15 Healthy Candy Alternatives for Kids- Ditch Artificial Colors & Flavors!

Do you want to find healthy candy for your kids? Here are 11 healthy candy alternatives- skip the brands with artificial flavors & colors.

One of the best ways to prevent your kids from getting sick and to keep them healthy is to feed them healthy foods.

But this can be a challenge since most kids love candy and sweets!

We are constantly being bombarded with advertisements for candy and other snacks filled with artificial colors and flavors.

Of course, you still don’t want to overdo it on the healthier version of popular candies. But opting for these is a balance between the unhealthy name brands and not letting your kids have any candy at all.

Below are several of our favorite healthy candy alternatives to some of the popular brands out there.

Since most grocery stores don’t carry all of the healthier options, I’ve linked where you can find them on Amazon. (Some of them are sold in bulk.)

The only downside is that because these candies are healthier, some of them cost more than the regular version. But I personally would rather pay more for something healthier than fill my kids with artificial dyes and flavors.

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1.) YumEarth Fruit Flavored Organic Giggles (An Alternative to Skittles)

YumEarth Giggles are a healthy alternative to Skittles candy, available on Amazon- vegan, gluten-free, non-gmo, organic, soy-free, and peanut-free

All of our kids love these: they’re organic, the colors come from natural sources, and they really do taste very similar to Skittles.

I try to avoid giving my kids candy that contain artificial color dyes, some of which are actually banned in certain countries outside of the United States (where we live.) So these are a great substitute.

YumEarth Organic Giggles on Amazon- vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, peanut-free candy- a healthy alternative to Skittles

YumEarth Fruit Flavored Organic Giggles are also vegan, gluten-free, non-gmo, soy-free, and manufactured in a peanut-free facility.


2.) YumEarth Organic Sour Giggles (Instead of Sour Skittles)

These taste very similar to sour Skittles and are a big hit with kids that like sour candy. (I could eat way too many of these myself!)

Organic YumEarth Sour Giggles on Amazon; a healthier alternative to sour Skittles- these are vegan, non-gmo, gluten-free, peanut-free, and soy-free and have no artificial flavors or colors.

These Sour Giggles are vegan, organic, non-gmo, gluten-free, colored with real fruit and vegetable juices, and are peanut-free and soy-free.


3.) YumEarth Organic Chewys (A Healthy Candy Alternative to Starburst)

I was so excited when I found this alternative to Startburst because I loved Starburst as a kid. But I wanted to find something without the artificial colors.

YumEarth Organic Chewys Fruit Chews on Amazon- A vegan Starburst alternative with no artificial dyes or flavors, organic, non-gmo, peanut-free, soy-free, healthy kids candy

These YumEarth Fruit Chews are non-gmo, organic, vegan, contain no artificial dyes or flavors, and are allergy-friendly.


4.) SmartSweets Sour Blast Buddies (A Substitute for Sour Patch Kids)

These are the best alternative I’ve found for Sour Patch Kids as far as health and taste. All of our kids like these!

SmartSweets Sour Blast Buddies on Amazon- plant based with no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors- a healthier candy alternative to Sour Patch Kids.

These Sour Blast Buddies are plant-based with no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors.


5.) SmartSweets Sourmelon Bites (Instead of Sour Patch Watermelon Flavor)

If your kids are a fan of the Watermelon Sour Patch flavor, these are a good substitute.

SmartSweets Sourmelon Bites on Amazon- plant-based, naturally flavored, and no artificial colors- a Sour Patch Watermelon alternative; kids healthy candy

These Sourmelon Bites are plant-based, naturally flavored, and free of artificial colors and sweeteners.


6.) SmartSweets Sweet Fish (Instead of Swedish Fish)

SmartSweets Sweet Fish are a healthier alternative to Swedish Fish

I’ll be honest that these are not my favorite healthier candy substitute in comparison with some of the other ones listed on this page.

They seem to have changed their recipe and I don’t like the current version as much.

But that said, these are still the best alternative I’ve found for Swedish Fish so far.

SmartSweets Sweet Fish on Amazon- naturally flavored, free from artificial colors and sweeteners, and plant-based- a healthier alternative to Swedish Fish

These Sweet Fish are naturally flavored, free from artificial colors and sweeteners, and plant-based.


7.) SmartSweets Peach Rings (Instead of Traditional Peach Rings)

If your kids enjoy eating peach rings, but you’d like to ditch the artificial colors and flavors, these are a great alternative.

SmartSweets Peach Rings, healthy candy alternative for kids on Amazon- vegan, gluten-free, and naturally colored and flavored.

These Peach Rings are plant-based, gluten-free, and colored with real fruit and vegetable juices.


8.) YumEarth Organic Fruit Flavored Vitamin C Pops (An Alternative to Regular Lollipops)

These pops taste great, (my lollipop-loving son loves them,) and unlike typical lollipops, they aren’t filled with artificial colors and flavors.

YumEarth Organic Pops / Lollipops on Amazon with Vitamin C- naturally flavored and colored, kosher, vegan, organic, non-GMO, peanut-free, and tree nut-free healthy candy option for kids

These Fruit-Flavored Pops are non-GMO & organic, vegan, gluten-free, kosher, made in a facility free from peanuts & tree nuts, and colored with juices from real fruits and vegetables.


9.) RJ’s Licorice- Raspberry or Mango (Instead of Twizzlers)

I ate Twizzlers all the time when I was younger. But as I got older we wanted to stay away from color dye. And it’s hard to find licorice that is healthy and tastes good.

