Halloween is upon us and if you’re like me, I get a little “baked” on the availability of Halloween treats.
“Baked” as in “stick a fork in me, I’m done.”
I wouldn’t begrudge a child the experience of trick-or-treating, nor the opportunity to go a little crazy with candy. But…there are costs to the whole candy thing.
Yes, yes, I know the big grab bags of candy are now over $10 (unbelievable!), but I am talking about the calorie and sugar cost of candy.
Halloween treats fill buckets and pillowcases with mini-bites of Snickers, KitKats, and JuJube boxes.
But what’s the low down on calories? And sugar?Calories and sugar in Fun-size Halloween treats. Click To Tweet
Inquiring minds want to know.
If you’re like me, you’re guilty of occasionally justifying multiple handfuls of those mini-bad boys.
Don’t get me wrong—I am not anti-candy—I am pro-awareness.
Halloween poses its own set of candy management challenges. You need to pay attention to how much you and your kids are eating.
Insider Notes on Halloween Treats
Most of the mini or snack size versions contain 10% (sometimes less) of the calories I typically allot for Fun Food. In other words, one or two Halloween treats per day is fine, on average.
But look at the big picture—how do these treats stack up when considering what’s eaten during the whole day? During the week?
The mini-versions are much easier to manage over a full-size candy bar.
Sugar content is important to note because there are added sugar guidelines for children. While these Halloween treats are blatant sources of added sugar, you can track how they fit into the whole day, especially when consumed with other sources of sugar.
It’s pretty safe to say that most kids are getting far more than the recommended amounts of sugar in their diet. This is due to consumption of soda or other sugary beverages, hidden sources of sugar (cereal, yogurt), and blatant sources, like candy and desserts.
Recommended daily sugar intake (based on the age of your child):
2-3 years: 4 teaspoons (16 grams) of added sugar per day
4-8 years: 3 teaspoons (12 grams) of added sugar per day
9-13 years: 5-8 teaspoons (20 – 32 grams) of added sugar per day
14-18 years: 5-8 teaspoons (20 – 32 grams) of added sugar per day
While Halloween is certainly a highlight of the year for many kids (it sure was for me!), it doesn’t have to take your child’s diet down several notches.
Check out these other Halloween posts from years past:
For a downloadable, FREE handout detailing some of those fun-size Halloween candies, along with their calorie and sugar contents, click here.
Written by: Jill Castle, MS, RDN
Published on: October 22, 2015
Updated on: May 8, 2019