When I was a kid, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays. What kid didn’t love dressing up and collecting candy? My brother and I would carry home pillowcases stuffed to the max! It was awesome to stuff our faces with tons of chocolate bars and hard candy, and then there was that feeling of accomplishment (on top of aching feet), that we earned this sugar reward.
So of course when my girls were small I paraded them around the neighborhood, collecting treats for not only them but myself as well (ALL parents dip into the candy stash, I don’t care who you are!). They enjoyed it, I enjoyed it, it was a win-win. However, as the years went by and our lifestyle started to change, I found myself sorting through more candy and questioning the ingredients. Obviously candy is loaded with sugar, but on top of that there are additives and chemical dyes which started making me feel uncomfortable.
It wasn’t until going vegan that we decided that we should celebrate Halloween in alternative ways. It wasn’t really worth it anymore to go trick-or-treating, since most of the chocolate contains dairy, and it would be a pain to sort through that much candy. I am still surprised that the major candy companies have not jumped on the opportunity to make dairy-free chocolate bars, not just for vegans but for people with allergies too! So, with that in mind, we have taken the things we like about the holiday, and sculpted it to fit our needs.
My kids still enjoy Halloween, and even though it isn’t the same as my childhood experience, they always have fun and that’s exactly the point! I have found that when you put in the effort to make a holiday special, your children are going to appreciate it, vegan or not.
So, here are some tips for vegan families out there who are looking for ways to make Halloween special and fun for their little monsters…
Celebrate Halloween For Vegan Kids:
- Dress up! Even if you decide not to trick-or-treat, let your child dress up for fun.
- Do spooky crafts. There are tons of free Halloween craft ideas available online. Pull out the glitter, and let them go to town!
- Make a Halloween Cake. Bake boo-licious treats and let your child do the decorating. Surprisingly there are many “accidentally vegan” candies out there (listed below), so you could let them use pre-approved candy to add a special touch.
- Watch a holiday themed movie. My favorite Halloween family movie is “Hocus Pocus,” and we watch it every year. Some other movies I enjoy are “The Witches,” “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” and “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad,” plus “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and “Watcher in the Woods.” My girls enjoy watching “Double, Double, Toil and Trouble,” which is a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie (my girls are twins, so naturally they love this.) My biggest Halloween request is to be able to buy “Mr. Boogedy,” a classic 80’s movie that is not available on DVD, but you can watch on youtube (I love that I can at least watch it there!). Also available on youtube is “The Halloween that Almost Wasn’t,” a classic 80’s kids flick.
- Carve a pumpkin. A Halloween highlight!
- Decorate the house. If you are in the Halloween spirit, have your child help you set up not-too-scary decorations.
- Give them vegan candy! Even if you don’t go trick-or-treating, that doesn’t mean that you cannot buy candy to give to your kids. Two of my favorite vegan candies: Endangered Species Chocolate Squares (individually wrapped) and Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops. You can order these online or sometimes find them at your local health food store.
Vegan Candy Options:
As I mentioned before, there are many “accidentally vegan” candies out there, so if you want to take your child trick or treating anyway (or pick up a bag at the grocery store) check for these*:
- Airheads taffy
- Brach’s Cinnamon Hard Candy
- Brach’s Hi-C Fruit Slices
- Brach’s Hi-C Orange Slices
- Brach’s Root Beer Barrels
- Brach’s Star Brites
- Chocolove Dark Chocolate bar
- Chocolove Cherries and Almonds Dark Chocolate Bar
- Chocolove Crystallized Ginger Dark Chocolate Bar
- Chocolove Orange Peel Dark Chocolate Bar
- Chocolove Raspberry Dark Chocolate bar
- Cry Babies
- Hubba Bubba bubblegum
- Jolly Ranchers (lollipops and hard candy)
- Laffy Taffy (some varieties)
- Mary Janes (regular and peanut butter kisses)
- Mike and Ike
- Panda Licorice
- Skittles (recently went vegan!)
- Smarties (U.S. Brand)
- Sour Patch Kids
- Super Bubble
- Swedish Fish
- Sweet Tarts
*Double check the ingredients before you purchase. While these may be vegan, some may contain dyes or additives that you are not comfortable eating! Click here for the official list.
Thanks for reading and have a SAFE AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
What was your favorite part about celebrating Halloween as a child? Share in the comments below!
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