It’s the time of year when grocery store aisles are suddenly lined with bulk bags of candy and you stock your pantry for the inevitable onslaught of neighborhood trick-or-treaters. While a bowl of small pre-packaged treats may seem harmless, even fun-sized candy bars can quickly add up to a substantial sugar fix. Whether you’re dipping into your stash before Halloween or find yourself with too many leftovers, you don’t want candy to derail your healthy habits.
Luckily, with just a few healthy changes, you can make sure Halloween passes by without causing any damage to your waistline. Try one of these six healthier swaps when the candy bowl calls to you:
Buy Candy You Aren’t Crazy About
If you’re a big fan of chocolate, buy fruity or gummy candy that won’t be as tempting to have in the house. Stick to candy your trick-or-treaters will still be happy to receive, but that you can live without.
Choose Dark Chocolate
Even though the calorie content doesn’t vary much from milk to dark chocolate, the health benefits are well documented. Since dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants, you can feel better about the occasional indulgence.
Double-check the Ingredients
It’s a safe bet that some of your trick-or-treaters suffer from food allergies, so choose candy that includes minimal ingredients and dyes. Companies like Justin’s (peanut butter cups) and Annie’s (fruit snacks) have options for treats without unhealthy additives.
While excessive gum chewing can have negative effects on your teeth and jaw, popping a piece to avoid the lure of the candy bowl might help get you through Halloween season without suffering a sugar crash. If your mouth is busy, you’ll be less likely to mindlessly snack on treats.
By choosing candy that takes an extended period of time to consume, you can avoid overeating. Lollipops and other sucker candies are great for getting your sugar fix without going overboard. And just how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?
Make Homemade Alternatives
While most neighborhoods advocate against homemade treats for trick-or-treaters, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own sweet snacks to satisfy your craving without going after the candy bowl. Make your own popcorn balls or try these homemade chocolate truffles that use dates and walnuts for a healthier spin.
By finding indulging alternatives to your favorite Halloween treats, you can satisfy your sweet cravings without loading up on sugar. Need more healthy sweets ideas? Download our employee dessert cookbook for more tips on healthy eating.