While I was in line at the market today, I heard one of the check-out girls talking about what kind of Halloween candy she was going to get for trick-or-treaters. According to her, Halloween is the one time of year she totally cuts loose and goes candy-crazy. If that’s your motto, go for it. I’ll see you when the sugar coma wears off. But if you are like what I suspect is the majority of people, you struggle to moderate your intake of empty calories, and Halloween is a minefield of temptation.
To help you navigate all those goodies, here’s a list of some of the worst Halloween treats out there, as well as some tips on how to enjoy a few little splurges.
- snack-size candy bars with nuts, caramel, coconut or other filling: don’t let the tiny size fool you! A snack-size Kit-Kat has 220 calories and 11 grams of fat. Butterfinger Minis, have 45 calories and 2 grams of fat each–not so bad if you eat just one. But honestly, who ever does that? A smarter choice? With just 24 calories and less than 1 gram of fat, a Three Musketeers Mini will hit your chocolate nerve without doing too much damage. Go crazy and eat a couple!
- anything with the word “pumpkin” in it: this is a tough one for me because I am a sucker for pumpkin, or otherwise “fall” flavored foods. I often make pumpkin bread from scratch, though I do substitute some whole wheat flour for white, and apple sauce for oil to make it a little healthier. Unfortunately, I also indulge in a Starbuck’s pumpkin scone now and then. No more! Researching this post, I discovered it’s a 500 calorie bomb. Don’t even ask about grams of fat. I could give you more statistics, but really, why depress you further. Basically, if it has pumpkin, and sits in a glass case, walk away. If you must have pumpkin, try a homemade soup, a small latte with non-fat milk and no whipped cream, or if you are feeling adventurous, these southwestern pumpkin burgers.
- seasonal beverages: speaking of pumpkin spice lattes, this sneaky category will up your daily calorie intake faster than you can say “Boo!” A grande pumpkin spice latte with two percent milk and whipped cream packs a whopping 380 calories into its green and white cup. Another problem with drinks is that they don’t ease hunger, so they really are just empty calories. Try making that latte a tall, with non-fat milk and no whip. Still 12 oz of pumpkiny goodness, but only 200 calories. Still a lot for one drink, but a much better choice for an occasional splurge.
A few other yummy, low-cal treats to try:
- Halloween Peeps, only 16 calories each
- small suckers like Dum Dums, only 20 calories
- Smarties candy, only 25 calories per roll
- candy corn, with just 64 calories for 10 pieces (yeah right, this stuff is Halloween crack!)
- Tootsie rolls, about 26 calories per original size piece
Hopefully you now have a strategy for snatching goodies from your kids’ trick-or-treat bag. C’mon, don’t tell me I’m the only one who does that? It’s called “sharing” and it’s an important lesson to teach!