As Halloween approaches many parents are looking for healthy alternatives to the steady stream of candy that finds our kids. The trick, or treat, is finding something that your kids will actually like. A quick look at the labels of many of your kids favorite candy treats reveals a laundry list of many of the things we are all supposed to be avoiding.

The list includes; Artificial Flavors and Sweeteners such as acesulfame potassium,which is sometimes labeled Ace-K, Sucralose or Splenda and of course Aspartame. These sweets also often come heavily laden with High Fructose Corn Syrup. Consuming high-fructose corn syrup can lead to heart disease, increased belly fat, obesity, and insulin resistance.

All types of Artificial Colors are used to create those unnatural colors that kids so love. Research shows that most artificial colors (dyes) have been linked to hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These dyes can negatively affect children’s behavior, reason enough to avoid them at all costs. Artificial colorings such as FDC Blues 1 and 2, Red 3, Green 3 and Yellow 5 can be found in many treats and have been banned in many countries because of their link to cancer. (Yellow 5 is currently under review and many artificial yellows and oranges have been banned already.)

Partially Hydrogenated Oils or trans fats can be found in abundance. There is no safe limit of trans fats. They can cause heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

And lets not forget Monosodium Glutamate and Preservatives of all kinds including sodium benzoate, sulphites, polysorbate 60, 65, and 80, nitrates, TBHQ, and BHT/BHA. TBHQ, or tertiary butylhydroquinone, is a form of butane that is added as a preservative to a variety of foods, including several popular Halloween candies.

So what’s a concerned parent to do? This Halloween why not try giving candy without all of the toxic ingredients. Here are some candy alternatives that will make you popular with your neighborhood’s parents and children alike.

UNREAL™ Candy offers chocolate treats that taste remarkably similar to major commercial products but without artificial colors, dyes, sweeteners, preservatives, hydrogenated oils and GMOs. My kids have tried these candies and they love them!

• Plum™ Kids offers individually packed USDA organic Fruit& Veggie Shredz , which taste like Sour Punch Ropes.

• ClifKids USDA organic twisted fruit ropes are gluten-free and contain no processed sugars.

SurfSweets® offers a wide variety of gluten-free, organic gummies, sour bears and jelly beans.

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