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It’s the time of year when markets line their aisles with the endless bounty of Halloween candies. While everyone has their childhood favorites, these eight picks are what four registered dietitians add to their carts. And yes, there’s a peanut butter cup option for everyone!
1. UNREAL Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
With 36% less sugar than the leading brand, they are made without sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, soy ingredients, preservatives or fillers. Essentially they have, “All of the treats, none of the tricks!” These individually-wrapped chocolates come in festive Halloween-themed boxes and are a must-have during the holiday season for dietitian and mom Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LDN, CLEC, CPT, Owner of Nutrition Now Counseling.
2. SkinnyDipped Pumpkin Spice Skinnydipped Almonds
According to Manaker, these are unlike other candy- and chocolate-covered nuts, because they are thin-dipped instead of being loaded with coating. Almonds are a source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber – three factors that can help promote satiety. And these almonds are a go-to candy during Halloween for people who can’t do without pumpkin spice but can do without loads of added sugar.
3. Haribo Gold Bears
Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, founder of Greenletes and author of Planted Performance became addicted to this sweet treat when she was marathon training because of its simple sugar. Rizzo says, “It’s easy to digest and gives my body a boost of energy for sport.” She does note, though, that even if you aren’t training for a marathon, they are only 100 calories per serving, which is much lower than many other candies.
Rizzo also loves the combination of sweet chocolate with savory and crunchy pretzels that BarkTHINS provide. She notes, “This satisfies both my cravings for sweet and salty! Plus, this bark is broken into bite sized pieces, which offers automatic portion control (if you can stop yourself after just a few pieces).”
5. Classic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
New York-Based Nutrition Communications Specialist Alexandra Oppenheimer Delvito, MS, RD, CDN, shares that there isn’t much that’s more nostalgic than Reese’s peanut butter cups, especially when they come in fun Halloween shapes. Oppenheimer Delvito reminds us all that they’re a-okay to add to your Halloween candy bowl shopping list because they’re a crowd favorite and also pack in some protein (about 4g per serving) from their peanut butter center. Yippee! Something we can all get on board with.
6. Justin’s Nut Butter Cups
Now, for those who prefer an organic option, Oppenheimer Delvito suggests checking out Justin’s line of specialist cups! They have a variety of nut butter cups (peanut, almond, cashew) that offer similar nutrition profiles. Plus, they even had seed based products (like sunflower seed chocolate cups) that also bode well for those with food allergies.
7. Yum Earth’s Variety Pack
To make sure everyone has a safe treat they can enjoy at Halloween, Oppenheimer Delvito also buys Yum Earth’s Halloween variety pack of candies that are gluten free, allergy friendly and organic. These are a great option for those who have food allergies in the house, too! Just remember they are a treat, and while mini in calories, they still pack 8 to 10 grams of added sugar per serving.
8. UNREAL Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars
Similar to Manaker, Elise Compston, RD, LD, Registered Dietitian and Founder of Compston Kitchen, is also a fan of the UNREAL brand. The dark chocolate coconut bars are a healthier take on a popular favorite – but taste just as great as the original. “These bars contain just a few simple ingredients like coconut, cassava syrup, and dark chocolate and leave out sugar alcohols and other unnecessary additives. They also contain significantly less added sugar than other leading brands,” she shares.
For more Halloween candy and fall food inspiration, checkout these other nutritionist-approved ideas: