Yes, You Can Still Eat Candy

You might assume that those of us with dairy allergies survive off plants and seeds. You would be quite wrong in this assumption; fortunately for me (and the rest of us out there), there are TONS of dairy free candy options. If you’re thinking about going dairy free, just know that Halloween is still bearable.

I spent 3+ years working at a bakery in high school and my dad works in the baking industry. My sweet tooth is stronger than an unsupervised child at a birthday party; I eat marshmallows like some people snack on grapes. Cutting dairy completely out of my diet changed some aspects of my life, but my love for sugar remained steady. I will never turn down a Swedish Fish gummy. Or a Sour Patch Kid. Or a Fruit Roll-up.

I’ve compiled a list of the best dairy free candies out there, just in time for your next movie night or sugar fix. They’re ranked in no particular order because some of you prefer mouth-watering sour stuff while others would gladly drown in Willy Wonka’s chocolate lazy river.

  1. Sour Patch Kids/Watermelon: You’d be hard pressed to find someone who hates every flavor. I don’t love the yellow or green, but I could easily down a bag of red and oranges. ★★★★★
  2. Airheads: Remember these? I used to wiggle the wrapper until I developed carpal tunnel just to get the long airhead thick and short. I grew up near an indoor rollerblading rink where Airheads were basically our currency. If you’re looking to relive your childhood or just experience a true sugar high, this is the candy for you.
  3. Starbursts: Can’t go wrong. You may be noticing a theme here – if it’s not chocolate, chances are extremely high that you can eat it with a dairy free diet.
  4. Twizzlers: Meh, but go for it if you like licorice. Not my vibe.
  5. Nerds: A classic. Back in my dairy-full days, I’d dump a bag of M&M’s into a bowl with the mega rainbow box of Nerds for a sugar salad of sorts. Now, those milk chocolate devils would put me out for a few hours. However, my love for Nerds remains.
  6. Gummy anything: Worms, bears, snakes, sharks, you name it. You don’t need dairy to make a gummy. Have at it.
  7. Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups with Dark Chocolate: Okay, so maybe not exactly the same as a Reese’s, but these PB cups are FABULOUS. I have absolutely consumed one or two for breakfast more often than I’d like to admit.
  8. Airheads Xtreme Tape: These rainbow strips of sugar and food coloring are the reason I get out of bed in the morning. Drama aside, I just love these sour strips. Easily my all time favorite candy.

I’m the type of person who cannot refuse a dairy free dessert. If I see Vegan next to something on a menu, there is a 100% chance I order it, even without reading the ingredients. Technically, all the candies I listed above are vegan. Same with Oreos. And PopTarts. Who told you that going dairy free would be hard?

You can absolutely still find a guilty pleasure snack even with a limited diet. Besides, Sour Patch Kids are way more exciting than Snickers.

No matter what, though, keep an eye on your sugar intake. I have a hard time digesting a lot of sugar at once, which probably has something to do with my lactose intolerance in some way or another. There’s no reason to consume ALL of the suggested candies above – one at a time is fine! Unless it’s Girls’ Night, though. Then eat all your heart desires.

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