Happy Halloween! We have gathered some healthy treat suggestions, tips for parents and links to several delicious recipes.

Candy alert

Halloween candy is often not vegan and sometimes not even vegetarian. Read the labels.

Here are some ingredients to look out for:

  • Gelatin: Jelling agent made by boiling cows’ and pigs’ skin, tendons, ligaments and bones. Often used as an ingredient in gummy candies.
  • Carmine: a red food dye prepared by boiling dried cochineal insects. Also known as cochineal, carminic acid, natural red 4, or as additive E number 120.
  • Lard (fat from hogs).
  • E number 542 (bone phosphate, an anti-caking agent)

Check out PetaKids.com’s Vegan Candy is Dandy article for a list of vegan candies and snacks.

Trick them with healthy treats

Vegetarian or not, most Halloween candies are over-packaged, chemical laden, and high in refined sweeteners. Avoid the junk by trying some of these alternatives. Many kids will appreciate some healthy variety. The best approach is to give them some choice.

  1. Seaweed strips. Natural food stores and Asian markets carry snack sized seaweed packs that many kids love, once they try them.
  2. Peanuts in the shell.
  3. Fruit cups or applesauce cups. These come in cases of individually wrapped cups.
  4. Mini boxes of raisins.
  5. Fruit leather sticks. These come in rectangular wrappers.
  6. Juice box packages (look for real juice).
  7. Dark chocolate. Most dark chocolate is vegan and much healthier. Natural food stores carry mini sized bars around this time of year.
  8. Bags of chipspretzels or roasted soy beans.
  9. Holiday-themed stickers, temporary tattoos, balloons, pencils, pencil toppers, erasers or noisemakers.
  10. Coins. One of the simplest things to do is to offer nickels, dimes or quarters wrapped or unwrapped.

Tips for parents

If you don’t want your kids gorging themselves on non-vegetarian or unhealthy candies, try the following:

  • Make sure your kids are full before they go out trick-or-treating – feed them a big meal of some of their favourite dinner foods.
  • Tell them that certain treats may be removed at home if they are not veggie or too unhealthy.
  • Let your kids know which kind of treats they are allowed to keep – then they can choose more wisely at homes that offer a choice.
  • Only let them keep a set amount, such as one level bowl each. Rejected items can be given to a food bank.
  • Or take them trick-or-treating at select homes (such as friends and family) where you know they provide healthy animal-free treats.

Halloween recipes

Photo from Vegan Yum Yum

Photo from Vegan Yum Yum

Recipe Zaar
33,000+ | Ratings | Nutrition info | Change servings | Flag recipes | Many photos

They have over 140 recipes marked as vegetarian and Halloween (over 20 of them are marked as vegan). Excellent search and sort feature. Check out Bloodshot Eyeballs made from carved radishes, Perfect Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, and Pizza Mummies.

VegWeb.com
9,000+ | Ratings | All vegan | Flag recipes | Some photos

Over 10 vegan Halloween recipes, including Chocolate Pumpkin Amazingness and  Friendly Zombie Cupcakes.

VeganYumYum
This is a recipe blog with gorgeous pictures and delicious recipes. A search for “pumpkin” finds several dishes including: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (right), Kabocha Squash Soup, Pepita Fettucini with Spinach and Cranberries, and Homemade Pumpkin Puree.

For lots more recipes, see Farm Sactuary’s Humane Halloween Recipe Links page.