Halloween is an exciting time of year for children and adults alike. For the young ones, it means trick-or-treating, and who at a young age doesn’t like free candy? With the holiday being only once a year, go ahead and let your children indulge in moderation.
Here is a list of popular Halloween candies listed in order from best to worst. By best, we mean “less bad” compared to those at the bottom of the list.
1. Hershey Miniature Dark Chocolate
Solid dark chocolate is actually good for your health in moderation. Dark cocoa, in its raw form, is high in minerals like zinc, potassium, and selenium. A study from Tufts University also found that regular consumption of dark chocolate significantly reduced LDL cholesterol.
What makes Hershey’s dark chocolate bars even better is that they’re solid chocolate with no nougat or sticky fillings that can stick to your teeth. Keep in mind, though, that this isn’t a license to indulge to your delight. Dark chocolate candy is still candy, meaning it contains sugar.
2. Russel Stover Sugar-Free Candy
Russel Stover has a selection of sugar-free confectionaries made in the form of common treats like peanut butter cups, fruit chews, and chocolate truffles.
These contain the sugar substitute sucralose. Studies show that sucralose may reduce the risk of dental caries when used in place of refined sugar.
Smarties is an age-old treat and has been a mainstay as a Halloween candy for decades. What makes it a decent choice is that it’s fairly low in sugar. A single serving (one wrapper) contains just six grams of sugar and 25 calories.
4. Miniature Kit Kat Bars
Snack-size Kit Kat bars come with just two wafers, instead of four. That means half the sugar. In addition, you can lessen the sugar amount further by having your child share it with a sibling. The fact that the bars are easy to snap off makes it convenient to consume just one wafer or two at a time.
5. Any Hard Candy
Whether it’s Jolly Ranchers or Tootsie Roll Pops, you want to keep any type of hard candy in moderation. Hard candy remains in your mouth for a prolonged period.
Hard candies dissolve in your mouth and form a sugary film that sticks and can become trapped in the nooks and crannies in your teeth.
6. Sour Patch Kids
Sour candies belong in the lower end of this list for several reasons. For starters, they contain an acidic coating, which is how they get their sour texture. Acidic foods can erode teeth enamel.
In addition, they’re high in sugar in order to counteract the sourness. The combination of sugar and acidity makes Sour Patch Kids and other sour candies a treat to limit.
Apart from Starburst, other Halloween candies with a sticky texture include Tootsie Rolls and Laffy Taffy. The stickiness makes them difficult to remove from your teeth, and it’s easy for small pieces to get lodged in the hard-to-reach areas of your molars. That means time for the sugar to linger and provide an energy source for bad oral bacteria.
8. Candy Corn
What makes candy corn so bad is that it’s nearly pure sugar. One of its non-sugar ingredients is an artificial food dye known as yellow 5.
Studies have linked this preservative to cancer. Furthermore, yellow 5 has also been shown to damage white blood cells and inhibit their ability to repair themselves.
There’s no need to deprive your children of having a few sweets during Halloween. However, be sure they indulge in moderation and brush right after.