Aside from the necessary precautions that all parents should take to ensure their child has a safe Halloween experience, one thing that is commonly overlooked is the amount of calories, sugar and fat a child might ingest from his or her Halloween candy. Since most fun-sized candy wrappers lack any nutritional information, here is a list of some of the most popular Halloween candies and their nutrition facts.
Nestle's popular Butterfinger candy bar is known for its crunchy texture and peanut-butter taste. But what exactly is your child eating other than a chocolate covered, peanut-butter crisp? According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a fun-size Butterfinger candy bar has roughly 83 calories. In case you were wondering how many calories are in a full size bar, try a whopping 275 calories. Make sure you monitor how many of these little candy bars are in your child's Halloween bag.
Mounds candy bars, made by Hershey's, are chocolate bars with a coconut center. Without the addition of peanut-butter, caramel or some form of nut, a fun-sized Mounds bar doesn't sound all that bad, right? However, these coconut candy bars have 92 calories in a snack-sized, 19-gram package according to the USDA. In a report featured on MSNBC, Mounds bars were also reported to have the highest content of saturated fat amongst 37 candies that were surveyed. This sounds like one coconut candy you may want to skip out on.
Mars has marketed their Snickers bar as being a filling candy bar that can satisfy the deepest of hungers. And who can argue with them? Chocolate, peanuts, caramel and nougat sound like a heavy combination and make-up the average Snickers bar in its entirety. However, these hefty candy bars serve up 280 calories in a normal-sized bar according to Self magazine, along with 30 grams of sugar. Even in the smaller, bite-size or fun-size versions, these candy bars can be potential calorie busters to those who aren't careful.
Another popular, Halloween candy bar made by Mars is the Twix chocolate bar. While the normal version features two chocolate covered biscuits with caramel, the Halloween variety that is often served to trick-or-treaters is much smaller in size, and labeled as "Twix Miniatures". While eating just one of these mini-Twix candies isn't so bad, their addictiveness is where the problem lies. According to Men's Health Magazine, popping three of these bite-sized, Twix candies can add up to 150 calories, 8 grams of fat and 15 grams of sugar. Now imagine how bad it would be if you were to eat more than just three pieces.
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup
Popular for its size, shape and peanut butter center, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are a Halloween favorite for all ages. During the Halloween season, you may see these candies in a variety of sizes. If you want a general idea of the nutritional information for just one peanut butter cup, here is some data from the USDA:
- Serving size: 17 grams (one cup)
- Calories: 88
- Fat: 5.19 grams
- Sugars: 8.02 grams
Be wary of the Halloween-themed, Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkin. These pumpkin-shaped peanut butter cups contain 170 calories per package, 10 grams of fat and 16 grams of sugar. That's one festive calorie bomb.
M & M's Plain
These mini-chocolates with a candy-coated shell are no prize on the nutritional scale either. With 90 calories, 4 grams of fat and 11.5 grams of sugar in a fun-sized pack, they're just as bad as the other popular, Halloween candies on this list. In case you were wondering, the peanut variety is just as bad as the plain, if not slightly worse at 93 calories in a fun-size pack.
Halloween Candy Tips
- Instead of handing out candy, think of healthy treats you can distribute to trick-or-treaters.
- Discard any candies that have been opened, or look like they've been tampered with.
- Don't allow your kids to eat their candy all at once, distribute it back to them over time in small portions.
- Allow your kids to trade the candy for special prizes. Then, take the candy and donate it to charity instead of eating it all yourself.
- Give your child a smaller trick-or-treat bag or container so they aren't coming home with an absurd amount of candy.
- If your child receives a full-sized or king-sized candy, limit that to their one candy for the day.
- Make sure to serve your kids a healthy, hearty meal so they'll be too full to eat the candy they come home with.