Frighteningly Easy Halloween Candy Swaps
It’s everywhere this time of year: lurking around a corner at the grocery store, sitting in bowls on professors’ desks, waiting for you near the checkout at every gas station. What is it? It’s candy, the sweet treat that is begging to be eaten right around Halloween. Of course, too much candy is more of a trick than a treat. Follow these easy swaps to tame your sweet tooth while still being figure-friendly.
Trick: Full size chocolate candy bar
Treat: 3 Mini or 1 Fun Size Chocolate Candy Bars
This is a great swap because it allows you to get your chocolate fix without going overboard! Most full size candy bars contain 210-280 calories with at least 10 grams of fat. Candy bars contain “empty calories,” which means they don’t provide a significant amount of nutritional value. This doesn’t mean you have to give up chocolate; just be smart about it! Eating a few smaller pieces of chocolate will allow you to curb your cravings while still eating smart. Some examples include four Hershey kisses for 100 calories, one fun size Twix bar for 80 calories, or three assorted Hershey minis for around 130 calories.
Trick: Sour-coated candy
Treat: Fruit snacks
Beware of chewy candies covered in sweet and sour dust! These are more than sweet and sour; they’re tricky and not treats! The calorie counts are considerably high for these candies and are usually in the range of 150-250 calories per bag. A fact that’s even more frightening is the sugar content: 30-35 grams per serving! That’s almost as much as a full can of soda! Instead of these scary choices, swap for some ghoulishly good fruit snacks. Most fruit snacks have between 70-90 calories per bag with around 10 grams of sugar; this is a third of the sugar in sour candies! Keep your eye for fruit snacks with added vitamin C or fruit juice for a little added nutrition.
Treat: Fruit and chocolate milk
Of course, candy itself is a trick! With all the empty calories and added sugars, you may decide that you don’t truly need it after all. Instead of reaching for fruit-flavored chews, grab an apple or banana to satisfy your fruit craving. Apples can be sweet or tart, so your sour fix will be taken care of too! If you’re in the mood for chocolate, try drinking some light chocolate soy milk. With only 90 calories and 45% of your daily calcium, it’s a great choice that’s just as creamy and tasty as actual chocolate!
Try these swaps to keep weight gain from creeping up on you while still indulging in the festivities of the season!
Witching you a healthy Halloween,
Your University Housing Nutrition Team
Residence Hall Dining
Dietetics Graduate Assistant
Undergraduate Nutrition Intern