Trick or treat, check my feet, give me something healthy to eat! Okay… so I changed it a little from the original rhyme.
That’s right, it’s that time of year again. Halloween is a festive holiday celebrated by people of all ages. It is a time for costume parties, haunted houses and candy. You read correctly…I said CANDY. If you have diabetes you may have a love-hate relationship with the “C” word. However, Halloween and diabetes don’t have to be enemies.
Instead of fearing Halloween, plan ahead and arm yourself with good problem solving skills so that you can have fun and remain stress free! I will share nutrition facts of some of the most popular Halloween candy, review tasty alternatives to more traditional treats and provide tips on how to include some of those favorite treats into your diet without losing control of your blood sugar.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, M&M’s and Snickers have been rated as the 3 most popular Halloween candies in the USA. The good news is that all 3 of these candies come in “Fun Size” or “Miniature” versions.
- Reese’s Miniature (1 candy): 44 calories, 0.8 g protein, 5 g carbohydrate
- Chocolate M&M’s (1 Fun Size bag): 100 calories, 1 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate
- Snickers Miniature (1 candy): 43 calories, 0.8 g protein, 5 g carbohydrate
Some other favorites:
- Candy Corn (19 pieces): 140 calories, 0 g protein, 36 g carbohydrate
- Milk Duds (1 Snack Size, mini box): 54 calories, 0 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate
- Skittles (1 Fun Size package): 61 calories, 0 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate
- Kit Kat (1 Snack Size): 70 calories, 1 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate
- Almond Joy (1 Snack Size): 80 calories, 0.5 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate
- Butterfinger (1 miniature candy) 45 calories, 0.5 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate
What are some alternatives to candy that may curb your sweet tooth?
- Dried fruit
- Peanut butter balls (chill creamy peanut butter in fridge, scoop out 1-tablespoon portions, and roll in crushed nuts or almonds. Put back in fridge until ready to serve)
- Frozen grapes
- Mixed berries with 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar drizzled on top
- Baked apple, sprinkled with cinnamon
- Sugar free Jell-O with Cool Whip topping
- Make your favorite cupcake (use mini cupcake tins, replace a portion of the all purpose flour with almond flour and use Cool Whip topping instead of frosting)
- Cinnamon roasted almonds
- Coca roasted almonds
- Popcorn (for added flavor sprinkle parmesan cheese on top)
- Mini whole-wheat veggie pizza (use ½ whole wheat English muffin, part skim mozzarella and load up on the veggies of your choice)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Instead of snacking on candy between meals, have it with a meal
- Choose a candy bar that has some protein and fat (i.e. Snickers instead of Skittles)
- Snack on a granola bar (i.e. Fiber One or Quaker 25% Less Sugar) instead of a whole candy bar
- Planning on eating a little extra candy? Get some extra activity to help burn off some of the extra sugar you will be consuming
- Keep yourself honest: Track your intake on an app or write it down on a notepad
- Get distracted by Halloween games instead of food
- Be part of a costume competition
- Turn your basement into a haunted house
- Bob for apples
- Have a pumpkin carving competition
- Play the Piñata game: fill piñata with healthy snacks (mini boxes of raisins or cranberries, 100 calorie packs of almonds and walnuts, mini granola bars, turkey jerky, etc.)
Do you have a favorite healthy Halloween treat or fun Halloween game? Please share with the type 2 diabetes community.