A Healthier Halloween

By: Carolyn Harris

Halloween is nearly upon us, and some of us vegans are starting to wonder, “What type of Halloween candy (if any) am I going to hand out at my front door?”

There’s plenty of vegan-friendly Halloween candy available—many types of conventional chips and sweets are, in fact, vegan—and there are also some candy options that are specifically labelled as vegan and marketed towards vegans.

At the same time, however, many of us don’t want to encourage kids to eat any more junk food than they already will be eating on and after Halloween. There’s nothing wrong with a treat now and then, but nowadays, trick-or-treaters are often filling pillowcases full of candy on Halloween night, and I personally wouldn’t be comfortable giving them even more sugar-laden junk food. Often much of their Halloween candy ends up being donated or thrown away anyway, because their parents won’t let them eat such large amounts of junk food (and rightfully so!). For these reasons, I am much more in favour of handing out healthier treats!

So, what if you want to hand out healthier food to kids? Although kids may not be as excited to receive healthy food as they would be to get some candy, their parents will probably place the healthier snack in their school lunches anyway, so it won’t be wasted.

Here are some ideas of healthier foods to hand out on Halloween night:

  • little vegan granola bars
  • kid-sized cartons of fruit juice
  • little boxes of raisins (pre-wrapped in plastic, so that parents won’t feel worried about food safety)
  • healthier, more natural vegan candies, like TruJoy or Surf Sweets (see below)
  • oven-baked chips or another kind of healthier chips
  • other individually-packaged natural vegan snacks

Although handing out baked goods to strangers is a nice thought, keep in mind that if you hand out cookies you baked yourself to trick-or-treaters, they may be thrown away by parents worried about food safety, unless the parents know you personally. Handing out vegan baked goods to your friends, family, and neighbours is a great way to encourage them to try veganism, though!

Local options: I called some local health food stores to find out what vegan Halloween options they have in-store, and here’s what I was told…

  • Rainbow Foods on Richmond Road doesn’t have any vegan Halloween candy this year, but they do have TruJoy sweets, which are individually-wrapped organic vegan candies that would work well to be handed out to trick-or-treaters. They also have granola bars and other individually-wrapped snacks, some of which might be suitable for Halloween.
  • Whole Foods Market on Bank Street also sells TruJoy sweets, along with Surf Sweets—not all Surf Sweets are vegan (some of them contain gelatin), but some of them are vegan—just be sure to read the ingredients list before buying! Granola bars and other snacks can probably be found there, as well.
  • Kardish has individually-wrapped mini Camino dark chocolate squares (which are vegan), and they also have granola bars.

More options: Larabars are incredibly healthy bars made with natural ingredients. If you love Larabars and want to encourage others to eat them, you could hand out mini Larabars! A 12-pack of Larabars is available from iHerb.ca. Or, check out Well.ca and search for vegan candy– they ship for free in Canada on orders over $29.

If you’re looking for more options, one vegan blogger from Nova Scotia has made a list of Halloween candies that are vegan-friendly. Some of them are healthy, and some are conventional Halloween candies. Her list can be found on her blog here.

And what if you’re having a vegan Halloween party or just want to celebrate Halloween with your family? Try making these spooky Halloween recipes from TheVeganWoman.com, or, if you’d prefer, try these ones from HappyCow.net!

What will you be handing out on Halloween night? Let us know in the comments section below!

(Please note that the companies, products, and stores listed above are NOT in any way paying us to promote their products.)

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