The 5 Best and Worst Halloween Candy Options + 4 Tips To Help You Enjoy It More Mindfully
Truth moment: if you have kids, you’ve probably got Halloween candy sitting around. And you’re probably going to eat some of it, right? I know I plan to! That’s why I wrote this post on five of the best and worst Halloween candy you can eat. And I promise I’m not going to tell you to eat only popcorn balls and fruit snacks! When I want candy, I want real candy!
Halloween. I love it. Bring on the cool weather, comfy sweaters, gorgeous fall foliage, and super-cute ghouls and goblins. But all that Halloween candy! Seriously…it’s calling my name from the cabinet right now!
How’s a girl supposed to keep her health in check?!?
What are the best and worst Halloween candies?
To be clear, candy is candy. It’s calorie-dense, generally nutrient-poor, and we all know we (and our kids) shouldn’t be eating a ton of it. But going candy-free on Halloween? That’s simply not realistic for most mortals! For that reason, let’s start with five of the “better” options.
The five best Halloween candies:
- Smarties. They’re pure sugar, but with only 25 calories per roll, it won’t break your calorie bank…as long as you don’t eat 47 of them.
- Tootsie pops or suckers. How many licks does it take…? The fact that it takes longer to eat a sucker means you’ll get more satisfaction from it. Plus, most suckers fall in the 60-calorie range, which isn’t too bad compared to other options.
- Baby Ruth. Calorie dense and sugar-laden, yes. But also has some healthy fiber, protein, and fat from the peanuts.
- Snickers. Once again, still a calorie and sugar bomb. But at least there is some protein and healthy fat from the nuts.
- Peppermint patties. So, there’s really no redeeming nutritional qualities about this candy, except that the mint flavor is so strong, it’s hard to eat more than one!
The worst five Halloween candy options:
- Sugar babies. The “snack size” contains 4 teaspoons of sugar! And let’s be honest, it’s so easy to mindlessly keep shoving these little things in your mouth…no one stops at a single serving!
- Candy corn. Just a couple of handfuls of this waxy candy will have you eating 28 grams of sugar. Yikes! Once again, another candy that can be eaten mindlessly in large quantities.
- Milk duds. Loaded with sugar and fat, these things are probably on the American Dental Association’s list of worst candies because they are so sticky, they’ll also pull out your fillings!
- Twizzlers. The tiny Halloween-sized pack contains 130 calories and 16 grams of sugar. So not worth it!
- Butterfingers. Sure, it contains some nuts, but this one may be the least healthy of all the nut-containing candy bars.
Forget about the best and worst Halloween candy lists and EAT CANDY! (Just eat it mindfully)
That’s right, I’m a fitness trainer and a wellness coach…and I want you to eat Halloween candy and actually enjoy it! Why? How many times have you committed to NOT eating the candy, and then gone ahead and eaten it anyway, complete with a heaping side dish of guilt? Labeling foods as “good” or “bad” sets you up for guilt and shame. In a cruel twist of fate, these sinful feelings often cause us to eat even larger quantities of the remorse-inducing food!
I now base my entire practice on the concept of mindful eating because it works. It’s a realistic approach to nutrition that helps people navigate our tricky food environment, while maintaining a realistically healthy lifestyle. I even created an online course dedicated to helping people eat more mindfully and actually enjoy food again!
Here are my top mindful eating tips for having your Halloween candy and enjoying it too.
Don’t stand next to the candy if you haven’t eaten all day. If you are in a state of ravenous hunger, how do you expect to control the number of mini-Milky Way’s that end up in your mouth? You can’t. Basic human biology will trump willpower. Every. Time. If you are overly hungry, don’t start with the candy. Eat a healthy snack first.
Only eat it if it’s worth it. I don’t really like Raisinets, licorice, or Jolly Ranchers. But sometimes I find myself eating them just because they’re in front of me. Why am I wasting empty calories on candy I don’t even like?!? Moral: If you are going to eat candy, at least make sure it’s candy that’s worth it to you.
Eat it sitting down. Take your candy, sit down, and actually taste it! The true secret of mindful eating is being present in the moment you are eating a food. When allow yourself the full experience and pleasure of eating something delicious, you may find that you need less of it to satisfy you.
Remember that Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas represent only 3 days out of the next 62. That means you have 59 other opportunities to eat well and take care of your body. And if you’ve already been eating Halloween candy since it appeared on store shelves in late August – and plan to keep eating it through November – just re-read the first two suggestions. 😉
Have a safe and happy Halloween, and remember: if you’re going to eat candy…Enjoy. Every. Bite.