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Halloween Candy: Lower-Calorie Treats Make Holiday Less Scary

Smarter choices for Halloween candy, cookies, and other goodies.

Lower-Calorie Halloween Treats continued...

INSTEAD OF: Candies with sugar-sweetened peanut butter fillings, like Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins with 170 calories, 10 grams fat, and 16 grams sugar per package …

CHOOSE: Candy with whole nuts, which add protein, fiber and phytonutrients. Try peanut M&Ms, with90 calories, 5 grams fat, and 9 grams sugar per mini-pack. 

INSTEAD OF: Snack cakes like Ding Dongs and Hostess Scary Monster Cupcakes (180 calories and 7-9 grams of fat each) or Little Debbie Devil Squares and Cosmic Brownies (260-280 calories, and 11 grams of fat per package) …

CHOOSE: Portion-controlled snack cakes like Little Debbie 100 Calories Chocolate Cakes (3 grams fat and 12 grams sugar) or Hostess 100 Calorie Pack Twinkie Bites (2.5 grams fat and 11 grams sugar).

INSTEAD OF: High-fat crunchy snacks like those in the Creepy Classic Mix with bags of Cheetos, Fritos, and Doritos (about 160 calories and 10 grams fat each), or mini bags of Cheez-It Sponge Bob Square Pants (160 calories, 8 grams fat)...

CHOOSE: Lower-calorie crunchies like Snyder’s 100 Calorie Pack Snaps Pretzels (with just 0.5 gram of fat) or the Smart Mix sack of 20 bags of baked snacks like Sun Chips, Baked Cheetos, Baked Doritos, and Baked Ruffles(with 120 calories and 4.5 grams for the Baked Cheetos).

INSTEAD OF: Fun-size packs of high-sugar cookies like mini Oreos with 65 calories, 2.5 grams of fat and 5.5 grams of sugar per pack …

CHOOSE: Lower-sugar cookie fun size packs like Teddy Grahams (60 calories and 2 grams fat) or animal crackers.

More Tips for Halloween Calorie Control

Beyond making smarter choices on the snack aisle, Albin offers four tips for avoiding calorie overload at this time of year:

  • Don’t skip on exercise or outdoor time. Staying active and getting a daily dose of sunlight will help keep your mind and body balanced as the days grow shorter.
  • Don’t munch mindlessly. Remove the Halloween candy from your sight. Keep it in the refrigerator or a hard-to-reach cabinet so you'll be fully aware of what you're doing when you grab a couple of pieces.
  • Decide ahead of time what your daily treat will be, and how many you'll have.  Come up with a concrete number that works for you. Remind yourself that the candy will be there tomorrow if you want more.
  • Stock up on healthy snacks and sugarless gum. Have plenty of sugarless gum and healthy snacks (like baby carrots, grapes, apple slices) on hand for when you just feel like chewing on something.


Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the "Recipe Doctor" for WebMD and the author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her opinions and conclusions are her own

Reviewed on October 19, 2009

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