7 Candies Not to Buy for Halloween

Avoid worst treats possible this Halloween.
Candy corn


Candy corn

Photo by: Juanmonino


Trick-or-treating is just around the corner. Before you grab any candy that’s on sale, peruse this list so you can avoid handing out the worst treats possible to the neighborhood kids.

Candy Corn

Although this candy screams Halloween, it’s one of the worst choices around. The ingredients are artificial coloring, flavoring and sugar. If you read the ingredient list, you’ll find sugar, corn syrup, confectioners' glaze and honey listed, and they're all different forms of sugar. The 140 calories per 19 pieces comes entirely from sugar.

Jelly candies

Photo by: Nadiya Teslyuk

Nadiya Teslyuk

Juice-Filled Gummies

Made with corn syrup and filled with artificial ingredients, including colors, these are truly icky candies. It should come as no surprise that the small amount of juice found inside doesn’t make them the least bit healthy.

salt water taffy


salt water taffy

Photo by: Michael Gray

Michael Gray


I don’t know about you, but every time I try to bite a piece of taffy it's as hard as a rock. Once you start chewing, though, these babies stick real nicely to your teeth, making them a haven for bacteria and cavities.

Malted milk balls

Malted Milk Balls

The first ingredient in this classic American candy is sugar. Then comes partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil (aka trans fat) and finally corn syrup. The scary ingredients don’t stop there. Keep reading the ingredient list and you’ll find artificial flavors, tapioca dextrin (which is more sugar) and sorbitan tristearate — an additive you probably can’t pronounce and don't want to eat. It's even scarier that chocolate isn't even listed in the ingredient list!

Candy-Filled Lollipops

What’s worse than one sugar-filled candy? A two-in-one candy! This lollipop spends more time in your mouth, making it a bigger contributor to tooth decay than candy that clears out of the mouth quickly.

Gummy Candies


Gummy Candies

Photo by: Juanmonino


Sour Candies

The high acid content of these super-sour candies leads to quicker breakdown of tooth enamel. The ingredient list, once again, is sugar, sugar and more sugar (just in different forms), plus artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

Sugar-Filled Sticks

Whatever form colored sugar comes in, sticks or mini baby bottles, it’s truly disgusting to watch kids pour it into their mouths. Besides containing not one bit of nutritional value, it’s also brimming with artificial colors. This type of candy is just something I wouldn’t feed my own kids, or any of the neighborhood kids.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

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