Just How Much Sugar Is in That Halloween Candy?!

I’ve never loved the idea of passing out tons of candy (i.e. sugar) to tons of kids on one night — or any night, for that matter. I don’t know many kids personally these days, so it doesn’t have a direct effect on me or anything, but it still bothers me. It’s bad for them, in general, and I’m pretty sure it’s bad for their parents’ sanity.

Maybe I’m a grump, but I just feel a little uncomfortable contributing to the nationwide sugar rush on Halloween night. I know I loved trick-or-treating as a kid, but now, as a health-conscious adult, I’m looking for ways to ease my discomfort. It doesn’t really matter how this Halloween tradition started or why it continues, but it seems like it’s here to stay, so I’ve come to a compromise with myself.

I did some research to pick the candy I’m most okay with giving out. I perused the grocery store’s Halloween aisle and checked out the options. I looked at the amount of sugar in the amount of candy that I would give out. If a serving was listed as, for example, eight Starbursts, I calculated the sugar for one. I included the calorie count as a frame of reference.


Again, maybe I’m a bit of a grump, but I’m the kind of person who will say this exact sentence hundreds of times on Halloween night: “Aw, you look so cute. Please take ONE. No, just one, please. Thank you. Happy Halloween!” Literally hundreds of times. My neighborhood is nuts. I know some kids will definitely grab a handful, but I will give them the *option* to indulge in smaller portions.

Through my little analysis to determine the least amount of sugar I can give out — without avoiding it altogether — I learned to stay away from anything with caramel. Pretty much every candy is straight sugar in some form or another, but candies that include caramel seem to be the worst offenders in my research.

So, I have made a decision. On Halloween night, I will hand out a mix of fruity Lifesavers and Starbursts. They’re colorful and tiny, just like all those trick-or-treaters. And they have the least amount of sugar per single packaged candy.

What Halloween candy are you passing out and enjoying — or avoiding? —Megan

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