The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Trick or Healthy Treat?

Posted in
Eat better

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Halloween is upon us. Whether you’re walking door-to-door for neighborhood hospitality or doing the Transylvanian twist at a party this year, I am haunted by an earlier post that offers recommendations for healthier treats and reminds us to snack in moderation.

With a little over a week until the trick-or-treaters show up at your door step, you’ve probably started to think about making the trip to the grocery store to buy bags of candy. Or, if you’re like me you’ll be making a second trip to the store because your family already ate the candy that you bought to hand out! While I’ve vowed to not buy trick-or-treat candy ahead of time next year, or to buy candy that my family doesn’t like, I’ve also decided to buy calorie-free treats on my second shopping trip. My husband thinks it’s just mean to not offer a bowl full of savory snacks to the kids in the neighborhood, but I actually remember going out of my way as a kid to stop by the few houses that handed out stickers and other small toys. I even remember the line outside the dentist’s house that handed out toothbrushes to every kid!

So what are some zero-calorie options that won't cost you more than candy? Here are some suggestions.

  • Plastic insects, ghosts, skeletons, or animals
  • Stickers
  • Halloween-themed pencils/pens
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Halloween bracelets or rings
  • Bouncy balls
  • Plastic vampire teeth/fangs
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Bubbles
  • Whistles or noisemakers
Still set on something sweet? Well then, make sure that you don't munch on more than one or two and that you get rid of all the candy before night's end. Here's a sampling of the nutrition facts for some popular snacks:

Fun/snack size Snickers - 72 calories each

Fun/snack size Baby Ruth - 85 calories each

Fun/snack size M&Ms - 90 calories

Fun/snack size Butterfinger - 100 calories

Eat one of each (~350 calories total) and you'll need to walk briskly for over an hour and a half to burn them off!

Share your healthy treat ideas for Halloween with us on Facebook!