How to Enjoy Your Favorite Halloween Treats Without The Guilt

Scary good tips & tricks for a freakishly delicious Halloween.

By: Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC

October hits and just like that, Halloween is among us. Candy and sweet treats seem to be everywhere — and ready for the taking. Whether it’s fun-sized chocolates, sweet and sour gummies, or just an overload of dessert-like foods, there’s no shortage of sugar, and it’s safe to say, our sweet tooth is tempted. But if you are focused on living a healthy lifestyle, you may be wondering if it is even ok to give in to temptation and crack open a piece of your favorite candy over the holiday season. Good news — you can. The trick? Healthy Halloween treats.

Yes, you can absolutely enjoy your favorite Halloween candy when the mood strikes, as long as proper portion sizes are observed. Having a small piece of candy as a part of an overall healthy diet filled with nutritious fruits, veggies, proteins, and whole grains won’t make or break your health goals. And in some cases, giving in to cravings can help you avoid overindulging later on.

Read on to learn some tips on how to enjoy your candy and favorite treats without the guilt — and without the sugar crash.

Healthier Store-Bought Snacks & Sweets 

Serve up tasty and healthy treats this trick-or-treat season without stepping into the kitchen. Here are the healthiest store-bought Halloween treats to try! 

Justin’s Nut Butter Cups

The healthy cousin to Reeses. Try their peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter cups with options for dark and light chocolate!

Free2Be Sunflower Butter Cups

And if you’re wanting a Reese’s-like cup that’s both healthier and free from nuts (and other allergens), try these!  

Hu Kitchen Dark Chocolate

Paleo chocolate made with real ingredients (think: coconut sugar, cacao, and real flavorings like crunchy nuts, seeds, and more). 

Enjoy Life Halloween Chocolate Minis Variety Pack

Dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, and more! These bars are free from the top 8 allergens and made without scary ingredients.

Made Good Mini Granola Bars

Free from the top 9 allergens (like nuts) with a sneaky serving of veggies hidden in every dessert-like granola bite!

Unreal Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars

Try these mini treats as a sweet swap for sugary Mounds bars. Made with ingredients like organic coconut, cassava, and dark chocolate and free from artificial flavors and fillers.

Smart Sweets

With just 3 grams of sugar per bag and no artificial ingredients, try Smart Sweets as a healthier swap for sweet or sour gummies.

Lesser Evil Popcorn

Try these Halloween multi-packs and supply your trick-or-treaters with deliciously spooky snacking.

No Tricks: Simple Healthy Halloween Treats You Can Make at Home

Slice Your Favorite Fruit and Make it Halloween Friendly

Make googly-eyed slices by adding two chocolate chips “eyes” secured with nut or seed butter. Enjoy it alongside yogurt, nut butter, or even a drizzle of chocolate!

Make Your Own Chocolate Bark

Top it off with a spooky spider web layer!

Turn Hard-boiled Eggs Into Deviled Egg Eyeballs

For a savory (and protein-rich) Halloween snack, mix avocado and egg yolk for the filling and top them with an olive.

Make a Vegan Caramel Sauce

Simply blend soaked and pitted dates for a one-ingredient sweet treat. Enjoy with apple slices, nut butter drizzle, and dairy-free chocolate chips!

Make Mummified-brownies or Baked Goods!

Top your favorite baked goods with a drizzle of coconut butter or yogurt! You can even add two chocolate chips for the eyes.

Turn Sliced Bananas Into Ghosts

Peel bananas and slice them in half. Add two chocolate chips for eyes and one for the mouth! Freeze into popsicles or serve fresh.

Transform Clementines or Tangerines Into Pumpkins

Simply peel and add a thinly sliced celery stick stem!

A Sample Guide to Portioning Out Your Favorite Halloween Candy 

When trying to make candy-eating part of your overall healthy diet, the name of the game is portion control. Sure, eating a few pieces of colorful M+M’s won’t make a world of difference in your overall health. It’s really all about balance. 

So, how much is too much when it comes to favorite Halloween candies? We rounded up some of the most popular choices, and we shared suggested portion sizes of each. Enjoy!

Fun-Size Baby Ruth Bar

2 fun-size bars provide 180 calories, 20 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Fun-Size Kit Kat Bar

2 fun-size bars provide 140 calories, 19 grams of carb, and 1 gram of protein.

Fun-Size Twizzlers

4 fun-size pieces provide 120 calories, 15 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

Candy Corn Pieces

21 pieces provide 150 calories, 27 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

Fun-Size Skittles

2 fun-size bag provides 120 calories, 24 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

Fun-Size Twix

2 fun-size bars provide 160 calories, 16 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

Starburst Pieces

8 pieces provide 160 calories, 22 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

Snack-Size Sour Patch Kids 

1 pack (about pieces) provides 55 calories, 9.5 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

Reese’s Cups

2 cups provide 220 calories, 22 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.

Rice Krispy Treat

1 bar provides 90 calories, 8 grams of sugar, and <1 gram of protein.

Caramel Corn Popcorn

A 1 oz. serving provides 122 calories, 15 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

4 Bonus Tips to Enjoy Halloween Without The Guilt 

We know that candy and indulgent treats don’t offer much in the nutrition department. But if eating a bit of candy brings you joy, there are ways to keep it healthy without sacrificing your goals! The key is keeping portion size under control.

Besides paying attention to the right portion sizes, here are some other tips you can include when you are trying to enjoy Halloween guilt-free. Because who wants to spend their time feeling guilty when they can have some Halloween fun?

Don’t Let A Treat (or a Splurge) Derail Your Progress

Know that one “bad eating day” won’t derail the months of progress you have made on your health journey. If you overindulge on sweets, know that tomorrow is a fresh start, and you can start your regular routine once the holiday is over. 

Load Up on Nourishing Protein-Rich Snacks

Eat a protein-rich and nutrient-dense meal before you attend any Halloween parties or Trick or Treating events to avoid mindlessly eating when faced with the bowl of candy. With a satisfied stomach, you will be able to make better dietary decisions than if you are ravenous. 

Avoid Post-Halloween Temptation

Don’t keep too much leftover candy around the house after Trick or Treating. Seek out an organization that donates candy to troops or shelters and do a good deed while supporting your health. 

Swap Out Sugary Sweets for Healthier Halloween Treats

If you are hosting or attending a Halloween party, offer to bring a nutrient-rich dish to balance out all of the treats. 

RELATED: How to Make a Wickedly Good Halloween Snack Board

The Healthy Way To Treat Yourself This Halloween

Halloween is known to be a sugar-filled holiday that is teeming with treats. Contrary to what you may believe, there is no need to go “candy-free” when enjoying the holiday. Sticking to appropriate portion sizes, loading up on protein, donating leftover candy, and offering nutrient-rich (yummy) swaps are all ways to keep up with the holiday tradition without totally derailing your progress on your health journey.

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