Well, actually, we might have a bone to pick with a certain spooky fright night on October 31st. In the midst of fall's harvest bounty of fresh fruits and veggies, Halloween brings trick-or-treat bags filled with some scary stuff, indeed.
Today, we're breaking down the worst Halloween candy options for kids. But, never fear–we're also listing the best Halloween treats to eat and to share. Check out the list and then check out your kid's candy bag before they dig in.
WORST: Fun Size Candy Bars160 Calories, 8g Fat & 17g Sugar per Serving 1 of 10
There's nothing fun about a fun size candy bar. Snickers, Butterfinger, Milky Way and the like are often made with partially hydrogenated oils that pack a lot of saturated fat into a tiny package. Plus, they're loaded with sugar and various artificial ingredients. The familiarity factor and cute packaging keep them at the top of the Halloween popularity list, but we'd skip 'em–fun size or otherwise.
WORST: Gummy Candy140 Calories & 29g Sugar per Serving 2 of 10
Gummy candies like Sour Patch Kids fall in the 'worst' category for more than one reason. First, these sticky sweets get stuck in teeth, risking cavities. Some flavors are also colored with Red #40, among other artificial colors. Though the debate is ongoing, Red #40 has been suspected to cause allergic reactions and other problems.
WORST: Hard Candy60 Calories & 12g Sugar per Serving 3 of 10
Hard candies, including butterscotch drops, fruit drops and striped mints, aren't just filled with empty calories. They're also the perfect size to be a choking hazard. Unfortunately, these sweets are also very popular, due to their low price and long shelf life. Steer clear, especially with young children in the house.
WORST: Lollipops70 Calories & 13g Sugar per Serving 4 of 10
We all know sugar is bad for our teeth. On top of artificial colors and empty calories, lollipops like Blow Pops and Tootsie Pops allow sugar to just hang out in kids' mouths, thoroughly coating their teeth in sugary saliva. Read on for a better alternative.
BEST: Zollipops35 Calories & 0g Sugar per Serving 5 of 10
Candy that's good for your teeth? Is that even a thing? Yes! Zollipops , the brainchild of kid inventor Alina Morse, are called "clean teeth pops." Going beyond sugar-free, they also boast a non-GMO, vegan and gluten-free ingredient list. Choose from six flavors in pops and stick-free drops.
BEST: Dark Chocolate210 Calories, 16g Fat & 13g Sugar per Serving 6 of 10
Dark chocolate's health benefits are well-known in nutrition circles. Rich in antioxidants, it's been shown to help lower blood pressure. Aim for dark chocolate with at least 60 percent cacao, and keep in mind that moderation still applies. Nutrition information based on Theo Chocolate Organic 70 percent Dark Chocolate Bar.
BEST: UnReal Chocolate-Covered Peanuts170 Calories, 11g Fat & 13g Sugar per Serving 7 of 10
UnReal brand candies are made with sustainable and organic ingredients, as well as fair trade cocoa. The irresistible Dark Chocolate Peanut Gems feature 72 percent dark chocolate, and they come in fun colors courtesy of beetroot, carrots and other natural sources.
BEST: Justin's Peanut Butter Cups210 Calories, 14g Fat & 17g Sugar per Serving 8 of 10
Peanut butter cups are one of the most popular candies year round, and you can't get a version made with higher quality ingredients than Justin's . Available in dark, milk and white chocolate, they provide 5 grams of protein, too. Make sure and pick up extras for your own candy bag!
BEST: YumEarth Gummy Bears70 Calories & 9g Sugar per Serving 9 of 10
When you want a classic treat without the mile-long list of ingredients you can't pronounce, YumEarth Gummy Bears are the ticket. They're made from non-GMO and vegan ingredients, and they come in a rainbow of fun colors, thanks to fruit and vegetable juices.