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From M&M’s to Three Musketeers: A Guide to Healthier Halloween Candy

Guide to Healthier Halloween Candy

Please note: This blog originally appeared on the Chicago Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Blog. As it is no longer available, we have reproduced it here.

Jamie is a Junior Dietetic Intern and Masters Candidate at Rush University Medical Center. This post is the fourth installment of the new Student Series here on the CAND blog, which features Chicago-area dietetic interns every Thursday. Jamie is passionate about both nutrition and pediatrics–keep reading to see her tips on how to make Halloween a little more nutritious for both you and the kids. For Jamie’s full bio, please see below.

From M&M’s to Three Musketeers: A Guide to Healthier Halloween Candy

As children become eager to mask themselves as their #1 superhero or dress up as the fairest princess of them, grocery store aisles start to pile up with tempting treats while Halloween creeps upon us. Before you know it, these mouthwatering sweets will find themselves falling out of your child’s plastic pumpkins and into your home, eventually getting stuffed in your office desk drawer or hidden among your kitchen cabinets. So which scrumptious candy options are better for you to hand out to all the disguised trick-or-treaters…or better yet, to sneak out of your child’s mountain- high pile to satisfy a mid-day sweet tooth? The following tips about “healthy” candy choices will help you indulge without the added calories.

Tip #1: Stick to the fun-size bars.

Most households have a one-candy bar limit when passing out candy to trick-or- treaters, and the size of that bar can make all the difference. One fun-size Three Musketeers contains 63 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 10 grams of sugar, compared to 240 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 36 grams of sugar in a regular size bar. The fun- size bar also adds portion control and may keep you from opening one more.

Tip #2: Go for non-candy options.

Most households have a one-candy bar limit when passing out candy to trick-or- treaters, and the size of that bar can make all the difference. One fun-size Three Musketeers contains 63 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 10 grams of sugar, compared to 240 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 36 grams of sugar in a regular size bar. The fun- size bar also adds portion control and may keep you from opening one more.

Tip #3: Pick peanut options.

While candies with peanuts in them may have a few extra calories, with the added protein from the nut, your body will be satisfied longer, which keeps you from craving more later on. Fun-size peanut M&M’s contain 90 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 9 grams of sugar while fun-size regular M&M’s contain 103 calories, 4.44 grams of fat, and 10.7 grams of sugar.

Tip #4: Choose hard candies.

Although Jolly Ranchers (70 calories, 0 grams of fat, 11 grams of sugar in 3), Blow Pops (60 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 13 grams of sugar), and gum (25 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 5 grams of sugar in Bubble Yum) may be high in calories and sugar, these sweet treats take a lot longer to finish so you’re less likely to eat more, with an added bonus of keeping your mouth busy and away from munching on higher calorie candies.

So, if you can’t fight the temptation and you want to indulge in that chocolate craving or satisfy a sweet tooth around this candy-filled holiday, choose the lesser of the several evils when you’re staring at the kid in your life’s candy stash.