Halloween Candy Survival Guide: Before, During and After Halloween

halloween candy

If you are a sugar craver like myself, then Halloween (and the week after) can be scary time! Even if you don’t buy candy for the trick or treaters, those miniature treats still manage to appear everywhere … in your office, lobby in your apartment building, even manicure place. They seem so harmless because they are tiny – but before you know it, you’ve had 10 of them. If you don’t have issues with sugar you’re probably just thinking “this a no brainer. Just don’t eat them”. But if you DO have issues with sugar, eating these little candies can halloween candyset off more sugar cravings and get you off on the wrong foot for the real holiday season. Read my Halloween Candy Survival Guide tips to help control your intake of Halloween candy in the days leading up to Halloween … and even worse, the week after with lingering leftovers. I’ll do my best to practice my own advice!

Halloween candy survival guide: tips not to get tricked on Halloween

Halloween Candy Survival Guide: Before, During and After Halloween | Martha McKittrick Nutrition

  1. Don’t buy candy too early. My recommendation is to buy it the day of Halloween or the day before. The longer it’s in your home, the greater the chances are that you will eat it. I’ve had many clients buy it weeks ahead of time because it was “on sale”. Ummm … I know what was really going on in the back of your mind!
  2. Don’t buy your favorite candy. For example, I am a chocoholic so I would never buy any candy with chocolate. I’d buy something like Skittles or Lemonheads. You always buy something healthy like mini boxes of raisins or mini bags of pistachios. While you may not be the most popular house on the Halloween candy survival guideblock with the kids, the moms will appreciate it!
  3. Get rid of the Halloween candy you bought to give out as soon as trick or treating is over. Give it to your doorman, give it to your spouse to take to work … or throw it out if you need to!
  4. Decide how you will handle your child’s Halloween candy. How often have you waited until your kids went to bed so you could sneak into their stash? (One of my nutritionist colleagues just confessed she does this with her kids!) Several of my clients take this approach:  let your child pick out 10 of their favorite candies. Ration out one a day for the next 10 days. Give the rest of the candy away. Check out the dentist Halloween Candy Buy Back program. The candy is shipped to our troops overseas and your kids get toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. You know you’ll be giving to a good cause (but does our military really need candy?)
  5. Come up with a plan on how to handle candy at work. This is the most difficult one for me.  My office Halloween candytends to be filled with Halloween candy. Some people bring it in to be “festive” while other people are practicing my tip #3 – getting the candy out of  THEIR homes. When you’re at work and are tired or stressed, your defenses are down. It’s easy to overindulge in Halloween treats.If possible, try avoiding the room where they are kept. Or bring in your own healthy snack to eat instead.
  6. Know yourself. There nothing wrong with enjoying a few mini Halloween candies. However if you find this leads to eating A LOT more, think about why. Is is because tell yourself you aren’t allowed the candy? So once you break the rule, you dive off the deep end. OR do your really feel eating one cause real sugar cravings. If it’s the former, maybe you can practice giving yourself permission to eat a few. It’s a good thing to learn moderation. But if it’s the latter, you may be best off not even starting with it!
  7. Practice mindfulness. Pick a few of your favorite candies and eat them really slow, bite by bite. This way you can enjoy it versus inhaling them.
  8. Think twice before grabbing another one. Sure,  50-80 calories per piece isn’t so bad …but they add up. 200 calories of candy means 25 minutes of a spinning class or 40 minutes of walking to burn it off!
  9. Let it go if you end up overindulging on them. No sense beating yourself up. Come up with a plan for the next day.

Curious about the calories in Halloween candy?

CandyServing SizeCaloriesCarbohydrate Grams
3 Musketeers, Miniatures.21 oz piece248
3 Musketeers, Fun Size.59 oz bar7013
Buncha Crunch, Fun Size.75 oz bag11014
Butterfinger, Fun Size.75 oz bar10015
Candy Corn26 pieces14035
Crunch, Fun Size.36 oz bar507
Dots, Mini Boxes.75 oz box8020
Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar, Snack Size.61 oz bar9510
Hot Tamales.71 oz pkg7518
Jolly Rancher Lollipops.61 oz pop6016
Kit Kat, Snack Size.54 oz bar8010
M&M's Peanut, Fun Size.75 oz pkg11013
M&M's Plain, Fun Size.75 oz pkg10015
M&M's, Mini Box.54 oz box7310
Milky Way, Fun Size.71 oz bar9014
Milky Way, Miniatures.31 oz piece386
Reese Sticks, Snack Size.61 oz piece909
Skittles.71 oz pkg8017
Smarties4 rolls (1oz)10025
Snickers, Miniatures.32 oz piece436
Snickers, Fun Size.71 oz bar9512
Starburst. Fun Size.71 oz (4 pieces)8017
Super Bubble Gum1 piece154
Tootsie Roll, Midges.71 oz (3 pieces)8017
Twizzlers, Snack Size.27 oz piece246


halloween candyBottom line:

While there is no problem with enjoying a treat or two on Halloween, don’t get tricked into thinking these mini candies are harmless as the calories can really add up. But more importantly,  the sugar from these treats set off more cravings in some people. So make sure you plan ahead and try some of my tips to prevent yourself from overindulging. The real season for overindulging is just around the corner … And very importantly, if you do end up overindulging, just let it go and get a fresh start the next day. Start the next day with a high protein breakfast!

Trivia: most popular Halloween candy in every state 

I’d love to hear from you. Is Halloween a problem time for you? How do you plan on handling it?



I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.

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