How much is too much Halloween Candy? |


It’s officially Autumn here in the Midwest, which means cooler weather, fall colors, pumpkin spice, and of course Halloween! It’s the one day in a year we see goblins, princesses, and TV stars alike, going door to door asking for candy. Now don’t call me the candy police, I’ll be the last person to say you should avoid candy on Halloween, but moderation can be a total game changer! Let’s chat a little about how added sugar in Halloween candy nutrition can really stack up.

About 4% of all candy consumed in this country happens on Halloween! Did you know Americans normally eat about 80 grams of sugar a day according to a report from the 2005–2010 NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey)?! That’s far over the amount children are recommended to have no more than each day-about 6 teaspoons or 25 grams.

Like I said, I’m not here to tell you shouldn’t eat candy, but what I will say is that, there are ways you can eat your candy and be healthy, too! Here are some of my favorite tips for reducing the amount of added sugar around Halloween:

  • Sort through and decide which pieces of candy you want to keep
    • Don’t keep ones you only sort of like-you will be left feeling unsatisfied.
    • Toss out those that are a safety hazard for littles ones in the house (jaw breakers, hard pieces of bubble gum, etc.)
    • Many communities have buyback programs, where they will pay you for bringing in your Halloween candy. This is in an effort to reduce added sugars.
  • Moderation!
    • This is my number one tip for this time of year. Whether it’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other get-togethers, moderation is key! You can still enjoy the foods you love (even those sweet treats), but eat slowly and stop at one serving. This allows to enjoy your food, without going overboard.
    • Limit the amount of candy your children have per day after Halloween (give a number of pieces).
    • Have a piece of candy only after you’ve had a nutritious snack or meal. For example, after school, have an apple or some veggies and keep your piece of candy till after.
  • Choose better-for-you options to hand out on Halloween
    • Not handing out candy doesn’t mean your house must be boring! It makes it unique!
      • Try out granola bars, fig bars, bags of popcorn, no-sugar-added fruit snacks, etc.
      • Hand out beverages such as sparkling water, 100% juice boxes, mini bottles of water, etc.
      • Want to go totally food-free? Stickers, wash-off tattoos, coloring books, etc. are fun for kids, too!

Need help with any other ideas? Feel free to reach out to your local Coborn’s Supermarket Registered Dietitian! In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you are going to be for Halloween! Please share in the comments below!

Emily Parent, RD, LD
Coborn’s Supermarket Registered Dietitian

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