Halloween is a time when many kids go trick or treating, only to stockpile mass quantities of candy – it’s bad for their teeth, bad for their weight, bad for the inner workings of their body, and bad for their psychology too, as sugared-up kids will go into overdrive, act out, and even get depressed in response to the excessive sugar in their systems.

This Halloween, try some healthy snacks instead of the usual not-so-good-for-you sugary treats! In the past few years, many companies have created dozens of options so you can help your child and the neighborhood kids have a healthier Halloween.

Here’s a list of some yummy Halloween treats that shouldn’t hurt your family’s health, yet allow them to participate fully in the Halloween festivities.

1. Dark Chocolate Bites
Skip the milk chocolate and sneak antioxidant-rich dark chocolate into trick-or-treat bags. Dark chocolate helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Try Organic Dark Chocolate Bug bites, Equal Exchange Mini-Chocolates, or Sweet Earth Trick or Treat Chocolates.

2. Organic Candies
Don’t deprive the kids of sweet Halloween snacks, just pick better ones they’ll also like. Try Organic Fruitabu Smooshed Fruit Flats, Rolls and Twirls. They’re made with over 90 percent organic fruit and no artificial additives, and come in delicious fruit flavors. Or, you can try Clif Kid Twisted Fruit Ropes, also USDA certified organic, or St. Claire’s Organic Fruit Tarts, or Candy Tree vegan organic Mixed Fruit Toffee Chews, or Stretch Island Fruit Leather, in apple, grape, raspberry, strawberry, mango, cherry-apricot, tropical and blackberry. All of these are much healthier than store bought fruit roll-ups and Twizzlers.

3. Organic Gummy Bears
The Let’s Do Organic! Company sells Classic, Jelly and Super Sour vegan gummy bears.

4. Organic Hard Candies
Yummy Earth lollipops are USDA certified-organic, contain no artificial colors or corn syrup and are available in 20 flavors such as Pomegranate Pucker, TooBerry Blueberry and Strawberry Smash. Or, try Organic Root Beer Barrels, or Candy Tree Organic Lollipops, updated versions of perennial favorites that will please even the finicky candy lovers. Or, you can go with College Farm Organics Naturepops and Hard Candies, whose organic suckers and hard candies contain only natural flavors and colors, and are good options for people with food allergies because they contain no gluten, nuts, soy or eggs.

5. Organic Nutballs
Betty Lou’s makes delicious nut butter balls, and don’t miss their Golden Smackers organic chocolate peanut butter patties.

6. Organic Popcorn
Newman’s makes Newman’s Own Organics Pop’s Corn individual microwave popcorn packs of organic popcorn, a great departure from the sweets.

7. Organic Cookies and Bars
Barbara’s Bakery offers organic animal cookies, in chocolate chip, oatmeal wheat-free, vanilla, and vanilla-fruit-juice-sweetened. Earth’s Best makes organic Whole Grain Bars for babies, just the right size for a Halloween tidbit, in Apple Blueberry, Peach Banana, Pear Raspberry, and Carrot Raisin. New England Natural Bakers offers organic Save the Forest Cereal and Trail Mix Bars, in a variety of flavors. Ten percent of their profits goes to environmental and social causes. Oskri Organics sells organic Sesame Bars and Coconut Bars in various flavors (sesame flavors include dates, fennel, molasses, and cumin; coconut flavors include strawberry, pineapple, almond, and mango). 

8. Organic Beverages
Knudsen and Santa Cruz Organic both offer small juice boxes for kids, while EdenSoy makes small boxes of soy drinks (original, carob, and vanilla flavors). The Whole Kids line at Whole Foods Markets includes small boxes of organic juices and soy drinks, too.

9. Organic Baby Carrots, Raisins and Honey Sticks
Earthbound Farm sells organic Thompson Seedless Raisins in handy snack packs, just right for kids. Pavich Raisins are also available in individual small boxes but are not sealed. You can get organic baby carrots at any Whole Foods and most grocery stores. Very little organic honey is currently available, but Stash Tea, a maker of organic teas, makes delicious, naturally-flavored honey sticks, another tasty Halloween option to the usual overly sweet chemical laden treats.

You can probably see that there’s no excuse to settle for yucky Halloween treats for your family and the neighborhood kids, when there’s such a wide variety of healthy snacks available. Do a little homework of your own, and you’ll find scrumptious, satisfying snacks to please your toughest critics.

In fact, it’s healthier for you and your kids year-round, not only at Halloween time – make it a habit to eat healthier, and avoid overly processed, sugary and chemical treated foods — it will come back to reward you many times over with a better overall quality of life and more years to enjoy it.