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Teach Your Children About Sugar Content and Keep Them Going With Healthy Snacks

Halloween is upon us, and with all the temptations offered by sugary sweets, it can be tough to maintain healthy eating habits. With chocolate and candy in easy reach, it can be especially difficult to keep from falling back into bad habits. The solution? Halloween-themed healthy snacks!

Eating healthy during this season doesn’t just benefit us, though. It’s important to set a positive example for your children. While it’s important to discuss the reasons for a healthy diet, children are children, and in many cases, follow the example of the adults in their lives.

Overconsumption of sugar can lead to dire health consequences. A study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a single teaspoon of sugar can shut down a person’s immune system for up to 5 hours. Another study conducted by Yale University recommended that children should only consume 3 to 4 teaspoons of sugar per day.

This can be harder to adhere to during the Halloween season, but by understanding the sugar content of certain snacks, it can actually be quite simple.

Sugar Content in Popular Candy

Snickers 1 Serving Regular Size Bar (59g)

  • Sugar – 30 g (6 teaspoons)

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups 2 pieces (1 package 42g)

  • Sugar – 20g (4 teaspoons)

Skittles 1 bag (73g)

  • Sugar – 47g (9.4 teaspoons)

Starburst 1 package (58.7g)

  • Sugar – 34g (6.8 teaspoons)

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate 1 bar (42)

  • Sugar – 31g (6.2 teaspoons)

Sour Patch Kids 1 bag (40g)

  • Sugar – 29g (5.8 teaspoons)

M&M’s Milk Chocolate 1 bag (30g)

  • Sugar – 31g (6.2 teaspoons)

Sweet Tarts 1 roll (15g)

  • Sugar – 12g (2.4 teaspoons)

Swedish Fish 1 bag (40g)

  • Sugar – 29g (5.8 teaspoons)

TWIX Bars 2 pieces (1 package 57g)

  • Sugar – 21g (4.2 teaspoons)

Alternatives to Candy

After learning about the sugar content in all those treats, it can be tough to reconcile ever consuming or allowing kids to consume them ever again. It’s important to understand: everything in moderation. Kids are going to have sugar now and then. You’ve got to make sure they get the healthy stuff, too. Snack on fresh fruit and veggies at home, or perhaps a handful of almonds. Remember, you’re leading by example, too.

Completely cutting out sugar is almost impossible. Children can enjoy sweet stuff in small amounts, but don’t let it becomes a staple their diet. Balance high-sugar foods with plenty of fresh fruit or all-natural sparkling juices.

Staying Healthy this Halloween

If you are looking to hand out edible treats, make sure they are commercially packaged and are well sealed. Look for packaged alternatives to candy such as raisins, trail mixes, popcorn packets, or healthy crackers.

In the case of your own children, make sure they have eaten either a full healthy meal or have healthy snacks to munch on while out trick or treating. Fresh fruit, vegetables, or trail mix will keep them satisfied and stop them from eating trick or treat candy out of hunger.

Be sure to inspect their candy before they enjoy a single piece, too. This will give you the chance to limit their intake of the sugary sweets as well as ensure their safety. You can always donate the left overs!

The biggest challenge will always be avoiding temptation. But setting you and your children up for success doesn’t have to be hard! Enjoy the healthy snacks you opt for instead of a sugar rush, and before you know it, you won’t miss those seasonal favorites—but that doesn’t mean you can’t have one once in a while!


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