As much as I love raiding the aisles of Whole Foods for what I affectionately call “healthy junk food,” my kids don’t always like everything I buy. And with so many new health food store snack products on the shelves, it’s often difficult to know which ones are winners, and which ones—excuse me—taste just too darn healthy (did I say that? You didn’t just read that!).
Most of us know that if Reeses comes out with a new treat, our kids will happily gobble it up, and so will the scores of trick-or-treaters who frequent our houses. But what about when we want to do a little better for our kids (albeit marginally), and give them something without preservatives, or artificial flavors? What happens if we make a wrong move, hand out something healthy, and we end up being the least popular house on the block? We may just find ourselves eating a case of flavored rice cakes all by ourselves next year.
That’s why I decided I needed to get ahold of several all-natural snacks, and hold a panel of kid taste testers to get to the bottom of what their favorite treats were. Some of my favorites were the Kind Bars (I love those, and they’ve just made a new mini version—perfect for trick-or-treaters), I also really liked Equal Exchange’s Dark Chocolate Minis.
But of course, the kids were the final say for the winners here.
It’s no surprise the Stretch Island Fruit snacks, with their no-added sugar and concentrated 100% fruit purees, made it the clear winner. The kids loved the grape flavor Fruit Strips the very most, as well as the FruitaBü® All-Natural Smoooshed® Fruit Rolls that roll out to about 2 feet long (they’re pictured at the top of the post).
One of my favorite snacks, and the kids agree, were Funley’s Stix in the Mud. Though these contain traditional sugar, they are free from artificial flavors. They come in several flavors, including peanut butter, caramel, and dark chocolate. Can you guess the favorite flavor??? It was caramel. Hands down. Each box contains about ten individually wrapped chocolate clusters about the size of a Snickers mini.
Q. Bel is a new treat I had never heard of, and like the Stix in the Mud, they do contain regular sugar, but are also free of some of the unnecessary junk in traditional Halloween treats. They come in several varieties, but our panel of kid testers enjoyed the milk chocolate ones the best, with only a few of the youngsters liking the mint chocolate flavor (not a big surprise there). The most favorite variety is definitely the Crispy Rice Wafer Bars, which taste very much like a KitKat. They also have Wafer Rolls, which remind me of those Pepperidge Farm Pirouline cookies, only they’re coated in chocolate.
Fourth Place Goes to Home-Free Allergen Free Cookies. They are free of nuts, gluten, dairy, and eggs, and were tested on both kids with allergies, and kids without. Not only were they delicious, but they also had fantastic texture. As you can imagine, that’s no small feat when making a recipe sans all those ingredients up there. This is a perfect treat to hand out to families and kids with allergies in your neighborhood.
Our fifth place winner was the Cherry Pie flavored Larabars. These little healthy nuggets are raw, and have no added sugar other than that whick occurs naturally in the pureed dates that act as both a sweetener and a binder for these treats. Although none of the kids were receptive to their Cashew Cookie Flavor, the Cherry Pie Flavored ones were gone in a flash. And it’s no wonder, who wouldn’t love something that tastes like cherry pie?
For lots more ideas on All-Natural and Organic Halloween treats, be sure to check out Stacie’s post as well.