Miniature-sized candies are great alternatives for Halloween, but could scare up high calorie and carbohydrate counts if parents don’t monitor how many their children eat, warn pediatricians from Harris Health System.
While the amount of calories and carbohydrates per treat is relatively low compared to regular-sized candies, too much of the smaller treats could be just as bad.
“We want parents to be aware that calories and carbohydrates can add up quickly when children eat more of the smaller snacks,” says Dr. Elizabeth Bosquez, medical director, for Harris Health Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Centers-Bear Creek and Cypress. “Tiny treats are better than the regular-sized treats, but other alternatives such as fruits, pretzels or popcorn are even better.”
Sugary treats are OK in moderation, she adds.
Dr. Sherin Wesley, pediatrician, Weight Management Program, Harris Health Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center-Pasadena, says prohibiting sweets on a holiday traditionally known for candy may not be the solution.
“If a parent allows a child to trick-or-treat, it would almost seem unfair to not allow them to have their reward,” she says.
Wesley, also assistant professor, Academic General Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, suggests not giving children all their candy at once. She suggests dividing the loot into small amounts that can be given to them once a week over a month or so.
“Parents may want to consider a ‘loot fairy’ similar to a tooth fairy. With this tactic, children place their candies under their pillow at bedtime to get either money or a toy in exchange,” she says.
The experts recommend that parents gather and inspect all treats before allowing their children to eat them and immediately throw away any open candies or items with broken wrapping. Also, carefully consider the source of homemade items such as popcorn balls or cookies before allowing children to eat.
Some alternatives to candy include food items like pretzels, juice boxes, sugar-free gum, granola bars or fruit wraps, and small toys such as stickers, temporary tattoos, sunglasses or bracelets.
For a list of calorie/carbohydrate counts for some popular miniature candies, visit this article from About.com
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL CONTENT:
According to About.com, here’s a list of calorie/carbohydrate counts for some miniature candies:
Chocolate Bars and Kisses (Mostly Chocolate)
• Dove Milk Chocolate Promises or wrapped squares (8 g) - 42 calories and 6 g carb
• Hershey’s Kisses - 26 calories and 8 g carb each kiss
• Hershey's Milk Chocolate, fun size (14 g) - 67 calories and 8 g carb
• M&Ms, plain, fun size (18 g) - 88 calories and 12 g carb
• M&Ms, peanut, fun size (18 g) - 93 calories and 11 g carb
• Mr. Goodbar, snack size (17 g) - 90 calories and 9 grams carb
• Crunch, fun size (10 g) 50 calories and 7 grams carb
• Tootsie Rolls, small bar - 50 calories and 10 g carb
Peanut and Peanut Butter Candies
• Pay Day, snack size (19 g) - 90 calories and 10 g carb
• Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, (9 g) - 44 calories and 5 g carb per cup
• Snack size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, (17 g) - 88 calories and 10 g carb
• Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins (34 g) - 180 calories and 17 g carb
Mixed Candy Bars
• 100 Grand, fun size (11 g) - 50 calories and 8 g carb
• Almond Joy, snack size (15 g) - 80 calories and 10g carb
• Baby Ruth, fun size (18 g each) - 85 calories and 13 g carb
• Butterfinger, fun size (18 g each) - 85 calories 14 g carb
• Heath Bar, snack size (13 g) - 74 calories and 9 g carb
• Kit Kat, fun size (14 g) - 73 calories and 9 g carb
• Milky Way, fun size (17 g) - 75 calories and 12 g carb
• Snickers, fun size (17 g) - 80 calories and 10 g carb
• Twix, snack size (10 g) - 50 calories and 7 g carb
Taffy and Caramel
• Laffy Taffy, Chocolate, small (8 g each) - 32 calories and 7 g carb
• Milk Duds, snack size (12 g) - 54 calories and 9 g carb
Fruity and Gummy Candies
• Lifesavers Gummies (2 rolls per ounce) - 52 calories and 13 g carb per roll
• Mini Dots (2 small boxes per ounce) 70 calories and 17 g carb per box
• Skittles - Original Fruit, fun size (20 g) - 80 calories and 18 g carb
• Starburst, fun size (2 pieces per stick) - 40 calories and 10 g carb
• Twizzlers - Mini (14 g) - 11 g carb
Hard Candies and Pops
• Blow Pop, Junior - 50 calories and 14 g carb
• Jolly Rancher - Hard Candy (6 g) - 23 calories and 6 g carb
• Tootsie Pops - 60 calories and 15 g carb
• Candy Corn, 11 pieces - 70 calories and 18 g carb
• Hot Tamales, small (14 g) - 50 calories and 12 g carb
• Jr. Mints, fun size (10 g) - 50 calories and 12 g carb
• Raisinets, fun size (16 g - about 16 pieces) - 56 calories and 11 g carb
• Whoppers, 1 small tube - 30 calories and 5 g carb
• York Peppermint Patties, Regular, small patty (14 g) - 53 calories and 11 g carb