Nutrition Articles

5 Surprisingly High-Cal Halloween Treats

Be Very Afraid of These Calorie Monsters!

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Fall is as good a time of year as any to re-evaluate your weight-loss goals and plans. But before you know it, Halloween brings the focus to candy and treats that may be tempting you to fall off the health wagon. One indulgent day of Halloween treats won’t hurt most people's progress, but considering that Halloween is just the beginning of a two-month season packed with party foods and desserts, try not to get carried away.
As you’re looking for ways to enjoy the season without losing sight of your health and fitness goals, pick the smartest treats, but say “Boo!” to the biggest calorie monsters.
Here are five Halloween treats that should scare you!
1. Fun-Size Candy Bars
At an average of about 100 calories a pop, these popular trick-or-treat goodies may seem innocent—but that's only the case if you stop at one. It’s pretty easier to eat four or five mini-bars as you take your kids trick-or-treating, and if they're eyeing you from the reception desk at your office—forget about it! You may be eating one or more every day for weeks leading up to Halloween.

The bars that really pack the most calories are those with peanut butter, coconut, chocolate, caramel, and nuts. Plus, once they’re out of the larger packages, their nutrition facts are nowhere to be found on those individual labels.

Trick: Start reading nutrition labels of fun-size treats before throwing out the package. Figure out the best choice for you and stick with that when you’re having a Halloween treat. Peppermint patties and Twizzlers have about half of the calories than the average candy bar, but that doesn’t mean they are calorie free. Popping in a piece of sugar-free gum can help curb some cravings if you're feeling tempted after eating just one. Read more: 11 Halloween treats under 100 calories.
2. Pumpkin Breads and Muffins
Pumpkin puree delivers vitamin A and fiber along in a deliciously low-calorie package that just screams of fall. But pair it with sugar, cream cheese frosting, shortening and butter, and you have a high-cal treat dressed in a healthy-looking orange costume. Restaurants and bakeries are the biggest villains: Pumpkin scones, muffins, donuts and breads range from 300 to 530 calories per serving, but most portion sizes can be double or triple in size. For a single treat, that's a lot of damage to your calorie budget.
Trick: Bake your pumpkin goods at home, where you can control your recipe and make healthy baking substitutions, like subbing applesauce in place of oil and fat, choosing whole wheat flour over white, and cutting down on the sugar in a recipe. Using a mini muffin tin will help with portions as you bake perfectly-portioned pumpkin goodies. Start with these healthy pumpkin recipes from SparkRecipes for ideas. Continued ›
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About The Author

Sarah Haan Sarah Haan
Sarah is a registered dietitian with a bachelor's degree in dietetics. She helps individuals adopt healthy lifestyles and manage their weight. An avid exerciser and cook, Sarah likes to run, lift weights and eat good food. See all of Sarah's articles.

Member Comments

  • Thanks for sharing. - 10/23/2013 6:22:11 AM
    I don't know how I feel about this article because ads from Chitka kept blocking it! - 10/17/2013 9:54:00 AM
    For those of you who love pumpkin spice coffees Tim Hortons has sugar free flavor shots. Right now they have pumpkin spice. They only have 4 calories per shot. I usually get two. They don't add sweetness but they do add nice flavor. 2 shots is good for a large or below. - 10/17/2013 9:48:26 AM
  • These all seem like no-brainers, but I enjoyed the slight humor throughout the article (esp the subtitle: Be afraid of these calorie monsters).

    I'm reading this article on October 17 so it is good timing since I just bought my halloween trick or treats and need to control myself to not "dip in". - 10/17/2013 7:16:00 AM
    Good's amazing how something so small and innocent can be so "tricky"! Thanks for the great info! - 11/1/2011 2:17:09 PM
    I like the idea of mixing in a few candy corn with trail mix. I think I'll try that. I also am going to peruse Sparkrecipes for some pumpkin use ideas. Healthier ones, that is. - 10/25/2011 10:17:03 PM
    Pffft...once you give up sugar, this junk doesn't faze you anymore...Muahaha don't be afraid of nothin'... - 10/25/2011 9:02:15 PM
  • Really? Be afraid of food is really the message you want to send here? The article was good but the message of the subtitle a little unhealthy, in my opinion. - 10/25/2011 5:11:05 PM
  • Someone at work must already have read this article! At a recent training, she combined granola, baby chocolate chips, craisins and a few candy corn. It was enough to get the taste but not enough to pack too much of a calorie wallop. - 10/25/2011 2:16:35 PM
  • I am doomed.... Bohaha

    - R - 10/25/2011 11:18:54 AM
  • I found a delicious low-cal recipe for a pumpkin spice latte at
    m. You warm your milk (about 1/2-1 cup skim) and add a Tablespoon of Pumpkin Puree along with a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon. I add a spoonful of sugar instead of the pumpkin syrup and just regular strongly brewed coffee. A delicous treat, with much fewer calories! Plus the one I got at Starbucks didn't taste nearly as good as the homemade one and its much lighter on your wallet too! - 10/25/2011 10:18:27 AM
    I found some pumpkin/pumpkin-s
    pice flavored coffee I enjoy w/ sugar-free creamer...a good, less "damaging" alternative for me. - 10/25/2011 9:13:55 AM
  • Good article. Luckily I don't like most of these things except chocolate! It's better to eat a nice, fresh apple than one small candy bar. - 10/25/2011 7:42:26 AM

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