Halloween is one of the best times of the year. A slight chill in the air, spooky decorations and of course, Halloween candy! Setting a hard limit for candy this holiday can take you out of the holiday spirit and leave you focusing on calorie intake instead of enjoying delicious once-a-year treats.
Some swaps are about portion sizes, and some have a better nutritional profile designed to curb cravings faster.
Here’s how to enjoy a bag full of Halloween candy with some moderation? Check out these swaps to knock out that sweet tooth!
Halloween Candy Portion Control!
Halloween candy is fun. Fun sized means smaller, which can help with portion control.
Try THIS: M&Ms fun size
Instead of… M&Ms regular size
Because…The fun-sized pack contains only 73 calories vs 240 calories for the regular pack. Try having 1-2 of the fun-sized instead of one regular pack to save calories without missing out!
Sugar on sugar? No thanks.
Try THIS: Gummy fruit rings
Instead of… Sour Patch kids (or similar sour coated gummy)
Because… Any candy coated in sour dust packs more sugar than the naked gummies.
Hefty or Satisfying?
Fiber, protein, and good fats from the almonds keep you full and add a satisfying crunch!
Try THIS: Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds
Instead of… Hershey’s Cookies and Cream Chocolate bar
Because… At nearly 400 calories, the cookies and cream bar is hefty when compared to the 210 calories in the chocolate almond bar.
TIP: Always check your “candy haul” before digging in. Halloween candy is typically safe, but when in doubt, throw it out.
Down with the Dust.
Remember, sour coating = more sugar.
Try THIS: Twizzlers
Instead of… Sour Straws
Because…Twizzlers are only 150 calories for a 16-ounce package! Higher volume for
Homemade is Best (RECIPE!)
You can’t control commercial kettle corn ingredients.
Often store-bought kettle corn is loaded with both salt and sugar that can leave you feeling bloated with a sugar crash to follow.
Try making your own popcorn balls with this fun recipe:
- 3 c air popped popcorn
- 1 bag mini marshmallows
- 2 tbsp butter
- Toppings as desired (candy corn added in works well here!)
- Heat butter over medium heat until melted. Add
bagof marshmallows, stir until smooth paste forms and remove from heat.
- Pour marshmallow butter mixture over popcorn, use hands to combine. (Pro tip, butter your hands to prevent sticking).
- Form baseball-sized balls and allow to cool on parchment paper! Enjoy!
RELATED: 4 Ways to Stop Sugar Your Cravings
Go Big, or Go Home!
Whoa, wait, aren’t the smaller cups less calories?
Try THIS: Full sized Reese’s peanut butter cups
Instead of… Fun sized Reese’s peanut butter cups
Because… Oh the horror! Three of Reese’s fun-sized cups are 108 calories vs 1 regular cup at 110 calories. It’s easy to eat more than 3 fun sized Peanut Butter cups, (anyone else eat them by the handful? No? Just me?) so enjoy 1 or 2 full-sized cups instead of counting how many minis you’ve had.
Too much fun (sized)? If you find yourself reaching for more because the candy is smaller, consider just enjoying the full-size portion.
Snicker and Walk Away?
Remember, sour coating = more sugar = more calories.
Try THIS: Snickers
Instead of… Milky Way
Because… Snickers has nuts (now with almonds or peanuts!), which give a satisfying crunch and help keep you fuller longer. It also is lower in calories than a Milky Way!
Caroline is a Clinical Registered Dietitian for MedStar Health and Hospital Systems in Baltimore, Maryland. She completed her Masters Degree in Dietetics from San Jose State University and moved back to Charm City to be with her fiancee. When she’s not providing medical nutrition therapy to her patients, Caroline enjoys cooking, waterfront walks and crab-anything (crab pizza is the best!).