RJ's Raspberry Licorice on Amazon, a healthy candy Twizzler alternative, non-gmo, plant-based, and no artificial colors or flavors.

Granted, this RJ’s Licorice doesn’t taste the same as Twizzlers and the flavors are different too. But it does taste pretty good for a healthier licorice option.

RJ's Mango Licorice on Amazon- vegan, non-gmo, no artificial colors or flavors, a healthy candy Twizzlers alternative.

Both the Raspberry Licorice and Mango Licorice are naturally colored and flavored, plant-based, and non-gmo.


10.) UNREAL Candy Coated Chocolate (An M&M’s Alternative)

Candy Covered Chocolates- Healthy M&Ms Alternative and colored pencils are mixed in with them

If you’re looking for healthy chocolate candy, these are a better option. They don’t have the exact taste of M&Ms, but most kids will still like these.

UNREAL candy coated milk chocolates 2 pack on Amazon- soy-free, no artificial colors or flavors, M&Ms alternative with no color dye

UNREAL has different flavors of these candy coated chocolates- milk chocolate, candy coated dark chocolate covered peanuts, (which is a great alternative for peanut M&Ms,) and dark chocolate crispy quinoa gems.


11.) UNREAL Dark Chocolate Caramel Peanut Nougat Bars (Instead of Snickers or Baby Ruths)

These bars are somewhat addicting if you like candy bars.

UNREAL dark chocolate caramel peanut nougat bars on Amazon- non-gmo, soy-free, and no artificial ingredients- a great healthy candy alternative to Snickers or Baby Ruths

These candy bars are a great alternative to Snickers or Baby Ruths. They are non-gmo, soy-free, and contain nothing artificial.


12.) UNREAL Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars (Instead of Almond Joys)

I find these taste similar to Almond Joys EXCEPT the healthy version has no almonds. But they’re still really good.

UNREAL Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars on Amazon- Vegan, Gluten-Free, Non-GMO, Fair Trade, soy-free- Healthy Candy Almond Joy Alternative

These Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars are vegan, non-gmo, and gluten-free.


13.) No Tricks Caramel Cookie Bars (A Twix Alternative)

If you’re looking for candy bars that are healthier than Twix or more allergy-friendly, these will work.

No Tricks Caramel Cookie Bars on Amazon- milk-free, peanut-free, gluten-free, tree nut-free, egg-free, soy-free, sesame-free- a healthy candy alternative to Twix bars

These No Tricks Caramel Cookie Bars are milk-free, peanut-free, gluten-free, free from tree nuts, egg-free, soy-free, and more.

They’re also vegan and have no artificial colors or flavors.


14.) Justin’s Organic Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (A Substitute for Reese’s)

If you’re looking for a healthier peanut butter cup, these taste pretty good, and are a great alternative to Reese’s peanut butter cups. Our kids love these. (And they’re also gluten-free!)

Justin's Organic Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups on Amazon- gluten-free- a healthy candy Reese's alternative

Justin’s has milk chocolate peanut butter cups, but they also have other varieties, such as dark chocolate peanut butter cups, dark chocolate crispy peanut butter cups, dark chocolate almond butter cups, dark chocolate cashew butter cups, and my personal favorite- white chocolate peanut butter cups.


15.) YumEarth Organic Hard Candy (Instead of Regular Hard Candy)

If you want to give your kids healthy hard candy alternatives, YumEarth has different flavors- without the artificial colors and flavors.

YumEarth Organic Fruit Flavored Hard Candies on Amazon- healthy hard candy alternatives- vegan, peanut-free, tree nut-free, soy-free, egg-free, and naturally flavored and colored

YumEarth has Fruit Flavored Hard Candy, Wild Peppermint Hard Candy, and Cheeky Lemon Flavored Hard Candy, all of which are vegan, peanut/tree nut-free, soy-free, egg-free, dairy-free, and naturally flavored.


So those are 15 healthy alternatives for candy. If you’re looking for healthier candies for your toddlers or kids, these will help.


Don’t forget to grab our free printable Healthy Habits Kids’ Match Game.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!


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  1. Adam | 21st Jun 23

    “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t”
    “Almond Joy’s got nuts, Mounds Don’t”
    That was/is their slogan.
    Aside from that, way too many of these have the unnatural ingredient I can’t do. Citric acid. It’s a product from fermentation with a black mold. Actual fruit doesn’t affect me like the fake stuff. I’m looking for a substitute for Sour Patch Kids / Sour Punch.

    • Ellie | 9th Aug 23

      Hi Adam, thank you for stopping by. I hear your concerns. I have heard that about citric acid as well. However, while that is the case for many foods containing it, not all citric acid in food is sourced from mold.
      The citric acid that is sourced from mold is GMO, so if the brands I mentioned in this post that are labeled as non-GMO are truthfully non-GMO as they state, then any citric acid in their products should not come from that source and this shouldn’t be an issue.

      Of course, you can always play it safe by avoiding products that contain it altogether, and/or contact the manufacturers to see where it is sourced from. Hopefully as the trend continues with companies trying to make healthier products, we’ll have more options for candies that don’t contain this ingredient.

      I don’t have another recommendation for Sour Patch Kids, but there are gummy snacks I like a lot that don’t contain citric acid- Soley Organic Mango & Orange flavor, which can be found here on Amazon. (I don’t really like the other flavors but I like the mango & orange ones.)

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