JOM organic candy
Sweets (UK) or candy (US) are often loaded with chemicals and colourings that can cause mood swings in children. Avoid gelatine and beeswax, and avoid the sweetener xylitol (that could kill a dog if he or she got hold of a dropped sweet or tic-tac). Some ‘vegan sweets’ may be made in dairy factories, note if allergic.
Most brand name sweets also have plastic that attracts pets and wildlife, and this can lead to choking. Or if sweet wrappers (one of the most common forms of litter) falls down storm drains, they go into the sea and get invested by marine wildlife. One shopkeeper cut his village litter by 40% by writing the children’s names on the sweets, before giving them out. If found, the child was temporarily banned from the shop. Sounds harsh, but it worked. One child when asked what he thought replied ”I have to put my litter in the bin now, because it has my name on it’.
It’s a bit of hit and miss here, because many vegan sweets in plastic-free packaging have palm oil and other nasty ingredients, while the good organic sweets come in plastic packaging.
- JOM (‘just one more’) is made in Sweden with plant-based organic ingredients, using cornstarch over gelatine or beeswax. Sweetened with natural sugar, recycle at supermarket bag bins. Display boards are cardboard. In raspberry blackberry, blueberry blackberry and strawberry peach.
- Biona and Just Wholefoods sell organic vegan sweets though you’ll have the recycle the packaging. Candy Kittens sells good vegan sweets, but again the packaging is plastic.
- Marshmallows are made from animal bones. You can buy vegan versions, but most are made with glucose syrup. Dandies is the best organic brand, but comes in plastic packaging. Or make your own.
Alternatives to Popular Sweets
- Polo Mints – swap to organic mints in a tin
- Starburst (Opal Fruits) can be made at home
- Lotus Biscoff – try vegan biscoff cookies
- Haribo – swap to organic sweets (above)
- Biona Organic Tutti Frutti are similar to wine gums
- Werther’s Originals are just sugar, glucose syrup, salt and milk/butter. Just drink a glass of oat milk instead.
- Sticks of rock (granulated sugar and glucose filling) are usually coloured with dead insects, then wrapped in plastic. And will pull your fillings out.
- Tic-Tacs are mints in a hard plastic box that could cut or choke wildlife, if discarded. Some are sweetened with pet-toxic xylitol. To freshen breath, use Georganics Spearmint Mouthwash (also in Orange).
More Natural Chocolate Sweets
Obviously keep chocolate away from pets.
- Coco Myk Buttons are in compostable packaging. Moo Free Chocolate Buttons (in plastic)
- Kinder Eggs have factory-farmed milk and palm oil. They are banned from sending to the US, due to the plastic toy choking hazard (wrapped in plastic box). No alternative here, just don’t buy.
- Fabulous Fudge Factory offers vegan chocolate raisins, or make your own.
- Recipes: Almost Maltesers, No-Bake Kit Kat and Healthy Jaffa Cakes
- Make healthy M & Ms or peanut butter M & Ms
Shamelessly Tasty Jealous Sweets
Jealous Sweets is a brand of plant-based sweets with no palm oil, in easy-to-recycle packaging. Made with real fruits, the brand was founded by two friends who left the corporate world to design a better bag of sweets. Known as ‘Lord-Sugar Free’ and ‘Candy Magician’, Taz and Imran have taken ‘rubbery gelatine-packed sweets with synthetic flavours and ghastly packaging’ to a new level. The sugar-free range is sweetened with stevia and sorbitol. The range includes:
- Berry Foams are made with cherry, strawberry and blackberry
- Juicy Foams are made with peach, raspberry and mango
- Berry Sours are made with cherry, raspberry and blackcurrant
- Zingy Sours are made with orange, apple & lemon
- Love Bears (sugar-free) are made with pineapple and grapefruit.
- Happy Bears are made with apple and lemon
- Tropical Wonder are made with mango, pineapple & grapefruit
- Fizzy Friends are made with grapefruit & peach
- Tangy Worms are made with apple, lemon, strawberry and orange
- Grizzly Bears are made with lemon, apple, orange and strawberry
Candy Kitten Gourmet Sweets
Candy Kittens makes gourmet sweets with ethical ingredients. Founded by one of the Made in Chelsea stars, this range is sold in most supermarkets too, if you don’t want to buy online. Made with real fruit juice, these sweets are carbon neutral and free from palm oil (they are transitioning over to sustainable packaging). The range includes:
- Wild Strawberry
- Very Berry
- Blueberry Bliss
- Sour Watermelon
- Tropical Mango
- Eton Mess is not vegan (but soon will be)
1KG Pick & Mix (in compostable bag)
The Conscious Candy Company’s 1KG pick-n-mix is not health food, but everything’s vegan, palm-oil-free (for this item) and in plastic-free packaging. The mix includes over 80 varieties including fried eggs, bubblegum bottes, fizzy cherries, strawberries, space mix, banoffee foams, mermaids and conscious teddy bears! Just zip lock the pack, at up within 10 minutes, then compost when finished (takes 10 weeks). Keep the pouch in a cool place away from sunlight, to prolong life.
Vegan Toffee (Crowded Kitchen) can be made a few days before serving. Just chill in the fridge for up to a few weeks, or it lasts even longer in the freezer.
Just Wholefoods Vegan Sweets are not plastic-free but the best you can get at present. Made in The Cotswolds, these are free from gelatine and also free from beeswax, making them ideal for vegan children and big kids. They are also free from sweeteners and junk, and gluten-free too.
- Frooty Fruits
- Vegebears Sour fruit
Homemade Vegan Gummy Bears (Addicted to Dates) is a recipe for anyone who has children who presently Haribo or similar sweets that contain gelatine (always supervise, to avoid choking hazards). Made in a silicone mould, they feature fresh strawberries and fruit juice, organic cane sugar and agar-agar powder to set.
This chef is author of the fabulous book No-Bake Vegan Desserts. A trained classical chef, recipes in the book include Creamy Pistachio Tart, Cherry Bomb Cheezecake, Cardamom, Vanilla & Clementine Crème Brûlée, Banoffee Cupcakes and Salted Caramel Donuts.