Don’t Be Tricked Into These Treats

The candy that fills your kids' trick-or-treat bags is much more frightening than the ghosts and goblins out on Halloween.


Halloween Bucket of Candy Horizontal

Photo by: Lisa F. Young

Lisa F. Young

It's not just the ghouls and ghosts causing a scare on Halloween -- how about the mountains of treats handed out to kids by friends and neighbors? Some treats are worse than others -- these are the ones that I pick out of my kiddos' candy stash when they’re not looking and toss them into the trash.


Depending on the brand, taffy has about 160 calories and 27 grams of sugar for about 5 pieces. The fact that my kids need to try VERY hard to bite into one tells me they shouldn’t be eating it. Read the ingredient list and you’ll find corn syrup, palm oil, hydrogenated oil and artificial colors. In one bite, your kid can eat at least 4 ingredients that many experts tell you to avoid.

Candy-Filled Lollipops

Gum or chewy-candy filled lollipops may be exciting for kids but why on earth do they need a 2-in-1 treat? The only thing they’ll be getting more of is sugar!

Sugar-Filled Sticks

These are sticks filled with colorful powdered sugar that kids pour down their throats (not a pretty picture). The ingredient list lists dextrose (A.K.A. sugar) as the first ingredient followed by citric acid to enhance flavor. They also contain those not-so-healthy artificial colors create those bright eye-catching colors.

“Healthier” Chocolate Bars

A variety of chocolates promote themselves as being “lighter” or “healthier” for different reasons. Perhaps they contain nuts or no artificial colors. You still need to remember that they provide virtually no nutritional value for a boatload of calories and fat.

Gummy Candy

Gummy bear candies have about 140 calories and 21 grams of sugar for 17 pieces. The sugar coupled with the fact that they stick to your teeth should be enough to frighten you—but there’s more. These seemingly innocent bears and worms also contain numerous artificial colors like yellow 5, red 40 and blue 1. These are the exact ones the CSPI ( Center for Science in the Public Interest) has found to be linked to hyperactivity and behavioral problems in children. CSPI has even petitioned the government to ban these dyes.

Tell Us: Which treats scare you the most?
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