Is there such thing as a healthier candy??!! Yup.
I’d venture to say that the ingredients in typical Halloween candies are scarier than the Haunted Houses. In addition to the refined sugar and health damaging oils, they also come packaged with artificial colors, flavorings, and preservatives — none of which is monitored by the FDA. And did you know that research has concluded that food additives affect brain chemistry in children, resulting in hyperactivity and ADHD like behavior? Nevermind the sugar, that’s enough for me to put down the candy corn!
I’m not advocating that we take away Halloween and all its goodies. I’m just advocating for an upgrade…and maybe a little more awareness of what we put in our mouths and feed to our children.
There are actually some great companies out there who care about the quality of their product as it relates to your health — like Pure Fun Candy! They offer candies that are made without dyes, pesticides, preservatives, gluten, dairy… It’s worth checking out.
If you don’t have the time or energy to seek out other candy sources, buy candies that are made without hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey Kisses are just a couple.
If you like playing in the kitchen, grab your kids and make your own Halloween candy. Use fresh, whole, raw organic ingredients and natural sweeteners like date paste, dried fruit, or healthier sweeteners like barley malt, raw honey, and maple syrup (they still have their nutrients intact, which helps with sugar digestion). There are a couple candy recipes on my SweetShine site, or Chocolate Covered Katie has some tasty and fun recipes on her site.
And — last but not least — I’ll be showing off some sugar free treats in the next Wellness Kitch-in class on Tuesday, Oct 29th from 1:30 – 3:00 pm. Learn about alternative sweeteners that won’t spike your insulin, and participate in making some goodies yourself!
Lancet 2007, Nov 3:370(9598)1560-7 “Food Additives & Hyperactive Behavior in 3 Year Old and 8/9 Year Old Children in the Community: a Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo Controlled Trial.” McCann D, Barrett A, Cooper A, Crumpler D, Dalen L, Grimshaw K, Kitchin E, Lok K, Porteous L, Prince E, Sonuga-Barke E, Warner JO, Stevenson J. School of Psychology, Dept. of Child Health, University of Southampton, UK. 300 Children Studied.