Okay, okay, so it's all still sugar-filled candy and inherently unhealthy, but sometimes there's no avoiding that sweet tooth. And while there may be no real "healthy" answer to Halloween, there's no need to fear all those delicious, tempting Halloween delights. We’ve rounded up the healthiest (or, at least the least guilt-inducing) trick-or-treat favorites. All our picks come in under 100 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 10 grams of sugar per serving. Plus, we’ve considered the satisfaction factor so treating that sweet tooth won’t leave the tummy grumbling.
Illustration by David Cushnie Bell
2. Twizzler: Hailed as a low-fat treat, the snack-size version is even more regret-free. Nosh on two for less than 50 calories and 0 grams of fat.
3. Peanut M&Ms: It’s hard to stop at just one handful of this irresistible peanut-chocolate combo, so choose a snack-sized bag (about 7 pieces) to limit intake, and dive in! Plus, Peanut M&Ms boast protein, fiber, and even some calcium with just 93 calories, 4.7 grams of fat, and 9.1 grams of sugar.
4. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Miniature: Even though the filling to this sweet treat is a dangerfood, sticking to a couple classic Reese’s cups can make the perfect sweet snack. Plus, all those pesky wrappers help halt the binge at only two mini cups, keeping this Halloween classic on the “nice list” with 88 calories, 5.2 grams of fat, and 9.2 grams of sugar. Choose dark chocolate for extra antioxidants!
5.Tootsie Rolls: While the Tootsee Roll (yes, the 1990s dance move) probably burns calories, Tootsie Rolls (the candy, this time) don’t tack on too many calories themselves. Three minis contain only 70 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.
6. 3 Musketeers: These fluffy bars are light enough to snack on a few minis with no guilt. But stop at two; while they clock in at less than 50 calories, the 8 grams of sugar make them more of an indulgence.
7. Tootsie Roll Pop: We don’t know how many licks it takes to get to the center, but we do know it takes only 60 calories and 0 grams of fat (tootsie roll center included!). Beware the sugar though— the 10 grams in a single pop make this a one-and-done deal.
8. Payday: Despite what the name may suggest, a fun size Payday doesn’t take a huge toll on diet. One bar contains 90 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 8 grams of sugar. Plus, thanks to the peanuts, it also boasts 2 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein.
9. Mounds: Drift away on an imaginary tropical vacation with this candy’s coconut filling. But no need to worry about swimsuit season, one snack-sized bar has 80 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 8 grams of sugar.
10. Almond Joy: This coconut-filled candy is nearly identical to its cousin, Mounds, as far as calorie, fat, and sugar content are concerned. But for those who feel like getting a little nutty, Almond Joy has a slight upper hand thanks to the dose of fiber and unsaturated fat added by almonds.
11. Raisinetes: We know, we know, dried fruits can be a dangerfood. But this chocolate and raisin combo has only 67 calories and less than 3 grams of fat per snack-sized bag (about 42 pieces). Proceed with caution, though— with nearly 10 grams of sugar, it’s important to stop at one. Extra points for choosing the dark chocolate variety!
12. Kit Kat: “Gimme a break, gimme a break…” No really, go ahead. Kit Kat bars are relatively low in calories and fat thanks to their light, crunchy wafer center. One 2-piece bar has 70 calories, 3.6 grams of fat and 9.2 grams of sugar.
13. Jolly Rancher: These fruity hard candies keep a mouth busy for minutes, upping their satisfaction factor. And two are only 47 calories and 8 grams of sugar.
14. Dum Dum Lollipop: With flavors from cream soda and cotton candy to the classic cherry and grape, what’s not to love? Plus, these small pops have only 20 calories, 0 grams of fat, and under 4 grams of sugar.
15. Nestle Crunch: Like Kit Kats, Nestle Crunch bars pack a satisfying crunch, and those crispies don’t pack on too many extra calories. One fun size bar has 60 calories and 3 grams of fat, making it one of the lightest chocolate bars on the list.
16. Air Head: Don’t be an airhead by passing on this sweet treat (yeah, we went there). One mini Air Head bar comes in under 50 calories and 7 grams of sugar. Plus, it’s easy to get extra spooky with the “mystery” flavor!
17. Mike & Ike: Chewy and fruity, one snack-sized box (easy to find around Halloween) make the perfect snack. That one box has only 50 calories and 0 grams of fat, plus they contain some real fruit juice.
18. SweetTarts: For those who love a mouth-puckering sweetness, SweetTarts are the only sour candy to land on our list. The Halloween two-packs are hardly enough to satisfy a craving, though, so we’re OK-ing three mini packs (for a total of 6 pieces)— running about 30 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 7.2 grams of sugar.
19. Heath Bar: Excellent as an ice cream mix-in, even better on its own— especially when it’s earned trick-or-treating. One snack-size bar has 77 calories and 4.7 grams of fat.
20. Smarties: Trying to eat smart-ie? Smarties aren’t a bad option, then. One roll is only 25 calories(!), 0 grams of fat, and 5 grams of sugar.
*Listed in no particular order.
Originally posted October 2011. Updated October 2013.