When it comes to Halloween candy, everyone has an opinion on which is best. What kid hasn’t come home from trick-or-treating, dumped out all of their loot on the floor, and separated their “fun-size” bars from their chewy fruit-flavored treats and created a stockpile of dislikes to give to mom or dad? Truth be told, there are lot of adults who would still go trick-or-treating if they could get away with it.
So, which Halloween candy is best? Which is the worst? It depends on who you ask and what it is that you are hoping for in shiny wrapped pieces of goodness. For the folks at Byrdie.com, their candy of choice is one that is healthy. According to their research, the #1 choice for a healthy Halloween treat is Thrive Market Organic Pumpkin Seeds, something that seasoned trick-or-treaters find an outrage. While it may be healthy, there is just 1 gram of sugar in a ¼ cup serving. Where’s the fun in that? The snack that comes in second place is probably a more suitable choice for many: Welch’s Halloween Fruit Snacks. Each fun-size bag contains just 45 calories, a reasonable amount of vitamin A and is a good source of vitamin C. But it’s their third choice that both older and younger fans can get behind: M&M Pretzel Chocolate Candy. The fun-size bags have just 60 calories and have a great sweet and salty ratio.
On the bottom of the list of the worst choices you can make for Halloween fare include Twizzlers. Though just 80 calories in a snack pack, Twizzlers are made mostly of white flour, sugar and cornstarch, and Byrdie makes a wise assessment – who only eats just two Twizzlers straws at one sitting? The next worst choice is Starburst. Each little squares of the fake fruit-flavored treat holds 20 calories each and has the highest sugar content on their list. And the very worst? You might want to look away. Three Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures contain 108 calories with 9.9 grams of sugar and 6.4 grams of fat and while three is considered a serving, there is no way that you’re going to stop at just three.
The people of Spasique.com have a whole different take on Halloween candy. They prefer none. “Sure, handing out something besides candy may not make you the most popular house in the neighborhood. At the same time, there are some really fun alternatives to candy that are definitely kid-approved,” says the article. “All the other families who are trying to limit sugar or who are sensitive to food dyes will thank you!”
Spasique’s list of suggested non-candy items to give out include organic juice boxes, bouncy balls, local honey sticks, water bottles, stickers, glow sticks, mini jars of Play Dough, and even toothbrushes.
But if you are a real candy aficionado, you’re going to go with taste above and beyond nutritional value and the folks at Paste magazine hear you. They brought in a group of contributors to taste test the best and worst Halloween candy available.
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Paste’s #1 choice in chocolate treats is actually on the bottom of Byrdie’s list: Reese Peanut Butter Cups. Kit Kat Bars come in second and Junior Mints and close third. At the other end of the spectrum, Paste ranked Hershey’s Milk Chocolate as their 8th choice, Charleston Chews for #9 and the worst chocolate choice? Almond Joy. “Almond and coconut team up to ruin chocolate,” one taster noted. Another asserted that the coconut mush wasn’t food, and yet another felt the filling tasted a bit off.
When it comes to “fruity/sugary” candies, Starburst made the top of the list followed by Skittles and Mini Haribo Gold Gummies. The bottom three on their list include Life Savers Pops, Pumpkin Donut Laffy Taffy and Dots are considered the worst since “you spend more time trying to get the residue off your molars than you actually do eating the candy.”
Which Halloween candy is your favorite? Which do you hate? Continue the debate.
[Featured Image by: Joe Raedle/Getty Images]