Halloween Candy: Lower-Calorie Treats Make Holiday Less Scary
Smarter choices for Halloween candy, cookies, and other goodies.
All those miniature candy bars lining the Halloween candy section of your
local store look so harmless. But will the calories from that candy come back
to haunt your waistline in the weeks ahead?
Candy in general is a big trigger for overindulgence, says Jayme Albin, MA,
PhD, a cognitive-behavior therapist in private practice. Not only that, but our
cravings for carbohydrates tend to increase as the weather gets colder and
daylight hours get shorter. These two factors align at this time of year to
make Halloween the perfect storm for calorie overload.
As any true candy-craver knows, trying to pass up Halloween candy completely
may only make you want it more. But if you enjoy favorite treats in moderation
every day leading up to the holiday, you may be less likely to overdo it when
you're nose-to-nose with that big bowl of goodies on Halloween night.
"Repeatedly behaving in moderation practices self-control around the
stimulus and also encourages mindfulness,” says Albin, who believes that for
many people mindfulness (being fully aware of what you're eating while you're
eating it) is the secret to managing food cravings.
Lower-Calorie Halloween Treats
And when you're buying Halloween candy or other treats for your controlled
indulgences, keep in mind some choices are better than others. Here are some
lower-calorie candy and treat choices that will still satisfy your particular
INSTEAD OF: Chewy candy like Dots (150 calories and 22 grams sugar in
two mini-boxes) and Fruit Gushers (90 calories and 12 grams sugar per
CHOOSE: A chewy treat that has no calories or is naturally sweet.Try
a piece of Ice Breakers gum (with no fat, calories, or sugar) or a mini-box of
raisins (45 calories, 0 grams fat, 10 grams naturally occurring
INSTEAD OF: Chocolate bars with high-calorie caramel and peanut
butter added, like Take 5 bars (105 calories, 5.5 grams of fat and 9 grams
of sugar per fun-size bar) …
CHOOSE: Chocolate treats with something low-calorie added (like puffy
grains). Try mini Quaker Chewy Granola Bars (60 calories, 2 grams fat, and 4
grams sugar per bar) or fun-size Nestle Crunch Bars (60 calories, 3 grams fat,
7 grams sugar).
INSTEAD OF: Chocolate bars filled with caramel, toffee or coconut,
like Heath Miniatures with 115 calories, 7 grams fat, and 13 grams sugar for 3
bite-size pieces …
CHOOSE: Plain milk or dark chocolate fun-size bars, like Hershey's
fun-size bar (67 calories, 4 grams fat, 8 grams sugar). Bonus: You can also use
these for baking or to make s’mores.
INSTEAD OF: Candy bars made with white chocolate like Hershey’s
Cookies ‘n’ Creme, with 73 calories, 4 grams fat, and 6.3 grams sugar per fun
size bar …
CHOOSE: Dark chocolate treats, like 3 Musketeers Mint fun-size bars
(63 calories, 2.3 grams fat and 9 grams sugar per bar) and Dove Dark Chocolate
pieces (84 calories, 5 grams fat and 7.6 grams sugar for two foil-wrapped
pieces). White chocolate not only has more saturated fat than any other type of
chocolate, but lacks the healthy phytochemicals found in cocoa and dark