little surprised by the Nestle list. Some of the brands I would not have thought were under that umbrella. Thanks for sharing!
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8 JDaniel4's Mom October 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I hadn’t though much about this. Thank you!
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9 Amy ~ Eat. Live. Laugh. Shop. October 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Great tips! We’ve started handing out pencils and erasers. Not the most popular house on the block, but the amount of candy I see makes me ill!
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10 Nicole Rivera October 26, 2011 at 7:31 pm

I’ve been holding out on buying candy because this is one of things I’ve been thinking about. Your post is awesome. I love #2 the most. I think not enough people know about Nestle and the word needs to spread. It really stinks because they happen to be the distributors of some of my favorite candies, but until they get their act together I’m Nestle-free!

I’ll be referencing your post again before I make my final Halloween choices!!
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11 Kristl Story October 28, 2011 at 10:41 am

If you’re passing out organic fair trade chocolate…I want to trick or treat at your house! stumbled!

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12 Happy Child Guide Review December 16, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Great tips! Sometimes it is the little things that can make a big difference.
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13 Homer Haynes December 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Sounds like a sweet plan for Halloween next year! True, healthier items can be good, and many of them taste good. There’s also the option of making homemade treats – although that might take a lot of time and preparation.

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