Don't Be Tricked Into These Treats

By , Toby Amidor, Food Network’s Healthy Eats
It's not just the ghouls and ghosts causing a scare on Halloween — how about the mountains of treats handed out to kids by friends and neighbors? Some treats are worse than others — these are the ones that I pick out of my kiddos' candy stash when they’re not looking and toss them into the trash. 

Depending on the brand, taffy has about 160 calories and 27 grams of sugar for about 5 pieces. The fact that my kids need to try VERY hard to bite into one tells me they shouldn’t be eating it. Read the ingredient list and you’ll find corn syrup, palm oil, hydrogenated oil and artificial colors. In one bite, your kid can eat at least 4 ingredients that many experts tell you to avoid.

Candy-Filled Lollipops
Gum or chewy-candy filled lollipops may be exciting for kids but why on earth do they need a 2-in-1 treat? The only thing they’ll be getting more of is sugar!

Sugar-Filled Sticks
These are sticks filled with colorful powdered sugar that kids pour down their throats (not a pretty picture). The ingredient list lists dextrose (A.K.A. sugar) as the first ingredient followed by citric acid to enhance flavor. They also contain those not-so-healthy artificial colors create those bright eye-catching colors.

"Healthier" Chocolate Bars
A variety of chocolates promote themselves as being "lighter" or "healthier" for different reasons. Perhaps they contain nuts or no artificial colors. You still need to remember that they provide virtually no nutritional value for a boatload of calories and fat.
Click here for more information on Halloween treats from Food Network.

More from Food Network: What treat scares you the most?

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Rediculous article. Mean, Rotten, mommy. its candy given out once a year.
Moderation is the key; not throwing it out behind their backs without them looking , and well if your to worried about calories get your kids active and through exercise the calories will be burned off. Report
this is a stupid article, sorry SP missed the mark this time Report
Glad I'm not the only one who thinks this article is pointless. Halloween candy is supposed to be bad for you! That's why this particular custom is allowed only once a year. Letting your kids collect the candy, and then throwing it away sends a mixed message. I am not fat because I had halloween candy. I am fat because I never learned to practice moderation in all things. Like many of the people posting here, I believe kids should be taught that the candy is a treat, and then be allowed to enjoy it in a casual, but somewhat controlled way. Demonizing certain foods like candy can cause greater interest and desire to eat them. Report
Hmmm... have to say I'm not impressed with this article. I can see where you're going with the taffy thing (laying out the ingredients and calories), but the others, sorry, it's candy, it's not going to be healthy. I don't think it matters whether it's on a stick, in a paper tube, or twisted in plastic, it's all sugar, flavorings and artificial colors. As long as it's only one or two pieces who cares if it's in Pixy Stick or Tootsie Pop form? As far as chocolate goes, I disagree, I would say it is better to eat a lower calorie 3 Musketeers over the same size Milky Way if you're REALLY that concerned. The only candies I'm taking out of my kids' stash are things like those huge Lemonheads and gum that could be choking hazards for my small kiddos. Oh and a few pieces for Mom of course ;) Report
I don't have kids, but I love giving out treats on Halloween. My treats have a little something for everyone: glow sticks (so the kids can be seen better) which both the kids and parents LOVE, pencils, this year I had small activity books, temporary tattoos, and then I give out just a little candy. Some of the kids only cared about the candy, but most of them love the variety - one sweet girl said "Wow, that's so much! Thank you for your generosity!" Most of the parents appreciate the thought of giving glow sticks, considering there's poor lighting in the neighborhood.

I think if more people gave out less candy and more non-edible treats, the kids would see the fun of it more than the gathering of candy. When I was a kid the fun was doing it and bargaining trades at the end of the night. Half of the candy was still around months later, hiding in our rooms. haha Report
I'd hate to of had a parent like that. If you are so against certain candies, then don't take them trick or treating. Find another halloween activity for them to do. We go all out decorating our house with a graveyard and such. The kids will trick or treat a few houses in the neighborhood, but enjoy "haunting" the graveyard even more. Report
This article kind of made me laugh because it reminded me of when I was young and would go trick-or-treating... The times I would hold out my little plastic pumpkin only to receive a pencil eraser or a dime from some well-intentioned (but seriously mood-killing) neighbor. It's Halloween candy - a few pieces of it are not going to set kids up for a lifetime of health issues. It would probably do more harm to a kid to let them bring in their haul and then tell them they can't have any of it. Report
I think as long as its in moderation what harm is done? I used to eat all my Halloween candy (not at one go my Mom wouldn't have allowed that) Candy was a not too common treat and I was skinny as a rail when I was a kid. Report
When my son was little, he would eat the candy he liked best first and then I would throw a handful away every day and he never missed it. But Halloween is once a year, let kids enjoy it. Lame article. Report
I'm with most everyone else on this and rate this article as just someones ridiculous opinion. Like Angelia stated, "IT'S CANDY!!!" Good grief!!! Let the kids enjoy it a little at a time and teach them the greater lesson of moderation and self control. STUPID ARTICLE!!! Report
Thankfully, my children enjoy the activities more than the treats. Report
Sorry, but this story does not make any sense to me at all. The listed candies are not any worse than any other candies and no candy has much (if any) nutritional value. It seems like it's just someone's opinion, nothing that's based in facts. Report
Another reason I don't like sticky taffy is that it can damage dental work. Fireballs seem dangerous to teeth too, but I can't resist them myself! Report
Halloween candy is a treat. I agree that it's best to let kids have a few pieces a day. It's a chance to teach them the difference between healthy food and the occasional treat. You can bet if they don't get to eat a certain kind of candy at home, it's the first thing they'll pick when they're at a friends house or get to shop on their own. Report
I love the places like Lisa mentioned that buy the candy to ship to the troops, but I will not tell my kids that they can't have certain types of candy just because it's not good for them. IT'S CANDY! IT'S NOT SUPPOSE TO BE GOOD FOR YOU! The key (as in all things) is moderation. A piece or three won't destroy otherwise good habits, so enjoy and have a fun and safe holiday! Report
It's Halloween, let them be kids and then limit the intake after it's over! They will get it from their friends if you don't! Report
If you are going to throw the majority of it out why let them go in the first place. Rationing seems much more sensible and teaches (monitored) self control. Report
I have been combining candy corn with dry roasted peanuts (2-3 nuts with one candy corn) and it tastes just like a salted nut roll. A few bites of these usually satisfy my sweet cravings this time of year. Report
Yep- I let them eat the candy. The ONLY exception is stuff like Jolly Ranchers hard candy, just because they have fillings. Fillings + Jolly Ranchers = Uh-oh!
We drag it out to last for weeks; they only get 1 to 2 pieces of their treats each day. Now, if my kids were trying to eat the whole bucket in two days, then we would have to be far more restrictive. Report
I let them eat whatever they want for one week. Anything that's left goes in the trash. There's a dentist in my town that will buy Halloween candy. They pay $2 a lb and send it to the troops overseas. Report
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