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The Best Candy

The Best Candy

By Melissa Breyer

The candy and kids dilemma kills me. My kids love candy, but candy’s rotten for my kids. High-fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring, bovine gelatin, oh my. So I think, “Sorry girls, no candy, unh unh.”

But something about total restriction goes against my instinct–and surely enough, a New York Times article, 6 Food Mistakes Parents Make, backs me up on that one with statements such as: “A large body of research shows that if a parent restricts a food, children just want it more,” and, “Other studies show that children whose food is highly restricted at home are far more likely to binge when they have access to forbidden foods.”

So there you go. How to treat my kids to the treats they covet, without exposing them to a rainbow array of sickly sweet, and quite frankly, terrifying ingredients?

Well lucky me, by chance I stumbled upon a source for candy that meets any number of requirements: Vegan, organic, fair trade, gluten free, non-allergenic, kosher and Feingold. Imagine! The source comes from a mom-and-daughters candy team who started a Web site called NaturalCandyStore.com. It’s extra terrific because you can browse by category, and each candy is labeled with an easy-to-identify icon telling you which categories it falls under. The candy they have selected meets strict quality standards, and the good ol’ taste standard of yumminess as well.

Of course, the truly best candy is probably the candy you make at home. With that in mind I pulled these out of the Care2 recipe collection. Have fun!

Homemade Taffy
Pumpkin Seed Crackle
Maple Candied Popcorn
Homemade Maple Candy

Another option that I love (love, love) is Glee Gum’s make-your-own chewing gum kits. These educational kits are made to help kids connect to the global community by tracing the origins of the ingredients, specifically the natural chicle, sustainably harvested in Guatemala and Mexico. Chicle remains an important part of the economy in those countries. Additionally, the process of making the gum involves activities kids typically love: Stirring, mixing, pulling, poking, touching and tasting.

While the gum does contain pure cane sugar, its list of ingredients is long on the positives; it’s made with all-natural ingredients including rice syrup and is vegetarian, additive-free, lactose-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and contains no artificial colors, artificial preservatives, artificial flavors or artificial sweeteners.

Read more: Life, Children, Diet & Nutrition, Easter, Eating for Health, Halloween, , ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

72 comments

+ add your own
10:32AM PDT on Oct 14, 2014

Good post and thank you for sharing the natural candy store link ; )

10:52AM PDT on Oct 10, 2014

I've recently discovered to like pumpkin seeds ;-) Thanks for the recipe!

7:55AM PDT on Oct 10, 2014

thanks.

7:21PM PDT on Oct 8, 2014

A good post just in time for Halloween...

4:56AM PDT on Mar 30, 2013

Thank you for this post!

12:11PM PDT on Mar 29, 2013

Fun!

5:10AM PST on Feb 13, 2013

Nice thanks.

7:04AM PST on Jan 7, 2013

Thanks for....

10:10PM PDT on Sep 15, 2012

thanks

3:34AM PDT on Sep 15, 2012

Ty

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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