Nutrition Articles

5 Surprisingly High-Cal Halloween Treats

Be Very Afraid of These Calorie Monsters!

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3. Pumpkin-Flavored Lattes
Many coffee joints will have a special feature on their menu for the harvest season: pumpkin-flavored coffees. A medium pumpkin spice latte with whole milk from Starbucks has 410 calories, and the calories in similar drinks from other chains like Panera Bread and Dunkin Donuts are pretty similar. Think before you sip: Can you really budget 400+ calories into your day for a single drink?
Trick: Order the smallest size and lighten the load by requesting fat-free milk and holding the whipped topping. Plain hot chai tea with some added low-fat milk can also give you the warm fuzzy feeling of the season without all the added sweeteners of a pumpkin latte.

4. Candy Corn
Yes, these ever-so-traditional candies are quite small, but for candy corn lovers who wait all year for their favorite seasonal candy, they can be devastating to your healthy eating plan. The quintessential white, orange and yellow triangles have 140 calories for 22 pieces, which is a small handful at most. Have a few, and it’s no sweat, but sit near a candy jar full of candy corn, it can be hard to track just how much you've eaten since there is no built-in portion control.
Trick: Never eat candy corn from a large jar or straight from the bag. This can lead to mindless overeating and no real sense of calories or serving size. Pre-portion yourself a small serving and stick to it. Then put the bag away and walk away from the jar: out of sight, out of mind. Also try stretching out the sugar by combining a few pieces of candy corn with a trail mix of dried fruit and nuts for an added nutrition boost and more filling power.

5. Candy Apples
Don't fool yourself: Just because there's a piece of fruit underneath a thick layer of caramel, and possibly nuts, cookie chunks or even chocolate does NOT mean it's good for you—or low in calories. If you cover a healthy fruit with sugar it becomes a much less healthful choice. A single apple might only contain around 80-100 calories of nutrition, but when it's coated in caramel, it can more than triple in calories. Designer or "gourmet" candy apples covered in sprinkles, chocolate candies, nuts and chocolate are even worse.
Trick: Enjoy your apples by cutting them into wedges and dipping them into low-fat caramel dip, fat free vanilla yogurt or peanut butter.
The most important thing to remember during the Halloween season is to see these seasonal treats for what they really are: treats that should be eaten in moderation and in small amounts. Put your label reading skills to work and keep your goals in mind, and you'll have no trouble avoiding Halloween treat temptation.
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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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