Tricks or Treats


Trick or Treat! Halloween and its endless candy supply marks the beginning of a continuous stream of social gatherings, family meals, and tempting holiday foods from October to January. For many, this also means unwanted extra pounds.  However, you can still enjoy Halloween without breaking the calorie bank; you just have to beware of Tricks versus Treats!

Busted by the Candy Cop

How many of you thought you were making a good choice by choosing the "snack-size" treat or opting for candy with fruits and nuts because that must be healthier, right?!  Let’s test your knowledge in this Trick or Treat Candy Quiz! 

Trick (True) or Treat (False): 2 mini Reese's cups are lower in calories than 2 pieces of taffy?

Click here to find out the answer and test your knowledge with more trick or treat candy questions.

Healthy Halloween Alternatives

Have you ever stopped to think how many calories are actually in your favorite Halloween treats?  This Halloween Treats Calorie Counter totals your Halloween candy calories and tells you how far you have to walk to burn it off.


Before purchasing your treats to hand out this year, think about some of these healthier options that kids will love just as much, if not more, than candy:

  • Snack packs of crackers, raisins, pretzels, etc.
  • 100% juice boxes
  • Granola bars
  • Individual popcorn bags
  • Pencils, stickers, tattoos
  • Halloween rings or vampire fangs


 Time for Treats

  • Eat a nutritious meal before trick or treating.  This will help cut down on snacking while walking from house to house.
  • Right size your bag; pillowcases are not needed here! Use smaller, appropriate size bags for kids to use when collecting candy.
  • Limit the number of treats eaten each day.  Set guidelines before trick or treating and explain why so everyone is on board.
  • Select enough treats to enjoy small portions for a week and donate the rest or turn them into a fun arts and crafts project (hard candy mosaics, candy sculptures, jewelry, etc).
  • Pair candy with a healthy snack such as fresh fruit or vegetables, nuts, or low-fat cheese or yogurt to add nutrients and balance out all the sugar.
  • Try these Hauntingly Good Halloween Snacks. These spooky snacks are kid-friendly so get the entrie family involved! For all recipes, click here.
    • Vampire Bites (shown below)
    • Witch Fingers
    • Monster Paws

Vampire Bites
Adapted from Recipe by Annabel Karmel at
Makes 8 Servings


 4 apples (use a combination of red and green)
½ cup nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, soy, etc)
Almond slivers
Mini marshmallows
Candy corn


  • Wash apples well.  Core and slice each apple into 8 slices.  You can do this by hand or use an apple slicer which will create even slices.
  • Spread 1 teaspoon nut butter onto the wide edge of each apple slice.
  • Top with another apple slice, aligning to create jaws.
  • Add almond slivers, candy corn, and/or marshmallows to create fangs and teeth.








About Author

Ashley Bailey, MS, RDN, LDN


Ashley is a Nutritionist at SAS Institute in Cary, NC. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Biofeedback Instructor, and has a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management. Outside of work, Ashley enjoys spending as much time as possible at the beach, running, cooking and crafting. Follow @abaileyRD on Twitter.

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