Halloween Candy Do’s and Dont’s

Photo: One King's LaneCandy corn, Jolly Ranchers, Kit Kats, Skittles.

Enough about what I had for breakfast, lets talk about Halloween candy.

Being that I’m not the “healthiest” eater, I’m glad David Zinczenko, author of, Eat This Not That! For Kids! came out with a few Halloween candy guidelines.

I have referenced his book before, and I like the way he breaks things down with easy to read pictures and comparisons with everyday foods we eat. No fancy food talk about carb comparisons, food pyramids, daily calorie intake, blah blah blah. I just wanna know, YES EAT IT or HECK NAWL.

So here’s the dirty from Dave:

Butterfinger Bar (fun size bar)
100 calories
4 g fat (2 g saturated)
10 g sugars

Again, fun for whom? Your cardiologist? By calling it “fun,” food marketers are cleverly pulling your attention away from the fact that candy bars are flab-inducing logs of concentrated fats and sugars. And Butterfinger is the worst offender—there’s no quicker way to swallow 100 calories.

Eat This, Instead!
3 Musketeers (fun size bar)
63 calories
2 g fat (1.5 g saturated)
10 g sugars

Ohhhh-kaaaaay….That would be strike 1 for Nora. I’m sorry, but 3 Muskateers is the nastiest candy bar ever made. It tastes like mush flavored mush. All you health conscious people can send your Butterfingers to me!!!!

Brach’s Airheads (3 pieces)
140 calories
1.5 g fat (1 g saturated)
19 g sugars

Here’s the basic formula for an Airhead: Sugar and filler carbohydrates, artificial colors and flavors, and partially hydrogenated oils—a source of trans fat. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like our Eat This Instead, Dum Dums, are nutritional paragons, but they do have two noteworthy advantages over Airheads: They have no heart-wrecking oils, and they’re hard candy. That means they dissolve slowly on your tongue, letting you enjoy the sweetness over time.

Eat This, Instead!
Spangler Dum Dum Pops (3 pops)
77 calories
0 g fat
105 g sugars

Ohhhh-kaaaaay….That would be strike 1 for Mo. Is there any kid that doesn’t loooove Air Heads? This is like the modern day Now and Later. The only way I can get him to eat a Lunchable at school (surely that’s on Dave’s list of “Not That”) is bc of the the AirHead in it. Ahhh well. What else ya got Dave?

Twix Miniatures (3 pieces)
150 calories
8 g fat (6 g saturated)
15 g sugars

Twix has the worst saturated fat profile of any candy in your kid’s trick-or-treat bag. Think about it like this: Each one of these bite-sized candies carries 10 percent of the saturated fat you should consume in an entire day. Switch to Tootsie Rolls and you’ll cut your calories by more than half and trim your total fat intake by a whopping 81 percent.

Eat This Instead!
Tootsie Roll (3 pieces)
70 calories
1.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated)
9.5 g sugars

Ding ding ding! We have a winner… I shall heed Dave’s advice here. I don’t really care for Twix or Tootsie Rolls. These were usually thrown in the bag of candy my dad took into work the day after Halloween. Right after the 3 MUSHkateers. YUCK!

Brach’s Milk Maid Caramels (4 pieces)
160 calories
4.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated)
16 g sugars

“Milk Maid” sounds a lot like “Milk Made,” doesn’t it? Very clever, Brach’s! This candy contains a couple milk derivatives (whey and “lipolyzed butter fat”), but it hardly constitutes a dairy product. Plus, 90 percent of the fat is saturated. That’s bad news for your heart. If you enjoy the challenge of fighting chewy candy out of your teeth, switch over to Now and Later and save more than 100 calories per serving.

Eat This, Instead!
Now and Later (4 pieces)
53 calories
0.5 g fat (0 g saturated)
10 g sugars

Are you SERIOUS?! Marry me Dave!!!! You’re saying I can eat Now and Laters and ditch those disgusting chewy caramels that only old people with their porch lights off hand out? Awesome!!! OMG pineapple and banana Now and Laters are THE BEST.

Make sure you check out Dave’s full article for Halloween survival tips and more eat this not that suggestions.

I hate haunted houses and suck at pumpkin carving, but I’m all for free candy at Halloween…it’s just part of being a kid. I let them eat a certain number of treats the night of the festivities, then later that night, mommy the Halloween Monster comes and takes all the candy away for “charity” (hides it all in my nightstand). Yum yum yum yum yum!!!!

Be safe. Happy Halloween. Don’t forget to send me those Butterfingers!!!!

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