With school starting and Halloween just around the corner, I thought I’d list out our favorite dye-free candy and gum. If you’re new to eating dye-free or are avoiding the Big 3 (dyes, artificial flavors, and preservatives), one of your first dilemmas is always, “But what kind of candy will they eat?!” Have no fear. There are LOTS! But here’s a list of our top 10 favorite:
Yum! These are really good! And gluten and dairy free. Lovely Candy is non-GMO, corn syrup free, and gluten free. Some of their candy is also dairy free but may have some cross contamination for those highly sensitive. I just ordered a few bags off of www.vitacost.com. I usually order our vitamins from here. Didn’t realize they had some candy too. They often have coupon codes on the home page as well. My daughter wanted some for school because her teacher gives out Starburst.
Amazon has the fruit chews as well. Our Super Target used to carry these but they went missing last year. Boo. Meijer had them for a little while but now I can only find them online. You can order directly from their web site at www.lovelycandyco.com and they have free shipping, but you have to order in bulk. They have a TON of different candy (see #2) – caramels, Tootsie Roll type chocolate rolls, licorice, and now “juicy chews.” Wish I could find them locally so we could try them out without having to buy a few bags. If you are on a low salicylate diet, stick with the caramels or chocolate fudgee rolls.
Low salicylate sub: Lemon balls by www.giambriscandy.com.
To die for! I wish I had found these before I went dairy free! They are SO good! These work awesome in recipes as well! Caramel apples, homemade turtles, turtle pretzel bon bons, caramelitas, homemade caramel ice cream topping…. I’m drooling. I’ve seen the caramels at my local health food store (Fruitful Yield), or Costco usually has a big bag of the sea salt caramels. Those are awesome too! Now they have all kinds of different varieties of the caramels as well – chocolate caramel, caramel apple, etc. I had a whole box of samples here at my house for the Treating ADHD Naturally Conference and my kids were dying! Thank you Lovely Candy for equipping all our attendees with free caramels and tons of raffle prizes!
These are my kids’ favorite. They take these to school to keep at the teacher’s desk for when the teacher is handing out candy as a reward. I think my son just likes to suck on his gummy worm at school as long as possible. Be sure to send in a zip lock bag as they can go stale quickly once opened. These work great as decoration around Halloween. My kids like to put them on top of cupcakes or you can make dirt pudding cups with gummy worms, crushed K-Too “Oreos”, and Kozy Shack or ZenSoy Almond Milk chocolate pudding. Around Halloween they also have Gummy Spiders that my kids love as well. You can get these online or at the health food store, Woodman’s, or Whole Foods.
Low sal sub: Homemade gummy snacks.
If you have little ones, you know they always want suckers! These are pretty good. If your kids are used to regular suckers, they “may” find these a little sour, but most kids like them. Perfect for when your kids are handed suckers at the bank, hair cuts, doctor’s office…car accident! When my son was 5 we got in a car accident and he was upset so the fireman handed him sucker. We said no thank you and I gave him a YumEarth sucker I carried in my bag for such occasions! I can find these just about anywhere now – my health food store, Woodman’s, Whole Foods, online, and now they’re showing up in more mainstream stores as well. They make some hard candies in the same flavors as their suckers as well if you prefer those.
Low salicylate sub: Lemon sticks from www.giambriscandy.com. They also have lemon lollipops but they’re pretty big.
5. Glee Gum
This is my kids’ favorite gum. They like triple berry the best. It does contain sugar but they have varieties without sugar as well. My daughter liked the peppermint flavor which is sugar free. Sweetened with xylitol. I can find these at my health food store, Woodman’s, Whole Foods, or online for a little over a dollar for the small boxes.
6. B-Fresh Gum
This gum is also a vitamin! Has B-12. Sugar free. Tastes like bubble gum Trident. Contains xylitol so you don’t want to eat too much of it or it can cause loose stools. My daughter likes the peppermint flavor as well. We tried the cinnamon once but it was way too hot. This gum is pricey. I get it online at www.iherb.com for around $13 for 50 pieces, or you can get the Moon Melon flavor which is low sal, for around $11 for 100 pieces. The pieces are smaller though and the flavor doesn’t last as long.
Blow pops! This is the first time my kids have had “blow pops.” There is gum in the middle. My kids only like the strawberry flavor. I think they’re all good. The apple is a little sour but good. These work well for little Halloween crafts like making ghosts or bats, etc. Check out Pinterest. I found these at Whole Foods. Can find online too.
Low salicylate sub: Homemade Chocolate Lolli’s
Perfect for Easter or for decorating cakes or sugar cookies. These are good. If you’re out at a Cracker Barrel restaurant, you can also get Snapple All Natural Jelly Belly jelly beans but they contain corn syrup. Just double check the ingredients to make sure they don’t contain dyes or artificial flavors.
Low salicylate sub: Dandie’s mini marshmallows
Because Christmas is just around the corner too! My daughter loves anything peppermint! She loves these. These are also without corn syrup which can be hard to find in candy canes sometimes. These start to come out around November. We stock up. Peppermint is good for an upset stomach.
These are not GFCF (gluten and dairy free) but they are good. My oldest son likes these. They come in milk chocolate and dark chocolate. They go on sale sometimes and I’ve heard you can freeze them well. I get them at Woodman’s, Whole Foods, my health food store, and I’ve seen them a few other places as well like Super Target. They are expensive though and there are none that are GFCF so I had to make my own! See recipe here.
Justin’s makes a Snickers type candy bar as well that’s pretty good. If you want to save money and you don’t mind corn syrup, Wal-Mart has a generic brand of mini peanut butter cups called “Great Value.” It’s near the movie theater candy.
These are just our top ten favorite. There are lots more options available without dyes and the Big 3. For more ideas, check out my Dye-Free Candy and Gum Pinterest board. And remember…all things in moderation!
What are your kids’ favorites? Let us know in the comments below!
To read our story on how avoiding the Big 3 helped recover my son from ADHD, check out my book, “All Natural Mom’s Guide to the Feingold Diet” available on Amazon.
And look for my next book, “Living Dye-Free in a Cotton Candy World” coming in 2017!
Need a reminder of which ingredients to avoid? Check out my “Avoid the Big 3″ magnets!