For most children, candy is considered an important food group. For the parents that don’t allow candy on a regular basis, Halloween may be your worst nightmare.
Similar to any other junk food, there are certain candies that are better for you than others. We analyzed the nutrition information of the popular Halloween candies and selected the best options in terms of calories, fat, and sugar. We also spoke with Timothy Chase, DMD, cosmetic dentist and practicing partner at SmilesNY about the best and worst candies for your child’s pearly whites.
Chase recommends avoiding taffy and other sticky candies because they stick to your teeth longer. “The longer a food sticks to your teeth, the longer bacteria can feed on it – which could produce cavity-causing acid,” he said. Beyond chewy candies, he also recommends avoiding hard candy, sour candy, and powdery candy, such as Pixie Sticks.
“Hard candy such as lollipops or jawbreakers, are the second worst candies to be munching on,” he said. “Although they do not stick to your mouth, they take a long time to dissolve. The longer a food stays in your mouth, the more acidic the environment becomes. Sour candy is also bad for your teeth because it has a higher acidic content, which can break down tooth enamel. While powdery candies dissolves quickly in the mouth and doesn’t require chewing, they contain nothing but sugar and can lead to cavities by changing the mouth’s PH and giving bacteria straight sugar to eat.”
The best items for your child to eat mostly include chocolate candies with a bit of a nutritional boost, such as peanuts or almonds. We were even able to find a candy that uses fruits and vegetables to give it bright colors instead of artificial coloring. This Halloween, you can feel good about giving your kids’ small doses of these candies.