Healthy Swaps: Halloween Treats

by in Halloween, Healthy Tips, October 28, 2011

halloween candy
You can probably figure out that candy isn’t the healthiest option, but this time of year it’s pretty much unavoidable. Explore the options below for improved candy picks.

Instead of: King size candy bar
Choose: Mini “fun size” bar
The Payoff: An average savings of 475 calories and more than 20 grams of fat

Instead of: Candy apple
Choose: Apple slices dipped in peanut butter
The Payoff: Less sugar, plus you’ll get good-for-you nutrients like healthy fat

Instead of: Chewy taffy
Choose: Sugarless gum
The Payoff:  A 100-percent reduction in calories (most sugarless gum has none), plus a healthier mouth; taffy can do some serious damage to your teeth.

Instead of: Candy Corn
Choose: Homemade caramels
The Payoff: Less processed sweeteners and no artificial colors. Read ingredient labels on all of your Halloween candy, you’d be surprised at what’s in some of them.

Instead of: Jelly beans
Choose: A lollipop
The Payoff: A portion controlled goodie instead of mindless sugary shoveling.

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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 (2,770)

  1. Edward says:

    It's disappointing to read health a health column that leads with calories and caloric restrictions. Why not address that MOST packaged treats are loaded with chemicals? "The Payoff: Less processed sweeteners and no artificial colors"…LESS?!?!? You're the food network…promote FOOD!

  2. Edward says:

    *grammatical error in the first sentence, -*health

  3. Marilyn says:

    What about NO candy. For several years now, I have been offering trick-or-treaters a basket full of Halloween party favors and a bowl of coins. I tell them they may choose any 5 items, and they almost always choose the favors over the coins. The kids are delighted as are the parents who accompany the young ones. I cannot in good conscience hand out candy, even if it's one of the options offered above.

  4. Kathy says:

    These are healthier choices? High fructose corn syrup? Damaging fats? Chemicals like aspartame and other artificial sweeteners? Wow. Am I shocked? Well, maybe a little since this is supposed to be a healthier food network.

  5. fergyhun says:

    I also offer non-candy items like pencils, stickers, tatoos, notebooks etc. Most kids seem to welcome the chance to pick something different.

  6. christy says:

    I agree with Edward. The title of the article is “healthy swaps.” Last I checked, “healthy” and suggestions for candies don’t belong in the same statements. This is why you are losing viewers and readers. The food network used to be about smart chefs and good, REAL, food. Now it’s a dumbed-down shadow of its former self promoting processed garbage and perpetuating the food- related health crisis in this country. This article is total bs and a prime example of what’s wrong with the food network.

  7. Sarabara says:

    Next let’s get ride of Thanksgiving and Christmas!!! It’s ONE day out of the year people! Get over it.

  8. Robert L says:

    When I was a kid, I hated the houses that offered healthy stuff or coins.

  9. Ruthie says:

    Yeah, I would be interested in reading an article that totally replaces candy with other creative ideas. If you don't understand the consequences of eating foods that are processed and full of chemicals, it would seem like no big deal. But I think it is important to teach children that it is possible to celebrate and have a great time without putting those things into their bodies.

  10. Emily says:

    I would love to see some non-candy options for little kids that we could give out for Halloween.

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