Top 5 Scary Halloween Treats to Avoid

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Tips, October 26, 2010

halloween candy bucket

It’s virtually impossible to avoid sugar during trick-or-treat season. Sweet treats can be part of a healthy diet, but some are more spooky than others — pass on these 5 types of candy and you’ll be off to a smart start.

1. Say No To Super Sticky
Taffy, gellies and other sticky candies can cement themselves to your teeth. This combo of stiff and sticky can damage teeth, cause cavities, and ruin orthodontic work — it could turn in an expensive dental bill.

2. Pass On Powdery Messes
Sticks and packets filled with colored powders are tremendously popular with kids (and some adults)! They’re nothing but mouthfuls of colored sugar, which makes them among the worst for teeth — the tiny particles get into every nook and cranny! And you’ve got to wonder: are all those neon-colored artificial colors safe?

3. Forget About Full Sizes
An average full-size candy bar will set you back 300 calories! “Fun size” bars come in closer to 80 per piece. Stick to mini bars and packages for built-in portion control.

4. Ditch the Dare-Devil Candy
Excessively hot, sour, or bizarre-flavored candies (earwax-flavored jelly beans, anyone?) are more trick than treat. These types of extreme candies can be dangerous for the mouth, throat, stomach and digestive system.

5. Super-Sized Chewies
Those super-sized gumballs, hard candies and gummies are notorious choking hazards. We suggest making them scarce.

Smart Tricks For Treats
Since giving out apples to trick-or-treaters will never be popular – try some of these healthier options:

  • Chocolate or yogurt covered raisins
  • Cocoa-dusted almonds
  • Trail mix with chocolate chips
  • (For the older kids) Sugar-free bubble gum

TELL US: What Halloween treats are you frightened of?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (22)

  1. Sarah says:

    It's Halloween. One day of binging on chocolate and gummies and "sticks of sugar" is not going to ruin you for life.

  2. Rebekah says:

    These are great tips and good information to know! Sure, it is Halloween and you are supposed to indulge. Clearly, there are some things that are just not worth indulging in. Thanks Dana!

  3. […] Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog [expanded by] Posted in Healthy Eating […]

  4. Dee says:

    If I gave out any of those "healthy" things I would be "tricked" for sure.
    Nothing wrong with candy -been enjoying all kinds for 78 years and still have all my teeth and am not fat either. Moderation is the key and have most anything you like to eat.

  5. Monique says:

    hard round candy scares me – maybe it's because I had to do the Heimlich on my son when he choked on one a few years ago. I know we can choke on pretty much anything, but those spheres just seem to slide down too easy, especially with little kids jumping around…

  6. jacli says:

    We only hand out candy that is completely sealed and we do not let out boys have any candy out on the road.
    We check everything, anything they do not like or that we question we either swap with friends, donate or trash.
    It's Halloween our kids get 1 piece of candy at lunch and up to 2 at dinner. After 2 weeks they are no longer interested.
    We use the rest of the candy for our Holiday Gingerbread Projects – Boys choose House/Trains/whatever. Works out great.
    Like the previous posters.. all in moderation and common sense, no spheres to kids under 5 (been there done that).

    Enjoy a few pieces of candy! Happy Halloween

  7. sharon says:

    We give pretzels and play-doh to the young trick or treaters and candy bars to the older ones….everyone is excited with whatever they get!!!

  8. Crystal says:

    It's Halloween – a time to be somewhat wild and have fun! Growing up, my parents used to hand out the KING SIZE candies and all the kids loved to stop by my house. I remember coming home after a night of Trick or Treating with so much candy that it would last a year (until the following Halloween)! I ate the king size candies too and I'm fine. I have clean, white teeth and am not fat (5'3, 140ish pounds).

    The important thing for all parents is to BE A GOOD PARENT – teach kids to brush their teeth everyday + every night, limit the amount of candy they can eat, and have them be active (meaning, go run around outside).

  9. maggie says:

    We give out the 24 pack crayons every year and candy bars to the bigger children. Most kids want the crayons that are sealed up in a plastic bag so the crayon smell isn't mixed in with their candy. I buy them at the beginning of the school year at a bargain price of 15 or 20 cents at many of the stores in town.

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