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Best and Worst Halloween Treats

By Monica Ciociola
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Pumpkin aglowAre you scared of having big bags of sugary, chocolaty Halloween treats around the house? Then you've probably read the advice from the experts to hold off on your trick-or-treat purchases until the day before or only buy stuff you don't like for me that's 3 Musketeers Bars. But come on, with child obesity rates on the rise, isn't it a little cruel to hand out a type of candy just because you don't find it tempting? Instead here's a list of the best treats any child would be happy to receive . . . Plus a list of the worst treats, too.

Best treats

  • Pretzels, crackers and popcornPretzels, crackers, and popcorn. They're low in fat and filling, too. Plus, if you get whole-grain versions of crackers and pretzels, you can add some much needed fiber to the season's high-chocolate diet.

  • Pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts, and trail mix. Nuts and seeds contain a lot of protein and fiber. Trail mixes are great, but watch out for the ones that are full of marshmallows, chocolate chips, or hydrogenated-oil-laden granola, which is high in saturated fat. If you get those, you might as well hand out candy bars and get the credit.

  • Juice boxes. Kids can work up a thirst trick or treating! Give them juice boxes (just check the label to make sure it's juice and not colored sugar water!). They also make good treats to give to the little ghosts and goblins that show up at your own door.

  • Anything that glows in the darkAnything that glows in the dark. Spider rings, skulls, witches, and dangling eyeballs. Kids will have fun wearing these and scaring their friends on Halloween night. Plus, these toys have the added benefit of making your little boos and ghouls more visible to drivers.

  • Other non-edible treats. Stickers and hair accessories for little girls while boys will be excited to receive race cars and comic books, and festive pencils and erasers.

Worst treats

  • Worst Halloween treatsGummy bears, jelly beans, caramels, fruit leather, gum, and other sticky treats. Not only are they loaded with sugar with no nutritional value, but they're also bad for your kids' dental health. Enough of them, and toothless hobo might be the costume of choice for next Halloween.

  • Full-sized chocolate bars. Handing these out may make you the most popular parents in the neighborhood among kids but think of all that saturated fat! The worst offenders are Mounds (11 grams of saturated fat!), Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar (9 grams of saturated fat), and Almond Joy (8 grams of saturated fat).

  • Cookies and snack cakes. Stay away from the following snacks voted worst vending machine snacks for kids by the Center for Science in the Public Interest: Chips Ahoy!, Oreos, Hostess HOHOs and other snack cakes, Keebler Club & Cheddar Sandwich Crackers, and Starburst Fruit Chews.

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