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Cook Fast, Live Young: Making Healthy Halloween Choices at the Grocery Store

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by JulianaWeissRoessler)
at 7:59AM Wednesday October 5, 2011
under Holidays

When it comes time to shop for Halloween goodies, it can be tempting to throw all thoughts of healthy eating out the window. After all, this is a holiday about eating sugary treats, right? But you can still make better choices about what snacks you choose to "cheat" with.
Get Your "Fun" from 3 Musketeers

Of all the "fun size" candy bars, this is one of the better options for you at only 63 calories. The worst? Butterfingers weigh in at a whopping 100 calories and 4 g of fat per bar. What's the best miniature bar you can buy? Tootsie Rolls are only 70 calories for 3 pieces. That's a big improvement over the worst offender, Twix--3 pieces is 150 calories and 8 g of fat.

Go Small

Reese's Pumpkins may be cute, but one package has 170 calories, 10 g of fat, and 16 g of sugar. If you opt for Reese's Bite Size Peanut Butter Cups you still enjoy the same taste, but one package contains only 72 calories, 4 g of fat, and 6 g of sugar. Getting smaller candies can help you avoid overeating.

Chew Gum

Instead of eating all those flavored taffies and other chewy candies, grab a piece of gum. You still get to experience the flavor but with only 5 to 15 calories. Plus, it can help tide your cravings and avoid other treats.

Opt for Dark Chocolate

Look for bars that have at least 60% dark chocolate. No, they don't have less calories, but they do boast health benefits that regular chocolate and white chocolate don't. The flavonoids in the cocoa helps keep your arteries soft which can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, and epicatechin can help prevent brain damage from a stroke.

Of course, you're even better off if you choose to make your own Halloween snacks. A caramel apple or toasted pumpkin seeds have more nutrients than any candy bar, and they can be just as fun!

Juliana Weiss-Roessler has ten years of professional writing and editing experience. For four years, she managed the web content for the star of an Emmy-nominated reality series. Currently, she is an editor for the geek girl e-zine, a contributor to the career blog at, and owner of the food blog Follow her @cookfast on Twitter and learn more about her work at