Traipsing around as goblins and ghouls, collecting and chomping on candy, to adults and kiddies alike, Halloween ranks among the most celebrated holidays. As you know, candy—by definition high in sugar and empty calories—is central to the festivities.

“Over-restricting our kids is not the answer, and can lead them to load up on sweets when no one’s looking,” says Loyola University Medical Center nutritionist Gina Neill, RD/LDN. “Halloween is fun, and offers us a chance to teach our kids about moderation. When candy isn’t outlawed, kids see how to include it in healthy ways.” Establish a routine, maybe two or three pieces after dinner, or a slightly larger quantity with a glass of milk as a snack.

Dr. William Tamborlane, professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine, agrees. “Let the kids dig into their loot at the end of a meal, when their bodies can more readily handle the sugar,” he says, while suggesting parents avoid large or super-size candy bars and choose candies containing healthful ingredients (almonds, peanuts, coconut) in addition to sugar.

While you won’t find candy that’s straight-up nutritious, you can compare calories, and saturated and trans fats amounts. Common candies range from about 25 to 300 calories, and up to 11 g in saturated fat, per serving. Here, Neill’s top candy picks based on fewest calories and unhealthy fats. Remember: Brushing teeth is key for cavity control.

Fun Dip

Involving dipping a candy stick into a sugary mix, this option allows kids to play with their food. They’ll be so busy trying to maneuver the stick into the package and get it into their mouths, they’ll be far too busy to ask for seconds.

Calories: 50 per serving

Sugar: 13 g

Saturated Fat: 0

Trans Fat: 0



It’s all in the name here. Each roll is filled with some 20 little pellets of candy in an array of pastel colors. That’s a lot of treat in one wrapper, which, yes exactly, can be counted, color-compared, and take time to eat. Ingenious, we say.

Calories: 25 per one roll

Sugar: 6 g

Saturated Fat: 0

Trans Fat: 0


Pixie sticks

This powdery candy comes in some semblance of a drinking straw. The tykes can slowly slurp it down or guzzle it in a gulp or two, but once it’s gone, it’s gone. Game over. Still, the kids can have a few, have fun with it, and trust us, won’t miss any of the ginormous amounts of sugar found in other candy-aisle options.

Calories: 60 per seven straws

Sugar: 15 g

Saturated Fat: 0

Trans Fat: 0

What other candies have You found to be lower in calories, sugars, and fats?