Do you remember back in the day when we had to create and make our own Halloween costumes because the few that were available at the store sucked?
How about trick or treating back in the day when all we really had to worry about were razor blades in our Mary Janes? Or maybe a razor blade in an apple? You knew the houses that gave out apples and pencils, right!?! Or pennies, there was one house that gave out pennies. I think every kid remembers those. Steer clear.
I remember one house that we would go to, they gave out full size candy bars!?! Full size Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Muskateers. Every kids dream.
You’d come home, dump your candy on the table and mom (or dad) would look through it and pull out anything questionable like the Mary Janes, apples, or homemade treats. Did you get the homemade crispy rice treat balls like I did?
We didn’t worry much about all the colorful candy…until we knew better.
Now we know that the artificial dyes can change our kids from angels to holy terrors in a matter of minutes. The transformation happens right before our eyes.
What Is Food Coloring Made Of?
The answer is petroleum! Artificial food dyes are derived from petroleum, the same thing we put in our cars! Sound tasty? We don’t drink gasoline so why would we consume products with artificial food coloring?
Is it harmful? The Food & Drug Administration acknowledges Red #3 as a carcinogen and that Blue #1, Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 can cause allergic reactions in some people as well as showing signs of causing cancer in lab animals.
Lab animals are not humans but isn’t that where the testing begins?
As a side note, in Europe, foods that contain artificial colors are required to have a warning label informing consumers of potential health hazards. So…these same companies that manufacture and distribute foods in Europe have managed to find a way to manufacture without the petroleum there but not here in the United States?
RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Harmful Food Additives to Avoid
Thankfully for me, when my kids do have some candy with artificial food coloring, they don’t turn into holy terrors, maybe they already are??? But I have seen it happen and it’s not pretty.
Parents left feeling helpless and just hanging on until it’s over but imagine how the kiddos feel? I’m sure it’s awful.
The debate still goes on whether food coloring is harmful or not but I think we can safely say artificial food coloring provides no benefit and more likely, causes harm, especially to young kids since they are typically consuming more than adults.
Dye Free Halloween Candy
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There are plenty of dye free Halloween candy options on the market. Thankfully many are available at Target, Walmart, Kroger, Sprouts, etc but you can also grab them right now from the comfort of your own home.
They are definitely more expensive than the traditional junk so if you’re like me and cost is a consideration, I have a few bulk options for you at the end.
My kids love Surf Sweets. When they were younger, I included the Surf Sweet gummies in my bag of ‘approved treats’ for their teachers.
Candy Corn is my downfall. I have been known to buy a bag and eat the entire thing, like it was never coming back…geez! My teeth would feel nasty afterwards and my stomach felt awful, not my best move.
These lollipops are approved by my kiddos and come without all the junkity junk. Their candy is available year round as regular shaped lollipops but who can pass up a skull or ghost shaped lollipop at Halloween?
Torie and Howard
My kids love the Torie and Howard brand fruit chews and gummy type candies. They come in fun flavor combinations like pomegranate/nectarine, blood orange/honey, lemon/raspberry, etc.
Great mix of fruit chews, lollipops, and gummies without all the artificial colors.
My family and I love these little chocolates and of course, we love the regular size bars as well. I can’t mention Halloween Candy without sharing these. You can get them in a variety pack! I found a Halloween theme package at Target but surprisingly, I can’t find it on Amazon!?!
Dye Free Halloween Candy (in bulk)
It’s definitely fun to get candy in cute shapes and such but let’s face it, when you’re feeding a crowd or say, the whole neighborhood, cuteness takes a backseat.
Dye free candy does come in packages to feed the masses.
Years ago Amazon had a deal on these 5lb bags of Yum Earth lollipops so of course I bought it. We had lollipops for probably a year. It was fine, they come in fun flavors and kids love lollipops.
Torie and Howard
What About The Candy From Trick or Treating?
Now if I don’t let my kiddos have the run of the mill junkity Halloween candy, what do we do with all of it?
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Not so fast, I’m not that mean. I remember being a kid and eating candy till it made me sick. I’m not going to deprive my kids of that. That would suck.
When they come home from trick or treating, they dump it all out on the table and can pick out any lollipops, gummies, fruit chews that don’t have artificial food coloring. They also get to pick 10 pieces of chocolate candy and I take the rest. Don’t ask me where 10 came from, I have no clue.
I give them $10 for their candy. When they were a bit younger, $10 seemed like a lot. It’s not as awesome now but hey, the tooth fairy capped out at $2 in our house so keep that in mind.
If you have younger kids, perhaps you could swap candy out for a toy or books or stuffed animals or something like that.
The candy I ‘buy’ from them gets donated or taken somewhere.
Comment below and tell me what your favorite Halloween costume was?
Make it a green day!